Emergency preparedness is a vital part of the home care and hospice operating infrastructure to keep vulnerable patients safe whenever disasters strike. This is especially so for older individuals, persons with disabilities, and technology-dependent patients who rely on electricity.
Sepsis, meanwhile, is a little-understood condition, for which home care is proving its mettle – clinically and operationally – by screening thousands of at-risk patients, saving lives, and reducing millions of dollars in costs using detection protocols developed by HCA.
We hope that the lens of these two subject areas provides a framework for observing how HCA and home care providers in your community can support constituents, keeping them both safe and healthy from an array of potential hazards and medical crises.
HCA has resources on household emergency preparedness, information on ways for constituents to obtain help during emergencies, tips to detect the risk of sepsis, and more for you to consider throughout September.
Please watch our social media channels, like Facebook, in the coming month for posts that you can share with constituents as part of your public awareness efforts on these critical issues.
Additional preparedness background and resources
Under a grant from the state Department of Health’s Office of Health Emergency Preparedness, HCA serves as a conduit between providers in the field and government emergency management entities at the local and state levels to support the preparedness and response roles of the home care and hospice sectors.
For instance, we assist home care and hospice in emergency preparedness exercises (which are required by both state and federal regulations). These exercises and drills can include surge-capacity simulations, where home care agencies are tested on their capabilities to temporarily admit patients at a time when urgent triage demands are placed on hospitals during a mass disaster (i.e., pandemic flu), or any number of scenarios where home care is tested on its communications, transportation, surveillance and continuity-of-operations planning. In fact, home care providers participated in one such drill earlier this month.
HCA has also developed resources, like our emergency preparedness handbook, outlining best-practices and regulatory requirements that home care and hospice providers must follow. All of these resources are available on HCA’s newly revamped home care and hospice emergency preparedness website at www.homecareprepare.org.
Please see our publications page on this site for: resources about home care’s role during disasters; a primer describing the broad scope of home care and hospice responsibilities in emergencies; and some media accounts of home care’s response during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Our site also has contact information for all of the local Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions (known as HEPCs) and regional Department of Health offices should you need support assisting a constituent on a local preparedness or response need.
Sepsis Month Resources
HCA’s partners at Sepsis Alliance have prepared a toolkit of social media and other resources that we encourage you to share in September as part of your public awareness efforts on the risk of sepsis, a tragic condition which claims a life every two minutes. Among these resources are social media badges and infographics encouraging the public to remember that sepsis detection is all about T.I.M.E.: Temperature; Infection; Mental Decline; and Extremely Ill (see links below).
This T.I.M.E. campaign is just one of the many shareable resources available to you in your public outreach and education on this critical issue to help constituents. Please also see our Stop Sepsis at Home website for further information at www.stopsepsisathomeny.org.
If you have any questions or informational needs related to these issues, for September or any time, please do not hesitate to contact HCA’s Communications Director Roger Noyes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 810-0665.
Sepsis Resource Links from Sepsis Alliance
Prevention and Treatment Tips (https://www.sepsis.org/sepsisand/prevention/)
Sepsis: It’s About Time (https://www.sepsis.org/about/its-about-time/)
Sepsis Awareness Month Resources and Activity Ideas (https://www.sepsis.org/get-involved/sepsis-awareness-month/)