If your hospital or health system has an initiative to improve the emergency preparedness program, or if you have moved into a new role that has emergency preparedness responsibilities, you have probably been hearing a lot about the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) framework. You may also be hearing about HICS policies, templates, plans, and forms. If you unsure what “HICS” is or where to start, this perspective is for you. This article introduces HICS and links to resources that can take you to the next level of detail. Continue reading
Hospitals place high importance on delivering uninterrupted care regardless of circumstances, and, as such, invest heavily in preparedness. Hospitals that are the most successful in achieving a high-level of preparedness typically have integration between four disciplines: Emergency Preparedness (HICS), Business Continuity, IT Disaster Recovery, and Information Security. Building cohesion sounds fairly straightforward, but, in reality, it can be complex. Continue reading
Published on September 16, 2016 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers” Final Rule (81 FR 63860), commonly referred to as the CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule, sets requirements for health care providers and suppliers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid to develop enhanced emergency response programs.
The ruling is comprised of four best practice standards: Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning, Policies and Procedures, Communications Planning, and Training and Testing. As as a prerequisite for participation in Medicare and Medicaid, all participant facilities (providers and suppliers) are expected to be in compliance with these requirements by November 15, 2017.
Avalution has studied these new regulations to create services that tightly align with the requirements and help organizations become compliant and increase preparedness. If you’re looking for assistance with achieving compliance, please contact us.
In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the background and ruling provisions. Continue reading
Many organizations that we encounter have an obligation to support the community in time of crisis, including hospitals and utilities, for example. These organizations place a heavy emphasis on emergency management, and in recent years, we’ve seen increased implementation of the standardized Incident Command System (ICS) framework, or in the case of hospitals, the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). There are many benefits to adopting ICS or HICS, but, most importantly, it allows organizations (both government and non-government) to operate and collaborate more effectively during emergencies. Common terms, roles, and responsibilities remove barriers to cooperation, ultimately benefiting the community.
When a community is impacted by a natural or manmade crisis, we are all better off thanks to ICS and HICS. However, many organizations are discovering that these systems may fall short when it comes to an incident that does not directly impact the communities in which they operate. While placing a heavy focus on emergency management is great (and many organizations are already mature in this space), it may not prepare an organization for unplanned resource interruptions, such as IT downtime or an unexpected facility closure. So how can an organization ensure the performance of social or community responsibilities, while protecting its own operations in the event of a more isolated disruption? Enter business continuity. Continue reading
Avalution’s March 2012 hospital perspective (Hospital Preparedness: The Intersection of HICS, Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery) discussed how hospitals can integrate siloed preparedness activities into a single, unified preparedness program. Since the article’s publication, Avalution received a number of questions regarding how those involved in preparedness (emergency management, business continuity, and IT disaster recovery) should interact during a response and recovery effort, and who is responsible for responding to each type of event. This article aims to answer these questions. Continue reading
The number one priority for hospitals is to provide continuous, superior care to patients, regardless of circumstance. This principle results in the need to invest time and resources in preparing for disruptive events. In addition, a number of external parties require hospitals to invest in preparedness measures: Continue reading
There has been significant discussion regarding the ‘standard of care’ implications associated with a lawsuit against Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital (and their corporate parent, Universal Health Services of Pennsylvania), in which the family of Althea LaCoste, 73, “alleged that the hospital was negligent for having inadequate emergency power systems, evacuation plans and floodwater protection.”1 These allegations stemmed from the hospital’s generators failing during Hurricane Katrina, which ultimately led to the death of LaCoste (who had been admitted for congestive heart failure and was on a respirator). Continue reading