The key to healthcare emergency management: Facility managers

By Jake Young / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
July 12, 2018

The average hospital relies on federal reimbursements for about half of their revenue, and to keep receiving that revenue, hospitals must comply with rules set by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Failure to comply with certain rules could result in severe penalties or loss of revenue, and that is a CEO-level issue.

So when those rules change, the healthcare industry should pay attention.

A significant rule change regarding healthcare emergency management came into effect in November 2016. And healthcare providers were required to be compliant with these rules by November 2017. The new rules were published under the name, Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers.

The new rules address “three key essentials:”

• Safeguarding human resources

• Maintaining business continuity

• Protecting physical resources

Facility managers play a critical role in each of these “key essentials.”

The importance of the facility manager in healthcare emergency preparedness should come as no surprise. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) defines the seven functions most critical to a healthcare facility’s ability to continue providing care. And facility managers are integral to maintaining these functions.

The bottom line is this: The emergency manager’s ability to leverage facility management knowledge and expertise determines success or failure in an emergency response.

To shed light on what role the facility manager plays in emergency management, we’ve assembled a white paper that outlines:

• Three types of healthcare facility emergencies

• The seven critical functions of every healthcare facility

• The “all-hazards approach” to healthcare emergency management

• Why the facility manager is essential to emergency planning

One point addressed in the paper is the communication challenges that many healthcare facilities face during emergencies. With no internet, phones or radio communication, it’s difficult to coordinate an emergency response. But new technology enables emergency managers to bypass these communication limitations.

To learn more about the facility manager’s role during healthcare emergencies, read the paper: Emergency Preparedness: Critical Planning for Healthcare Facilities.

Jake Young is the National Director of Facilities Technology for ARC.


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