County hosts free training for health care facility disaster plans.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Officials with Volusia County’s Emergency Management Division are hosting a series of free training sessions to assist local health care facilities with filing their state-mandated disaster preparedness plans.
According to a release, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requires health care facilities to develop a comprehensive emergency management plan with a detailed plan on how they operate, protect, and care for patients during emergencies such as a hurricane, flooding, or other disasters. The requirement to have a disaster plan applies to hospitals, nursing homes, adult day cares, assisted living facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, and intermediate care facilities.
Based on Florida law local Emergency Management agencies approve the plans and review them annually. The mandate applies to 167 health care facilities in Volusia County.
Disaster plans help address such topics as hazards and vulnerabilities that could impact health care facilities, policies regarding the operation of the facility before, during, and after an emergency, and procedures for evacuating patients should it become necessary. Due to the increasing time and workload for Volusia County Emergency Management staff to review the plans, the Volusia County Council in February approved the implementation of a plan review fee.
The review fees go into effect on October 1 and can range in cost due to the facility's type and size.
For example, to review a first-time plan, the fees will range from $93.75 for small adult day care, adult living, and intermediate care facilities and nursing homes with less than 16 beds to $500 for a hospital. The fee for the annual plan review ranges from $31.25 to $93.75. There is an added fee if the plan requires multiple revisions and reviews.
The free training sessions, which will begin next month, will help Volusia County agencies understand the requirements of the plans and avoid mistakes or incomplete submissions that could result in multiple reviews and additional fees. Currently, up to 60% of the annual plan submissions get returned to agencies due to a lack of completeness.
“These multiple reviews cause inefficiencies and added time for everyone involved in this process,” said Jim Judge, Volusia County’s Interim Emergency Management Director. “We are hoping the training will help avoid that. But more importantly, these comprehensive emergency management plans for health care facilities are designed to protect lives. We want to help our facilities ensure that their plans adequately address all of the criteria necessary to ensure that patients are safe, and their needs are taken care of during an emergency.”
The free 3-hour training session will be at the Volusia County Emergency Operations Center at 3825 Tiger Bay Road in Daytona Beach on the following dates and times:
- Monday, July 11: 9 a.m.-noon
- Wednesday, July 20: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Monday, August 8: 9 a.m.-noon
- Thursday, August 18: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Monday, September 12: 9 a.m.-noon
- Wednesday, September 14: 1:30-4:30 p.m.
To register for one of the sessions, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cemp-review-workshop-tickets-360435210417.