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Maintain compliance and accreditation, improve patient care, and serve your community with detailed COOPs
In order to ensure those operations continue in nearly any circumstance, healthcare facilities are required to develop Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP). These plans contain all the various steps a healthcare facility needs to undergo in response to a variety of emergency situations, in order to continue operations.
What type of situations are healthcare COOP’s designed to manage?
- Widespread power outages
- Riots and unrest
- Blizzards and Ice storms
- Biological, Radiological or Nuclear act or accident
- Fire at the healthcare facility
- An overwhelming surge of patients
- Any other situation that prevents or disrupts proper medical care
In any of these situations, a healthcare facility may be affected in different ways, and different plans need to be created to cope with those differences. For instance, we know widespread power outages can affect life support machines, oxygen providers, HVAC systems and also the mechanisms necessary to physically move patients throughout the facility like elevators.
This plan will differ from a riot, for instance, in the sense that a power outage affects the facility itself but the outside environment is safe. A riot situation could be the opposite where the inside of the facility may be functional but under threat from the outside environment.
Build plans in, out, and independent of your primary location.
All Staff Involved
Connect everyone organization-wide, and prepare for a variety of staffing levels
Detailed COOPs by VPC address all potential issues
- Leadership and management of the facility
- Critical infrastructure (electricity, water, security)
- Transport if the facility needs to be abandoned
- Suitable locations to transport patients to where they can receive necessary care
- Ensuring that necessary personnel are on hand and can remain so for the duration
- Any other steps to ensure an uninterrupted level of care
Failure to create detailed COOPs can mean situations such as patients without critical care available because the facility has no electricity or means to produce it; a facility that cannot maintain security for critically injured or sick individuals during a crisis; or a facility with no efficient means of transporting or relocating critical care patients during a crisis.
To maintain regulatory compliance, these plans also need to be reviewed and updated annually. Without guidance, a facility runs the risk of auditing incomplete plans without realizing the shortfalls, or not realizing that existing plans may not be able to meet the stresses of a real-world disaster situation.