Emergency Plan is Required in Nursing Homes
Pursuant to 42 CFR § 483.73, a LTC facility must comply with all applicable Federal, State and local emergency preparedness requirements. The LTC facility must establish and maintain a preparedness program that meets the requirements of this section. The emergency preparedness program must include, but not be limited to, the following elements:
(a) Emergency plan. The LTC facility must develop and maintain an emergency preparedness plan that must be reviewed, and updated at least annually. The plan must do all of the following:
(1) Be based on and include a documented, facility-based and community-based risk assessment, utilizing an all-hazards approach, including missing residents.
(2) Include strategies for addressing emergencies identified by the risk assessment.
(3) Address resident population, including, but not limited to, persons at-risk; the type of services the LTC facility has the ability to provide in an emergency; and continuity of operations, including delegations of authority and succession plans.
(4) Include a process for cooperation and collaboration with local, tribal, regional, State, or Federal emergency preparedness officials’ efforts to maintain an integrated response during a disaster or emergency situation, including documentation of the LTC facility’s efforts to contact such officials and, when applicable, of its participation in collaborative and cooperative planning efforts.
Emergency Plan Policies and Procedure Regulation
(b) Policies and procedures. The LTC facility must develop and implement preparedness policies and procedures, based on the plan set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, risk assessment at paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and the communication plan at paragraph (c) of this section. The policies and procedures must be reviewed and updated at least annually. At a minimum, the policies and procedures must address the following:
(1) The provision of subsistence needs for staff and residents, whether they evacuate or shelter in place, include, but are not limited to the following:
(i) Food, water, medical, and pharmaceutical supplies.
(ii) Alternate sources of energy to maintain—
(A) Temperatures to protect resident health and safety and for the safe and sanitary storage of provisions;
(B) Emergency lighting;
(C) Fire detection, extinguishing, and alarm systems; and
(D) Sewage and waste disposal.
(2) A system to track the location of on-duty staff and sheltered residents in the LTC facility’s care during and after an emergency. If on-duty staff and sheltered residents are relocated during the emergency, the LTC facility must document the specific name and location of the receiving facility or other location.
(3) Safe evacuation from the LTC facility, which includes consideration of care and treatment needs of evacuees; staff responsibilities; transportation; identification of evacuation location(s); and primary and alternate means of communication with external sources of assistance.
(4) A means to shelter in place for residents, staff, and volunteers who remain in the LTC facility.
(5) A system of medical documentation that preserves resident information, protects confidentiality of resident information, and secures and maintains the availability of records.
(6) The use of volunteers in an emergency or other emergency staffing strategies, including the process and role for integration of State or Federally designated health care professionals to address surge needs during an emergency.
(7) The development of arrangements with other LTC facilities and other providers to receive residents in the event of limitations or cessation of operations to maintain the continuity of services to LTC residents.
(8) The role of the LTC facility under a waiver declared by the Secretary, in accordance with section 1135 of the Act, in the provision of care and treatment at an alternate care site identified officials.
For more information about federal nursing home requirements or other questions about elder abuse and neglect contact Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation at 612-743-9048 or by email at KLaBore @ MNnursinghomeneglect.com.