COVID-19 Tests Organizations’ Emergency Preparedness Plans

November 19, 2020

Facilities nationwide have taken great pains over the years to prepare and maintain emergency response plans in the event of wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and disease outbreaks. For healthcare organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has tested these emergency preparedness plans. At the same time, it has exposed opportunities for organizations to improve their response and performance.

It’s crucial for providers to be able to document and demonstrate their emergency preparedness and how they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as survey activities resume across the country, according to Lisa Thomson, chief strategy officer for Pathway Health speaking recently during a virtual session at LeadingAge’s annual Meeting & Expo.

She stressed the importance of providers aligning their emergency preparedness and infection control plans as a result of the public health crisis, while also discussing key strategies they can use to prepare for future surveys and additional waves of the disease, according to McKnight’s Long-Term Care Review.

Developing a COVID-19 pandemic after action report was among the key strategies detailed by Thomson. She noted that for providers to receive acknowledgement from the federal government they properly responded to the crisis. The action review report should include an overview of their response, the duration of the public health emergency, a sequence of events, and details on what went right for the facilities, along with areas for improvement.

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