Nationally, over three million people rely on long-term care facilities for medical care. The problem is that few of these facilities are ready to deal with the complexities of a disaster.
Between the demands of 24 hour patient care and training, it is difficult for staff to find time to adequately test the effectiveness of emergency plans.
And traditional live exercise and evaluation programs may not be a feasible option for testing response plans in a long-term care environment.
Simulations-based training may offer an answer to this problem.
According to a 2012 report published by the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, serious gaps continue to exist in emergency plans.
The report stated…
“Nursing homes faced challenges with unreliable transportation contracts, lack of collaboration with local emergency management, and residents who developed health problems.”
And according to the report…
“17 of the 24 selected nursing homes reported substantial challenges in responding to disasters.”
Moreover, the report recommended revised federal regulations to promote nursing home compliance with emergency plans and training.
Traditional Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Programs (HSEEP) may not be logistically feasible for testing response plans in long-term care facilities. In general, it is difficult to conduct emergency incident operations training in medical facilities. Why?
1. Since they engage in healthcare, these facilities are normally mission critical (meaning they cannot be shut down).
2. The full-time staff must work overtime to participate in training.
3. Emergency management jobs are often an “additional duty” for an already burdened workforce.
So, how does a long-term care facility prepare?
What if a facility’s staff had the ability to test a response plan multiple times, make adjustments, and get it right without the complexities of a traditional live exercise?
EvacuSim LTC is a pre-packaged simulations-based exercise program that provides a fast, economical, and effective way to test response plans.
The EvacuSim LTC training package creates a context-rich learning environment to teach staff how to respond to an incident using the Hospital Incident Command (HICS) System methodology. EvacuSim also provides rich visualization and realistic feedback on the decisions and incident planning conducted by the incident staff. In addition to the computer simulation, the training package also comes with exercise coordination instructions, disaster scenario information, an evaluation plan and evaluation outlines. The package is built to help assess a long-term care facility’s emergency capabilities.
For a demonstration of how EvacuSim LTC works, call (425) 919-5153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a demonstration.
Download the EvacuSim LTC E-Brochure
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