Local Medical Care Facilities Planning Ahead for Disaster

COLUMBUS – Local medical officials from care facilities around Columbus gathered at Columbus Community Hospital on Tuesday to discuss new regulations concerning disaster preparation.

Columbus Community Hospital Emergency Department Manager and Director Sue Deyke says regulations are going into place, that will cause long-term care facilities to have plans in place, in case a disaster were to hit the area that could effect the services the medical care facility provides. Deyke says the goal is for all the medical care facilities to become self-sufficient if a disaster hits, but also to allow the different care facilities the ability to assist each other when needed.

Humphrey native and current state employee Randy Fischer spoke with the care facility representatives about the different plans and regulations that they would need to have in place.

“We have an all hazards approach, meaning we have one plan that can work for any type of disaster. So what you would do for a fire is the same type of plan you would use for a tornado, or snow storm, or ice et cetera. What we want the organizations to do is have a plan in place, that they can utilize, and they’ve worked on ahead of time, they’ve practiced it. So when an event occurs, they’re ready and they’re prepared,” says Deyke.

The new regulations are required for the long-term care facilities to get their medicare reimbursements.

As a part of this, Deyke says the will be working with Platte County Emergency Manager Tim Hofbauer and East Central Health District Emergency Manager Rob Hotovy to set up drills and plans with the various facilities.

“One of the biggest concerns are, you know how are all of the residents whether they’re in a long-term care or at home. How are they being taken care of. Where are they going to go, what are they going to do. And by understanding and knowing how all these plans, and how they all work together, and understanding that the facilities are working together is a big, huge help to us. That we know, they may not need our resources, where they can work together amongst themselves. and that when we do get asked for resources, we’re going to know kind of what they’re going to need,” says Hofbauer.

The medical care officials will continue to meet as they work to develop plans and meet the new emergency preparedness requirements.

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