The OIG is inspecting nursing facilities to identify whether they are in compliance with the Life Safety Code and Disaster Preparedness. In this article, the OIG discusses the 2016 updated life safety and emergency preparedness regulations aimed at improving care. The OIG made the decision to visit nursing facilities to ensure compliance with the regulations. The visits were conducted in New York State and 20 centers were visited between January and April, 2018.
Not surprising, deficiencies in areas related to life safety and emergency preparedness were evident in all 20 centers visited. There were over 205 areas of non-compliance including in electrical equipment and detection and suppression systems. Contributing factors to the non-compliance included inadequate management oversight and staff turnover.
Although this is a small sample of centers (20 out of 621 available centers in NY State), it is a warning! The OIG is looking and they are out in force to ensure the well being of the frail elders entrusted to our care is first and foremost. Being non-compliant in life safety code/emergency preparedness may seem trivial in the day-to-day of our operations however in the blink of an eye they can and often do save many lives. It is time to take a look at your preparedness plans and life safety code requirements to be sure you are meeting or better yet, exceeding them! For your safety as well as the safety of your residents, caregivers and visitors, get on board and don’t wait for an event to occur before you take these regulations seriously!