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Disaster Planning for the Home Healthcare Market

Disaster planning is necessary; just ask the folks in Houston, Texas, or anyone in Florida for that matter. Hurricanes (and other natural disasters) present a particularly unique challenge for home care suppliers. The homecare market, unlike many other industries, can’t stop providing service to their patients. Yes, as hurricane Irma approached, most Florida HME companies temporarily ceased operations. But the needs of home care patients remain a 24/7 reality.

So what can home care suppliers do to mitigate downtime when Mother Nature starts playing rough?

1.       Engage employees at all levels in the disaster planning process. Give specific assignments to individuals or teams of two or three          people. Let them share the work and the accountability.

2.       Over-communicate. Information is critical during a disaster; make sure every member of the team knows what is going on and              exactly what is expected of them.

3.       Have a plan to deal with loss of power.

4.       Stay in close communication with patients, particularly those most likely to need extra assistance.

5.       Bring in extra inventory and/or ship extra product to patients to support extended service intervals.

6.       Create employee care packages that contain water, snacks and useful items to hand out to your employees who are the first to            return to work after the event has ended.

7.       Set up redundant employee contact lists, cell, text, landline and email.

Natural disasters or catastrophic weather events can’t be stopped, but proper planning can reduce the distress felt in their aftermath. DDP Medical Supply strives to be a valuable link in your disaster plan. Let us know how we can work with you to meet the needs of all of your patients.

 

See the links below for more preparation steps.

Emergency Preparedness Packet for Home Health Agencies: http://www.nahc.org/assets/1/7/EP_Binder.pdf

 

HIDA Emergency Preparedness Planning: https://www.hida.org/App_Themes/Member/docs/GA/Industry-Issues/Emergency-Pandemic/HIDA_Emergency-Preparedness_Customer-Tool.pdf