Emergency Planning for Long-Term Care Facilities

Throughout the U.S., more than 15,000 assisted living facilities care for approximately 1.4 million aging and disabled residents. It’s not surprising that the majority of assisted living residents are elderly, two-thirds or more are women, and due to advanced age, frailty, poor eyesight, impaired hearing, and their resulting confusion during any sort of emergency —  flood, smoke or fire event, electrical outage, or severe weather — the challenge to patient care and safety is significant. When severe weather threatens, advance weather service warnings may allow assisted living staff time to move the most at-risk patients to facilities away from the weather threat. Floods, smoke and fire events provide little advance warning, which makes patient safety for these events a critical concern.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes guidelines that periodically update health care facilities with emergency guidelines to improve protection for all residents in facilities. The requirements for sprinkler systems and outdoor smoking regulations have helped to reduce smoke and fire incidents. The newest guidelines apply to a variety of facilities including hospitals, long-term care (LTC) facilities, inpatient hospice facilities, and programs for all-inclusive care for the elderly. The guideline provisions cover construction, protection, and operational features designed to provide better safety during an emergency as well as ways to minimize resident panic. Health care providers affected by this rule were compelled to comply with all regulations by July 4, 2016.

Paul Davis companies throughout the U.S and Canada can offer support to management of these facilities. By conducting periodic facility reviews, Paul Davis emergency staff and technicians can serve as another expert set of eyes to identify potential hazards and reduce the likelihood of emergencies. By contacting your local Paul Davis company, facility management can also become acquainted with Paul Davis emergency technical staff, and these specialists can learn the layout of facilities. Should an emergency arise, this advance inspection often helps to minimize damage and speed restoration so that facilities are back to normal more quickly. Where our most vulnerable populations reside, damage control and restoration needs clearly dictate that This Is No Time for Second BestTM.