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COVER STORY


How to Write an Emergency Preparedness Plan


Involve your team, learn about the requirements, and make it a living tool BY ROBERT KURTZ


I


f your ASC’s primary motivation for developing an emergency prepared- ness plan is compliance with regula- tory requirements, that is acceptable, says Mary Ann Gellenbeck, senior vice president of implementation services for Physicians Endoscopy in Jamison, Pennsylvania. Just do not allow this impetus to distract you from the ratio- nale behind the rules: enhancing safety. “Emergency preparedness may not


seem like it applies to ASCs as they will typically not accept an influx of patients in the event of a disaster,” Gel- lenbeck says. “However, surgery cen- ters must be prepared to respond to a disaster’s effects. These can include harm to patients and staff, limited abil- ity to evacuate, challenges in transfer- ring patients and facility damage.” The reality is that you never know when or what type of a disaster your ASC might face, says Steve Henry,


8


Medicare Finalizes Changes to Emergency Preparedness Requirements


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently modified the emergency preparedness requirements for ASCs. The requirements will take effect on November 29, 2019. ASCA member resources


provide you with the information you need to update your policies and procedures.


ascassociation.org/2019- burden-reduction-rule


CASC, administrator of Harvard Park Surgery Center in Denver, Colorado. “It could be a flood today or a bomb threat tomorrow. We must ensure we can act quickly and effectively when confronted with an emergency. The plan we write and subsequently follow


ASC FOCUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019| ascfocus.org


will greatly dictate our ability to keep patients and staff safe.”


Core Components


Crafting of the plan should involve multiple members of your ASC’s team, Gellenbeck says. “You would typically include your quality committee, board managers, administrator and director of nursing. Incorporate nursing staff and everyone involved in environment of care and safety. Finally, do not over- look anesthesia providers. They may be called upon to play a vital role in emergency response.” Before diving into writing your


emergency preparedness plan, learn about the elements the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expects you to include, says Catherine Ruppe, RN, CASC, executive director of ASC operations for Proliance Sur- geons in Seattle, Washington. “At a minimum, your program should meet these requirements.”


The plan should speak to the spe- cific risks facing your ASC, Gellen-


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