People are exposed to many different types of emergencies. Weather related emergencies can include, but are not limited to, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, and flooding. Additional emergencies can include terrorist attacks, illness pandemics, as well as many other scenarios. Emergency situations can lead to increased emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and even an increase in mortality rate. Medicare- & Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers are required to plan adequately for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems in order to meet the needs of patients. Dialysis facility leadership should ensure that all staff members have adequate training on the facility’s emergency response plan, and have a clear understanding of response functions and/or roles during an emergency. Staff should be able to identify gaps and lessons learned from previous disasters as a way to continuously improve their facility’s emergency response plan.
To read about lessons from Sandy and how healthcare systems can prepare for future disasters, click here.