Emergencies caused by severe weather or disasters can happen without warning. Transportation barriers, changes in water, loss of power, or access to supplies can critically impact dialysis treatment. Therefore, it is important to be prepared before an emergency occurs. In addition to routine review of disaster plans, resource management, drills, and updating contact numbers and medication records, dialysis facilities are encouraged complete the following action items to ensure continuity of care:
- Designate in CROWNWeb a Disaster/Emergency Coordinator for your facility. Be sure to include a cell phone number.
- Conduct a Hazards Vulnerability Assessment to determine how and when your facility might be at risk.
- Establish a Mutual Aid Agreement with a back-up dialysis provider that will accept your patients if your facility cannot provide access to care.
- Annually contact your local Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to communicate patient census and needs of ESRD patient care during an emergency.
Reporting Operational Status to the Network
In an emergency, the Network is required by CMS to work with Federal, State and local government agencies to assist with patient safety and ensure dialysis facilities are prioritized to be open for treatment. Networks are also tasked with tracking the status of facility operations and patient access to care during events. If your facility becomes inoperable or inaccessible due to an emergency, it must be communicated to the Network as soon as possible. This improves the ability of the Network to provide current information to assist patients, the renal community, and emergency management personnel.
For questions about facility emergency preparedness requirements, resource materials, or technical assistance, please contact the Network at 203-387-9332.