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Emergency Preparedness Important Step in Preparing for Nursing Home Survey

In-person surveys for nursing home facilities have restarted for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. In this sixth installment of a seven-part series, get tips on how being organized can help your staff and center be survey ready.

As you get ready for an in-person survey, it is important to ensure your facility’s emergency preparedness plan is updated and reviewed. In addition, you should have a digital version in case you are required to provide an electronic copy of any part of the plan.

The top priority should be having a plan in place to address outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases. Conduct emergency evacuation preparedness drill twice yearly to ensure staff members know what to do and assess facility hazard vulnerability risk-need. Be sure to retain documentation of the drills as well as improvement plans. You can use the Long-Term Care Requirements CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule to help with this process.

We recommend you create and maintain an emergency preparedness binder that includes:

  • All essential information at beginning
  •  A crosswalk as applicable for where documents are located. For instance, if there are policies and procedures for specific standards or requirements, identify where these are located.
  • Names of leadership and incident management team
  •  A process for contacting staff
  •  Plans for doors, beds, specialty services and what to do if computers can’t be used

Your facility’s emergency preparedness plan should cover the following areas:

  • Emergency plan
  • Policies and procedures
  • Communication plan
  •  Training and testing
  • Integrated health care systems
  • Overall

You can use the CMS Emergency Preparedness Plan Requirements Checklist to determine the topics within these areas.

Other Survey Readiness Topics

Getting Focused – Team and Tools

Get Organized

Have Adequate Documentation

Staffing, Competencies, Vaccine Tracking & Documentation

Quality of Care and Data Review

Infection Prevention

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