5 smart tips for life-safety and emergency prep

MedTrainer in the News:

MedTrainer Director of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, Brian Williams, shares his five expert tips on updating life safety and emergency preparedness plans in healthcare facilities. 

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services set forth new regulations related to life safety and emergency preparedness.

Designed to protect Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries — namely those in long-term care facilities — the updates cover a wide range of safety and fire prevention requirements related to adoption of the 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code. CMS also published the Emergency Preparedness Final Rules, requiring facilities to have emergency preparedness plans in place, which should be reviewed and updated annually.

In early 2018, the Office of the Inspector General conducted a series of unannounced compliance audits within 20 nursing homes across the state of New York. What the OIG found was quite alarming: There were severe deficiencies at all 20 facilities, including 205 areas of noncompliance related to life safety and 219 areas related to emergency preparedness. The OIG determined that residents at these nursing homes were all at increased risk of injury or death in the event of an emergency.

These discoveries prompted the department to declare this August that, “New York should improve its oversight of selected nursing homes’ compliance with federal requirements for life safety and emergency preparedness.” In its report, the OIG cited inadequate management and lack of standardized training as causes for these deficiencies.

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