If your healthcare organization is like many across the U.S., this date has been circled on the calendar ever since the Congress-approved CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule took effect this time last year. And, for good reason. By not complying with the ruling, you might  lose crucial Medicare and Medicaid funding, which could prove disastrous for your government-supported facility.

With less than ten days to go, where do you stand with meeting the four basic requirements – Emergency Plan, Policies and Procedures, Communications, and Training and Testing – as identified in the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule? Hopefully, A-OK, as compliance surveying is slated to begin almost immediately.

Ask yourself these important questions before someone else does:

  • Does our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), as required by The Joint Commission, cover all potential hazards, i.e., natural and human-caused?
  • Have we done everything possible to mitigate the risks to patient safety and the continuity of operations in an emergency? And, can we prove if challenged by surveyors, patients, patient families, the community, or the media, as in the case of the Hollywood Hills, FL facility post Hurricane Irma?
  • Can we communicate the key elements of our EOP to others, especially the compliance surveyors who will surely come?
  • Is our EOP fully tested, documented and up to date? And, are there measures in place to review and revise it on a regular basis?
  • Is our EOP available to key stakeholders and/or surveyors at a moment’s notice?