Hospice Disaster Policy Plan
HOSPICE DISASTER POLICY PLAN 1
HospiceDisaster Policy Plan
Gentiva HealthServices is United States’ provider of hospice, home health careand related services. Based in Atlanta, the company offers servicessuch as pain management, disease management, cardiac and pulmonarycare, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physicaltherapy, and nursing. An organization of this magnitude is legallyrequired to have a disaster management policy that ensures the safetyof its clients and other stakeholders. In this respect, GentivaHealth Services has put in place a disaster policy planning thathighlights the organization’s disaster management methodology. Inthis respect, like all organization, the organization has a taskforces mandated to look into different aspects of disaster and howthey can be handled efficiently in the event that a disaster affectsthe safety of the patients, staff, and organization.
GentivaHealth Services Disaster Policy Planning
The institution’sdisaster plan incorporates elements of emergency that need managementwhen they arise. In this respect, the policy planning begins with thedefinitions of both emergency and disaster. The organization definesan emergency as a sudden or unanticipated event that significantlydisrupts the institution’s ability to offer care or efficientlyexecute its duties as a health care provider. The policy plan alsoincludes the definition of an emergency as an event thatsignificantly affects the environment of care by changing orincreasing the demand of its services to its clients. The plan alsodefines disaster as a form of emergency associated with complexity,duration, or scope that threatens the organization capabilities. Inthis respect, in events of disaster, the organization requiresexternal assistance to sustain security functions, safety, andpatient care.
The disaster policyplan also outlines the roles of the organization. In this respect,the organization recognizes the fact that it is the first responderand the initial identifier of adverse events that qualify asemergencies or disasters. The organization also recognizes that it isits role to offer care for the worried stakeholders, which includestaff and patients. The organization has role of supporting thehospital and running immunization clinics. All these roles are inline with the organizations role as an institution obligated toenhance the public structure of health and offer continuation of theinfrastructure during events that qualify the definition ofemergencies or disasters. The other roles highlighted in the disasterpolicy plan include assisting fatality management, first aid andstaff triage center, and act as a part of the mobile unit thattravels to assist areas affected by a disaster.
The development ofGentiva Hospice’s disaster policy is in line with the fundamentalsand basis that the outcomes align with the requirements of regulatorybodies in the health care system of United States. In this respect,the disaster policy plans highlights the fact that the institution iscapable of performing and responding seamlessly during an emergencyor a disaster. This means that the organization is capable ofperforming at optimal levels and meeting the community and patientsneeds. The disaster policy plan also highlights the fact thatdisasters occur naturally or are the result of the actions of man. Inthis respect, the institution highlights the fact that the executionof the response should be same whether the disaster is natural or theresult of the action of man.
The institutionsdisaster policy plan highlights a number of steps applicable duringthe initiation and facilitation of the planning process. These stepsinclude the development of a task force mandated to plan the disasterpolicy. The task force selected trained and educated on their duties,which is critical in ensuring that the task force is capable ofhandling emergency and disaster events. The next step involvesdisaster-planning research, which entails looking into the bestapproaches of disaster management and how this may influence theefficiency of the disaster policy. The next step is theidentification of potential risks and vulnerabilities and how theycan affect the institution, stakeholders, and communities. There isalso the step of constant review and monitoring of existing plan andthe identification and improvement of different areas of the disasterpolicy. The disaster policy planning has various key components,which include continuity of operations, infection surveillance andcontrol, communications, response, recovery, and training, testing,and evaluation.
The institution’sdisaster policy needs to incorporate additional factors in line withdisaster management policies of health care organizations. Forinstance, there is a need to assess the needs of the organization. Inthis respect, the policy should address such issues as addressing theeffects and mitigating factors of how the health care needs ofpatients are addressed in the event of an emergency or a disaster. Inthe same respect, it is important for the organization to highlightif it is necessary for its staff to stay with the patients whether athome or at the institution or in an emergency shelter. The disasterpolicy should contain alternative support systems such as volunteerswhere critical home care is a necessity (Wyte-Lake et al., 2014).
Another important factor that should be included in the disasterpolicy is aspects concerned with supplies. The policy should caterfor medication, water, food, and other life sustaining amenities forthree days. In the institution, it is also imperative to havesupplies such as generator to cater for power purposes of thepatients. There is also a need for the patients and their families tohave access to the necessary training, tools, knowledge, and suppliesthat are essential to life and medical care of the patients. Thefamily members and patients should be equipped with knowledge torepair or replace essential medical devices such as oxygen tanks,ventilators, and wheelchairs to sustain the patient (Wyte-Lake etal., 2015).
There are variousrecommendations that the organization should incorporate in itsdisaster management policy. These recommendations will enhance thesecurity of all its stakeholders including staff, patients, and thecommunity. The recommendations list includes:
The organization should have a backup roster of home health care providers or identified alternatives of health care in the event that the organization cannot ensure continuity of care. This is critical in ensuring support during and after a disaster or emergency.
The organization should have and implement effective and efficient response and coordinate with other emergency services such as volunteer groups, law enforcement agencies, fire department, health institutions, and emergency medical services so that communication about the services needed by the organization is effective and efficient. It is also important for the organization to ensure that partner groups are educated about specific needs of its patients.
Establish efficient communication channels with patients and their families to enhance communication during times of a crisis.
Train the patients and families about electrical requirements for essential equipment such as suction machines, oxygen concentrators, air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration for medication and food (Odejide, 2016).
Odejide, O. O. (2016). A policy prescription for hospice care. Jama,315(3), 257-258.
Wyte-Lake, T., Claver, M., Dalton, S., & Dobalian, A. (2015).Disaster planning for home health patients and providers: aliterature review of best practices. Home Health Care Management &Practice, 27(4), 247-255.
Wyte-Lake, T., Claver, M., Griffin, A., & Dobalian, A. (2014).The role of the home-based provider in disaster preparedness of avulnerable population. Gerontology, 60(4), 336-345.
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