Emergency Management in Long Term Care - Best Practices for the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis
A core component of emergency management is the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines the HVA as a systematic approach to identifying hazards or risks that are most likely to have an impact on a healthcare facility and the surrounding community. For long term care facilities, the HVA must not simply identify potential hazards but must also consider hazards specific to their elderly resident population.
The Joint Commission, under TJC EM.01.01.01, requires organizations to have documentation of potential risks in the community that could impact the provision of care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also requires (CMS 483.73) long term care facilities to include a documented, facility-based and community-based risk assessment, utilizing an all-hazards approach, including missing residents, in their emergency operations plan.
Best practice demonstrates certain elements that should be included in the HVA:
- A list of the types of emergencies/disasters that may affect the facility, including, but not limited to natural weather disasters, workplace violence, acts of terrorism, including bioterrorism.
- The list of potential emergencies/disasters should reflect geographic and community realities. While “boiler-plate” HVA tools are reality available, facilities should be sure they are modified to reflect the risks specific to their organization (i.e., a facility in Florida does not need to prepare for a blizzard.)
- The impact of potential emergencies/disasters on the long-term care population.
- The list of potential risks, prioritized along with documentation on the likelihood of occurrence and the mitigation, preparation, response and recovery activities that would need to be undertaken for each risk.
The organization should review the HVA annually to reflect any changes in the community, environment or resident population that would impact potential risks.
Included with today’s notice are example policies related to the HVA in long term care.
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