Originally Published in VoiceFriend Newsletter, July 2014

Hurricane Arthur hit the Eastern US this month - as one of the earliest hurricanes on record. Thankfully, Arthur did not pack a huge punch and damage was minimal. For Healthcare providers, Arthur is a reminder to take another look at your emergency preparedness to ensure your plan is up to date and effective.

Emergency preparedness for healthcare providers is a challenge. A study commissioned by the Centers for Medical and Medicaid Services (click here to see study) concluded that “gaps continue to exist in nursing home emergency preparedness and response during disasters”.

In order to uncover potential gaps, Massachusetts nursing homes during the week of June 23rd, underwent mock emergency preparedness drills. These drills were coordinated efforts between multiple healthcare providers and MassMAP – the Massachusetts Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan.

A VoiceFriend customer recently participated in the mock emergency drill. The Administrator of the community asked that VoiceFriend personnel observe the drill.

The community staff was well prepared and the drill was a success. During the drill, the team used VoiceFriend’s messaging solution to immediately inform the staff of the mock emergency and provide specific steps to follow.

The Administrator afterwards remarked, “The mock drill was a great learning experience for my team and the other nursing homes that participated. While we originally implemented VoiceFriend to reach staff for coverage for staff call outs and open shifts, VoiceFriend played a huge role in our mock drill and will save us critical hours during a real emergency”.

Emergency preparedness is critical to healthcare providers. Proper planning and training will ensure you and your team are ready when and if an emergency does occur.