When considering Emergency Management for your behavioral health care organization, The Joint Commission standards require you conduct an analysis of what types of emergencies could impact your agency, what you organization's preparedness is for each emergency, and the responsiveness and preparation of the community you live in as it relates to potential emergencies.
The 4 phases of Emergency Management are mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Typically organizations perform a Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA). This allows you to evaluate a number of different potential emergencies that are human, technological or or natural in nature. If you live in Phoenix the amount of time you need to consider the potential impact of a blizzard is obviously limited, however, how a utility failure could impact your program in the middle of summer would definitely be worth assessing.
Once you have identified the emergencies most likely to impact your organization, the next step is preparation. What you can do to reduce the impact of of these emergencies on your company? What is your response going to be in the event of an emergency? How has your staff been trained and prepared, and what is each staff member or department's role in each of the identified emergency situations? What does the agency's recovery process look like following an emergency? These are all questions that need to be answered in your Emergency Management Plan. Other things that need to be identified within the plan are how the organization will communicate, manage resources, maintain security, manage staff, and manage clients during an emergency.
Non-24 hour settings are asked to activate their Emergency Management Plan once per year, and 24-hour settings are required to do so twice per year. These exercises give your team the opportunity to incorporate real-life disaster scenarios that may occur and evaluate your staff's communication, management of the environment, and general response to the emergency. This event will allow you to determine areas where staff is not responding as intended, and inform future training on how your organization can better handle emergencies.
Recovery Consultants has worked with organizations nationwide to develop, implement, and evaluate Emergency Management Plans at various levels of care in response to countless potential disaster scenarios.
If your organization needs assistance in developing or evaluating your Emergency Management Program, or achieving accreditation through The Joint Commission, click the link below to contact us through our web submission form, or call us anytime at (866) 444-7272.