Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-06-.14 - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

(1) Emergency Electrical Power.
(a) All nursing homes must have one or more on-site electrical generators which are capable of providing emergency electrical power to at least all life sustaining equipment and life sustaining resources such as: ventilators, blood banks, biological refrigerators, safety switches for boilers, safety lighting for corridors and stairwells, and other essential equipment.
(b) Connections shall be through a switch which shall automatically transfer the circuits to the emergency power source in case of power failure. It is recognized that some equipment may not sustain automatic transfer and provisions will have to be made to manually change these items from a non-emergency powered outlet to an emergency powered outlet or other power source. All emergency power transfer switches shall be labeled as such. Switches affecting heat, ventilation, and all systems shall be labeled.
(c) The emergency power system shall have a minimum of twenty four (24) hours of either propane, gasoline or diesel fuel. The quantity shall be based on its expected or known connected load consumption during power interruptions. In addition, the nursing home shall have a written contract with an area fuel distributor which guarantees first priority service for re-fills during power interruptions.
(d) The emergency power system (generator) shall be inspected weekly and exercised under actual load and operating temperature conditions for at least thirty (30) minutes, once each month, including automatic and manual transfer of equipment. The generator shall be exercised by trained facility staff who are familiar with the systems operation. Instructions for the operation of the systems and the manual transfer of emergency power shall be maintained with the facility's disaster preparedness plan and shall be separately identified in the plan. Records shall be maintained for all weekly inspections and monthly tests and be kept on file for a minimum of three (3) years.
(2) Physical Facility and Community Emergency Plans.
(a) Physical Facility (Internal Situations).
1. Every nursing home shall have a current internal emergency plan, or plans, that provides for fires, bomb threats, severe weather, utility service failures, plus any local high risk situations such as floods, earthquakes, toxic fumes and chemical spills. The plan should consider the probability of the types of disasters which might occur, both natural and "man-made".
2. The plan(s) must include provisions for the relocation of persons within the building and/or either partial or full building evacuation. Facilities which do not have sufficient emergency generator capacity to provide a place of refuge for residents during severe hot or cold weather emergencies shall specifically establish an emergency plan to assure a common area (dining room, hallway, or day rooms) is heated or cooled sufficiently to sustain residents during an emergency. This can be accomplished through several approaches including the installation of a transfer switch at the facility to which an emergency generator may be connected to operate a HVAC system for the place of refuge, or transportation of a generator to the facility and direct connection from the generator to emergency portable heating or cooling units. The plan must be coordinated with local emergency management agencies that provide emergency generators or heating or cooling units; and facilities are encouraged to enter into private agreements with local generator suppliers, rental agencies or other reliable sources of emergency power. Plans that provide for the relocation of residents to other health care facilities must have written agreements for emergency transfers. The agreements may be mutual, i.e. providing for transfers either way.
3. Copies of the plan(s), either complete or outlines, including specific emergency telephone numbers related to that type of disaster, shall be available to all staff. A copy shall be readily available at all times in the telephone operator's position or at the security center. Provisions that have security implications may be omitted from the outline versions. Familiarization information shall be included in employee orientation sessions and more detailed instructions must be included in continuing education programs. Records of orientation and education programs must be maintained for at least three (3) years.
4. The plan must provide for additional staffing, medical supplies, blood and other resources which would probably be needed.
5. Each of the following disaster preparedness plans shall be conducted annually prior to the month listed in the plan. Drills are for the purpose of educating staff, resource determination, testing personnel safety provisions and communications with other facilities and community agencies. Records which document and evaluate these drills must be maintained for at least three (3) years.
(i) Fire Safety Procedures Plan, to be exercised at any time during the year, shall include:
(I) Minor fires;
(II) Major fires;
(III) Fighting the fire;
(IV) Evacuation procedures;
(V) Staff functions by department and job assignment; and,
(VI) Fire drill schedules (fire drills shall be held at least quarterly on each work shift).
(ii) External disaster procedures plan (for tornado, flood, earthquake), to be exercised prior to March, shall include:
(I) Staff duties by department and job assignment; and,
(II) Evacuation procedures.
(iii) Bomb Threat Procedures Plan, to be exercised at any time during the year:
(I) Staff duties by department and job assignment; and,
(II) Search team, searching the premises.
6. The nursing home shall develop and periodically review with all employees a prearranged plan for the orderly evacuation of all residents in case of a fire, internal disaster or other emergency. The plan of evacuation shall be posted throughout the home. Fire drills shall be held at least quarterly for each work shift for nursing home personnel in each separate patient-occupied nursing home building. There shall be a written report documenting the evaluation of each drill and the action recommended or taken for any deficiencies found. Records which document and evaluate these drills must be maintained for at least three (3) years.
(b) Community Emergency (Mass Casualty).
1. Every nursing home, unless exempted due to its limited scope of clinical services, shall have a plan that provides for the reception and treatment, within its capabilities, of medical emergencies resulting from a disaster within its usual service area. The plan should consider the probability of the types of disasters which might occur, both natural and "man-made".
2. The plan must provide for additional staffing, medical supplies, blood and other resources which would probably be needed. The plan must also provide for the deferral of elective admission patients and also for the early transfer or discharge of some current patients if it appears that the number of casualties will exceed available staffed beds.
3. Copies of the plan(s), either complete or outlines, including specific emergency telephone numbers related to that type of disaster, shall be available to staff who would be assigned non-routine duties during these types of emergencies. Familiarization information shall be included in employee orientation sessions and more detailed instruction must be included in continuing education programs. Records of orientation and education must be maintained for at least three (3) years.
4. At least one drill shall be conducted each year for the purpose of educating staff, resource determination, and communications with other facilities and community agencies. Records which document and evaluate these drills must be maintained for at least three (3) years.
5. As soon as possible, actual community emergency situations that result in the treatment of more than twenty (20) patients, or fifteen percent (15%) of the licensed bed capacity, whichever is less, must be documented. Actual situations that had education and training value may be substituted for a drill. This includes documented actual plan activation during community emergencies, even if no patients are received.
(c) Emergency Planning with Local Government
1. All nursing homes shall establish and maintain communications with the county Emergency Management Agency. This includes the provision of the information and procedures that are needed for the local comprehensive emergency plan. The facility shall cooperate, to the extent possible, in area disaster drills and local emergency situations.
2. Each nursing home must rehearse both the Physical Facility and Community Emergency plan as required in this rule, even if the local Emergency Management Agency is unable to participate.
3. A file of documents demonstrating communications and cooperation with the local agency must be maintained.

Notes

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-08-06-.14
Original rule filed February 9, 1998; effective April 25, 1998. Repeal and new rule filed January 31, 2000; effective April 15, 2000. Amendment filed September 21, 2005; effective December 5, 2005.

Authority: T.C.A. ยงยง 4-5-202, 4-5-204, 68-11-202, 68-11-204, 68-11-206, 68-11-209, and 68-11-216.

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