3 Challenges to Consider When Preparing a Home Health Emergency Preparedness Plan

Posted: Aug. 30, 2021

Emergency preparedness is an essential—and required—plan of action that all home health care facilities must have in place. This set of distinct procedures should cover emergencies in all areas of the facility, including detailed information on accounting for all patients and staff, what to do in case of a fire, and how to execute evacuations.

Follow along for common challenges home health professionals may face when implementing their emergency procedures and learn how third party companies can support their efforts.

Challenge #1: Frequency of Emergency Preparedness Plan Reviews

As recent as March 2021, home health care facilities are required to review and update their emergency preparedness plans every two years. This review should encompass all parts of emergency preparedness: The Emergency Plan, Policies and Procedures, The Communication Plan, and Staff Readiness.

Each of these areas comes with its own set of federal, state, or local regulations and come with their own set of challenges. This development and review process comes in tandem with day-to-day operations at the home health care facility. With so much to take care of already, staying compliant with emergency preparedness regulations can be a burden on administrators.


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Challenge #2: Keeping Staff Trained and Tested on What to Do in a Disaster

Training and testing on emergency preparedness is required for all employees in a home health care facility. All providers must know how to properly execute each aspect of the disaster plans above and will have to undergo review and testing every two years.

This time consuming process can present challenges for facilities that do not have the proper procedures in place to adequately and efficiently train all new and old employees. Between documentation, implementation, and facility wide organization, training and testing of home health care providers presents another addition to the juggling act of emergency preparedness.


Challenge #3: Developing and Maintaining All Requirements in the Communication Plan

A facility’s emergency communication plan, is a unique set of data and procedures that allow staff, volunteers, or first responders to contact relevant parties to notify them of an incident as well as locate missing patients in a disaster circumstance.

This 5-part plan involves having a comprehensive contact and personal information list, contact procedures for working with relevant state and federal agencies, and a means of sharing patients medical documents.

The challenge here is maintenance. If a home health care facility's communication procedures and information is not kept up to date, serious problems can arise in the face of an emergency.


Having a Good Communication Plan—A Crucial Part of Home Health Emergency Preparedness

While all parts of emergency preparedness plans are crucial to maintaining the safety and accountability of staff and patients, the communication plan is an integral piece to the puzzle—and one that can easily be made effortless with solutions like Notifyd.

By working with an industry professional like Notifyd, you can ensure that your communication procedures are up-to-date and ready to go should your facility ever experience an emergency or disaster.

Enlisting a third party company to help with emergency preparedness should be a first step in developing your facility’s disaster planning. Offloading as much as possible will lighten the load for administrators and allow them to focus on day-to-day facility operations.

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Notifyd is a great solution because it is extremely easy to mass-message your staff, you will see far better response rates from employees, and you will have access to various tools that make managing your communications easy and secure.

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