This is the second part of our review of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule that require hospitals to develop and maintain a comprehensive emergency preparedness program using an all-hazards approach. Hospitals must have an emergency management plan that is reviewed and updated at least annually and is based on an all-hazards approach, a facility and community-based risk assessment and a communication plan.
In addition to above, hospitals are also required to have policies and procedures related to emergency preparedness. Please see the final rule for a complete list of required policies. Some of the key required policies include:
- Plans for evacuating patients to alternative care sites
- Emergency power systems
- Sewage and waste disposal
Hospitals must also have in place:
- Training for all staff
- Testing of the emergency plan on at least an annual basis
CMS notes in the final rule that hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission will likely face a “…smaller burden associated with this final rule…” because TJC already has comprehensive emergency preparedness requirements for hospitals. That said, even TJC-accredited hospitals should review the final rule to make sure they are addressing all key areas of emergency preparedness
MCN Healthcare’s Emergency Management and Bioterrorism Manual provides essential information to identify and coordinate a response to emergencies/disasters. This manual reflects CMS regulations, Joint Commission (TJC) and National Integrated Healthcare Organization (NIAHO) Emergency Management standards, HICS Guidelines, and NIMS requirements.