Emergency Preparedness – Hospital to Nursing Home Surge Pilot Update

Karen Morris in Clinical & Quality

NYSHFA has been participating in a grant project with the NYSDOH Office of Health Emergency Preparedness to develop a pilot program entitled “Hospital to Nursing Home Surge.”  The impetus of the pilot is to explore the feasibility of “surging” hospital patients to select nursing homes in the event the hospital is required to decompress due to an event that produces a rapid influx of acute patients from the community for which the hospital needs inpatient beds.   The project is not meant to be an “evacuation” plan, as would be required in the event of a local of regional disaster, but rather a pre-planned movement of a limited number of patients for whom there are near future plans to be discharged to their homes. The plan would be to discharge the patients, who cannot go home immediately from the hospital, to nursing homes who are equipped to provide the care the patient needs for a limited amount time until they can be safely discharged to home. Nursing homes who will be considered for the pilot would have to be able to meet predetermined criteria and provide certain specific services, such as administration of intravenous therapy.  Meetings were held with healthcare facilities selected from the Capital Region, North Country and the Lower Hudson Valley and their respective DOH Emergency Preparedness and regional OEM officers as a deliverable of the 2013-2014 grant cycle. Many issues were explored during these meetings to quantify the strengths and barriers of the project. Many of the providers who attended the meetings expressed appreciation for having this time to meet their counterparts and explore innovative options related to preparedness. 

A secondary deliverable of the project was to produce a template related to “Hospital to Nursing Home Surge” that a nursing home provider could use to develop their policies and procedures related to surge. The deliverables for the upcoming 2014-2015 grant cycle includes finalizing that template for distribution and expanding the surge pilot to other areas of the state.  Additionally, a separate Emergency Preparedness webpage, which will contain all our emergency preparedness resources and information, is being developed for the NYSHFA/NYSCAL websites and will be available within weeks.        

As we move forward in our emergency preparedness activities, the importance of collaboration in pre-planning cannot be stressed enough.   Long term care providers are strongly encouraged to open communication with other healthcare providers and continue the conversation related to efficient, effective emergency planning that serves their population and the community.

Karen Morris

Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800, ext. 15