Nursing home representatives last week highlighted the strides they've made in disaster preparedness and training, but also acknowledged specific areas that require improvement.
That was the response to a new report from HHS' inspector general's office finding that while most of the nation's nursing homes met federal requirements for written emergency plans and preparedness training, many of the same gaps the inspector general identified in a 2006 report still exist. In the new report, the office noted that emergency plans “lacked relevant information—including only about half of the tasks on the CMS checklist,” and that nursing homes had problems related to unreliable transportation contacts, lack of collaboration with local emergency management and residents who developed health problems.
Overall, 92% of nursing homes met federal regulations for emergency plans and 72% for emergency training between 2009 and 2010, which was slightly less than the 94% of nursing homes that met requirements for planning and the 80% that met regulations for training in 2004 and 2005. For this most recent report, the inspector general's office examined national survey data and made site visits to 24 nursing homes that had experienced floods, hurricanes and wildfires between 2007 and 2010.