Bill Targets Emergency Plans in Long-Term Care

February 4, 2021

Hospitals have long been required to create and implement comprehensive emergency preparedness programs in place to protect patients and staff in a crisis. Now facilities elsewhere on the continuum of care in one state also would be required to have such plans.

Assisted living communities would be required to have comprehensive disaster preparedness plans in place under a bill being considered by the Washington state legislature, according to McKnight’s Senior Living. The bill also would require communities to meet timeliness standards for communicating with the public and for providing access to communication equipment to residents as well as maintain a resident roster with contact information, including legal decision-makers. The legislation also would apply to adult family homes, enhanced services facilities and nursing homes.

Rep. Jessica Batemen said the bill would require operators to respond to incoming communications from residents’ families, medical providers and other community supports. They also would be required to have sufficient telecommunications equipment and assistance for residents to use devices to stay connected with the greater community and with their families.

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