Facility Security Key Component In Skilled Nursing Care

May 28 2018

Facility Security Key Component In Skilled Nursing Care

Facility security is a key essential in skilled nursing care facilities as per requirement of the Centers For Medicaid Services (CMS). Constantly testing and refining the facility emergency security plan is one of the most important aspects of successful patient care.


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Facility Security: Skilled Nursing Home Guidelines

The CMS requires skilled nursing homes to have a plan in place that can be activated in times of emergency such as natural disasters, etc. The plan should be tested, refined, and practiced at regular intervals. Here are several key elements as per CMS requirements.


Facility Security: Practice Makes Perfect Execution

Routine practices sessions should be conducted at regular intervals so that staff are familiar with the safety protocols. This helps the staff to know exactly what to do and when to do it if an emergency arises.  This may
include full-scale exercises that are facility and/or community based. To assure staff familiarity and smooth execution of the safety plan, emergency drills include unannounced drills across all work shifts.


Facility Security:  Review And Improve The Plan

The CMS encourages skilled nursing home staff to constantly review and improve the plan where necessary. In this way, the facility can identify what is wrong or doesn’t work and make improvements.


Facility Security: Assign Defined Staff Roles

Skilled Nursing Home staff should have one or more defined assignments if an emergency occurs. Flexibility is key as an administrator may not always be immediately available. Train and step into a leadership role. For example, the facility emergency plan must put in place personnel that will assume the key roles. How well trained are they in working with emergency medical services (EMS), and local and state officials?


Facility Security: Stock Up Emergency Supplies

Under the new CMS regulations, facilities must be able to obtain immediate emergency supplies from their vendors.  In addition, multiple staff should know the right vendors to call for needed supplies. Communication systems and contact information should be up to date, and staff trained on how to access them.


Facility Security: Ethical Responses

In an emergency, it is important to uphold care standards and preservation of human dignity. Informed decision making can certainly uphold these clinical principles. Knowledge and practice go a long way in maintaining high level care and treatments in times of an emergency.   

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Barry G

Barry graduated from City University of New York and holds a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology.

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