Use of the Incident Command System during infectious disease outbreaks

Compliance with the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule indicates that skilled nursing facilities (SNF) along with other healthcare providers receiving Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services funds implement an “All Hazards” approach to emergency preparedness.  This rule requires healthcare facilities including skilled nursing facilities (SNF) to conduct a risk analysis of potential threats and perils through a process known as Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA). One of the hazards typically identified in a comprehensive HVA is an infectious disease outbreak.

At first glance, long-term care providers may not always consider an infectious disease outbreak as a traditional emergency or disaster like a fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake or other adverse event.  SNF operators should understand that that utilizing an “All Hazards” approach to manage each emergent situation is not only a requirement but will help promote a standardized and effective response.

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Source: McKnight’s Long-Term Care News