Emergency Operations Plans – Your Best Defense

Author: Mike Manere, Principal

Feb 24, 2021 | Compliance, Risk

An emergency operations plan (EOP) is your best defense against a disaster, lawsuit, and repetitional damage. In 2017, CMS outlined to17 healthcare entities that to participate in CMS, they must have a plan. Though physician practices are not part of the 17, it is highly recommended that all practices develop a disaster plan. The 2017 mandate helps to assist the practice in developing their own site-specific plan and to provide guidance for training to that plan. We have already seen legal and regulatory actions taken when a staff member and/or patient feels there was no plan in place to protect them during a disastrous situation – from active shooter, to a pandemic, or to a civil disturbance. The disturbing truth is that we have seen all of these occur already this year.

HCN has developed a Physician Practice EOP, which assists practices to begin the preparedness process. We start with an assessment, build all Policies & Procedures, trainings and drills, and we are always available for phone support. Ongoing phone support is crucial to ensure the success of your EOP and to let staff and visitors know your practice values being prepared.

The purpose of the EOP is to:

  • Develop an all-hazards planning approach that will be used for all threats and/or emergencies or disasters that may impact the practice.
  • Build the framework of planning for preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Reduce the vulnerability of staff, visitors, and the community, including the loss of life or injury, or the damage and loss of property.
  • Involve your local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ), as well as define the practice’s role with support to local, state, and federal agencies during an emergency or disaster.
  • Include a hazard vulnerability analysis/mitigation plan, which will include natural, technological, and man-made disasters, including impact on a county and state level.
  • Describe at a site-specific level the types of disasters which are likely to impact your practice, from local emergencies to catastrophic disasters.

We start with a risk assessment to create an EOP that is completely site-specific, assess your capabilities during an event, as well as your capacity to support and promote preparedness for emergency situations. Your plan will equip all staff to Think-React-Survive and Prevent.

Contact HCN for a copy of a standard HVA and the index of what should be in you plan.