In 2016, there were 46 “major disasters” and another 50 fire-related national emergencies, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). There were also “emergency declarations” across another seven states in the wake not only of Hurricane Matthew but contaminated water in Michigan and severe storms in both Missouri and Louisiana.
Relentless rain in Louisiana alone last August caused rivers to rise and catastrophic flooding destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Lives were lost. Many called it the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy – which was only four years earlier. It was one of the worst years ever for weather, climate or geological disasters in the U.S.
It’s hard to imagine the impact of emergency situations, the chaos, damages and real consequences to businesses and people. That’s why it’s essential – and soon mandatory – for home care and health-care agencies to have formal measures in place to prepare.
The Emergency Preparedness Rule
Last September, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare published a final rule to establish national requirements for emergency preparedness. All Medicaid service providers must implement an emergency preparedness (EP) plan by November 2017.
Providers must meet four core aspects of the EP rule, each based on a provider’s individual operation, surrounding environment, and geography within the U.S.:
- Risk assessment and emergency planning
- Communications plan
- Policies and procedures
- Training and testing
It is about proactive planning before any emergency situation develops. For more on the specifics of the EP rule, see the official rule elements.
AlayaCare: a turn-key solution for the U.S. home care market in emergencies – and beyond
The EP rule is a prime opportunity for agencies to meet not only minimum compliance laws now, but also to modernize and standardize operations.
Paper-based record keeping and brick-and-mortar storage solutions not only present challenges during an emergency situation, but are inefficient for optimal day-to-day patient care. An end-to-end home care software solution can set your agency up for success now and in the future. Consider just a few of the following key benefits of AlayaCare’s home care platform:
Cloud-based software: This hallmark of disaster recovery ensures all important information is not wiped out on a company’s servers, but instead backed-up safely in an emergency. Day-to- day, cloud-based software also makes your operation agile with automated updates, the ability to access materials anywhere, and ease of use in scaling up or down your cloud capacity based on ongoing needs.
Real-time information: Whether an unavoidable disaster is looming or a surprise, up-to-date information is vital – and the backbone of any communications plan when staff need to know what is going on. Beyond this, real-time information delivers an agency to-the-minute information on care visits and schedule changes, meaning more efficiency and cost savings.
Transparency: A key component of the EP rule is remaining compliant with federal and state laws. A transparent operation is ongoing proof of such compliance. For business needs, it also permits open monitoring of care worker location and the specifics of all visits – meaning the hassle of paper timesheets is over.
Mobility: Equipping staff and care workers with GPS-aided smartphones can only help in an emergency situation, particularly in the case of equipment and power failures. Day-to-day, mobility brings huge benefits in terms of coordinating and validating the work of home care professionals. More on that here.
These four elements are key to AlayaCare’s technological solution for any agency -- both for anticipated and sudden changes in the rapidly changing health-care industry, and to comply with the EP rule.
Book a free demo today to see how our full cloud-based, end-to-end solution – spanning clinical documentation, back office functionality, client and family portals, remote patient monitoring, a mobile care worker app, and more – can set your home care business up for success.
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