EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMPLIANCE Q&A

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
 


 

A major responsibility for a health care facility team is keeping patients, staff and visitors safe during an emergency. That’s why accrediting organizations surveying hospitals and other health care facilities are increasing their scrutiny of emergency preparedness. Chad Beebe, CHFM, FASHE, ASHE’s deputy executive director, advocacy, shares insights and tips for compliance.

Q: Why is emergency preparedness a hot topic right now for hospitals and other health care facilities?
A (Beebe): We are seeing an increase in the number of accredited facilities being cited for emergency preparedness. Any emergency plan requires a ton of communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Communication should extend to doctors, nurses and other clinical staff members as well as volunteers. Many facilities document evacuation plans, but sometimes plans are not effectively communicated to the entire staff. This creates potential gaps in the plan, so it’s important to remember that plans need to be documented and practiced.

Q: Is the increase in citations relating to emergency preparedness affecting specific types of health care facilities?
A (Beebe): No, this is impacting facilities of all types and sizes. However, those managing larger or more complex facilities may face greater challenges in communicating plans effectively. 

 

Q: What tips do you have to avoid citations for emergency preparedness?
A (Beebe): Participate in training for emergency preparedness, not because it is a condition of participation, but because it is important to react to an emergency. If you look at hospitals that have been faced with challenges and were able to respond effectively, they all share one common thread – they were prepared.

Q: What tips do you have to avoid citations for emergency preparedness?
A (Beebe): Participate in training for emergency preparedness, not because it is a condition of participation, but because it is important to react to an emergency. If you look at hospitals that have been faced with challenges and were able to respond effectively, they all share one common thread – they were prepared.

Q: What training do you recommend?
A (Beebe): The 2019 ASHE Annual Conference will be offering a preconference Physical Environment Survey Readiness Program (Overview), to help health care facility teams avoid citations for emergency preparedness. Teams may also consider participating in the conference session Facility’s Insight: How to Prepare for a Survey. Both of these sessions will give insight into best practice strategies for communicating emergency plans effectively as well as other tactics for avoiding citations from accrediting organizations.

Chad E. Beebe, AIA, SASHE, is a registered architect, a Certified Fire Protection Specialist, a Certified Healthcare Facility Manager, and a Certified Building Official. He is deputy executive director for advocacy for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association. Beebe serves on many national panels and committees that develop regulations for the design and construction of health care facilities, including the multidisciplinary body responsible for updating the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities. Chad has experience as the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) for the Washington State Department of Health and managed its Construction Review Services program. He was honored by receiving ASHE’s Regional Leader Award and became the first AHJ to receive a leadership award from the American Hospital Association.


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