Hospital to Nursing Home Decompression Training Held

Lisa Volk

On April 4th and 5th the New York State Health Facilities Association (NYSHFA), New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (NYS DOH) (OHEP) and Yale New Haven Health (YNHH) held a Hospital to Nursing Home Decompression Training in Syracuse under the NYS DOH (OHEP) grant. A total of 44 staff attended from hospitals and nursing homes in the central region.  Members of NYS DOH OHEP and of Yale New Haven instructed the participants on the important elements associated with the decompression training. The purpose of this training is to assist acute care hospitals in times when an event has created a severe influx of ill or injured patients, for which the hospital does not have beds available.  Possible examples might include pandemics or epidemics and traumatic events with many injured victims.

In the event of an emergency that has been declared by the local elected leader (Mayor, County Executive), or by the Governor, or by the President, designated nursing homes may surge up to 10% above their licensed capacity. Facilities that have been deemed eligible to participate in this program must be able to manage intravenous fluids and medications, oxygen, either piped or tank, provide a registered nurse 24/7 and provide meals prepared on-site.  Additional self-assessment tools were then verified by the NYS DOH to provide further determination of each facility’s capacity and capability.

Eligible nursing homes have also evaluated potential areas where they could house these patients, such as in day rooms, lounges, OT/PT spaces and adult daycare spaces and have completed a checklist which indicates what type of patient they can accept.   These Nursing homes are responsible to review and revise their emergency operations plans to accommodate the Hospital to Nursing Home Decompression Plan.  The initial consideration for activation may originate with the hospital administration or with the local or State DOH.


Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15