September 27, 2021 | | Comments 0
Print This Post
Email This Post

As we relive our lives in what we tell you…

While it is always my intent to be amazingly timely in posting things, sometimes items that I’ve earmarked for sharing end up languishing in my draft emails folder. And, as I was poking around trying to decide what to run with this week, I came upon an item that, while a little long in the tooth in terms of when it was published, should still provide some food for thought (and action) as we navigate the waters of preparedness. There are always things to do and events to plan for, but you’ll probably want to review the document to look over the updates.

As usual, there’s nothing that I see that makes me crazy, but I also know that, in the hands of some surveyors, what looks like flexibility to folks with practical experience can become “the only way.” So you might want to check out the review tool being used in a certain Midwest state very close (so close they are the same) to our friends from Chicago. At some point, I suspect that the conversations during survey are going to turn to “What about the next one?” (as we venture further into the realm of emerging infectious diseases, or EID), so it’s probably a good idea to start planning along those lines. Hopefully the next one doesn’t get here for a very, very long time, but…

A couple of general thoughts regarding some of the changes:

Play nicely with others: collaboration versus isolation. In one of those ever-shifting dualities brought on by the pandemic, there’s been a lot of “distancing” (social or otherwise) that has only (at least to my mind—feel free to disagree) increased the degree of difficulty when it comes to meaningful collaboration. At least now we can get folks to “visit” from time to time, but a lot of the most difficult situations, conditions, etc., over the last year or so were very much accomplished “on the fly.” I think we all try to live by the “stronger together” ethic, but I guess it just proves the point that the whole 96-hour thang is very dependent on the event(s). That said, if you are accredited by our friends in Chicago, be very certain that you have met the requirements for evaluating emergency response activities, have a documented review of your emergency inventory, reviewed your HVA, evaluated your emergency response plan/emergency management plan/emergency operations plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but there is some indication that shortfalls will be cited. Please take an hour this week and make sure all those little duckies are in neat rows.

The umbrella can provide protection for a lot of different events: we did touch on this earlier in the year, but I’m glad to see that guidance is being provided to surveyors that it is not necessary to have response plans/protocols for every possible event. That said, you want to make sure that you have a good cross-section of folks participating in the planning process, particularly with the whole EID issue. Infection control and prevention folks are amazingly important when it comes to planning for emergencies (but after the last 12 months or so, you really didn’t need me to tell you that), but there are other folks in your organization that have a part to play in the planning. I think one of the critical performance metrics going forward will be the general concept of continuity as it impacts operations across the continuum of care. Your planning must key on how the place stays in business over the long haul (recognizing we’re still “hauling” to a fair degree…) and you really want to include consideration of continuity as a specific evaluation element. We now know that we can appropriately to a really long event, but the hows and whys are going to be key as we move out of response into recovery mode.

I think you folks “got this,” but it never hurts to look preparedness in the eye from time to time.

Entry Information

Filed Under: Emergency management

Tags:

Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

RSSPost a Comment  |  Trackback URL

*