Prof Green and class, not far where I reside in West Covina is a small, but very high quality skilled nursing facility called Santa Fe Lodge in the city of El Monte. The facility has 46 certified beds and accepts Medicare and Medi-Cal (Medicaid), as well as private insurance. Of the three key measures by CMS: quality, health inspection, staffing – Sante Fe Lodge was rated much above average (5 star) on quality, than on health inspection (above average – 4 star), and on staffing (average 3 star), with an overall much above average rating (5 star) (Medicare.gov n.d). As with any facility operating in the San Gabriel Valley region of Southern California, Santa Fe Lodge must be prepared for potential local, regional, and natural disasters. A HIM professional requires preparedness and a plan for patient care and safety, as well as local and federal regulatory requirements for disaster preparedness (Montgomery, 2009).
According the Los County Disaster Preparedness Resource Guide (2012), Santa Fe Lodge requires mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery plans for the overall facility. This includes preparedness activities including:
Forecasting and warning systems
Establishing plans and agreements with other facilities/suppliers
Conducting emergency training for all staff
Other key preparedness plans are generators for back-up power, proper security protocols for the residents, patients, staff, and data infrastructure are also required. Additional preparedness protocols are hierarchy (who’s in charge), communications (internally and with first responders), and proper protection of health information.
In California, earthquakes, floods, and fires are the three specific events an HIM professional should be most prepared. California is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and therefore subject to earthquakes, which can not only cause structural damage, but also damage to data infrastructures, such as power, servers, network connections, computers, work stations, and internet access. Paper inventories for medications and backup data off-site or on the “cloud” for data integrity is needed for damage to data infrastructures. Similarly for floods and fires, which can also cause structural and power damage to data infrastructures, so the HIM professionals at Santa Fe Lodge must be prepared to fulfill their responsibilities and execute disaster preparedness plans in the event of an unexpected natural disaster.
Los Angeles County Disaster Preparedness Resource Guide for Long-Term Care Health. (2012). LAcounty.gov. Retrieved from file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/dhs/206966_LAResourceGuide.pdf
Montgomery, J. (2009). Nursing homes: Part of the solution in nursing home preparedness. California Association of Health Facilities: Disaster Preparedness Program. Retrieved from www.ehcca.com/presentations/emsummit3/2_201.ppt
Nursing Home Compare. (n.d.). Medicare.gov. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/profile.html#profTab=0&ID=555106& Distn=5.7&loc=91790&lat=34.0656464&lng=- 117.9424743&dist=25&PRCPTS=3&ratings=50
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