First and foremost, The Center for HealthCare Emergency Readiness (CHCER – pronounced “CHECKER”) was established to assist healthcare organizations Mitigate, Prepare for, Respond to and Recover from Natural and Manmade Disasters (All Hazards) and to meet their expected roles within the National Response Framework (NRF) in the wake of the 9/11 2001 attacks.
CMS 3178 Compliance: After many years of attempting to move the Healthcare Industry to accept voluntary guidance for Emergency Readiness and Management, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule, CMS 3178-P , which makes Emergency Readiness and Management mandatory for compliance with Conditions of Participation (COP), in other words, all healthcare service providers who seek reimbursement from Medicare of Medicare are required to adhere to the new rule. This has a precedent in the Chemical industry, which was forced into compliance through the CFATS rule, also after many years on non-compliance. We understand from industry sources that the enforcement of this new rule will be much stricter than previously seen during the accreditation process. We can help our clients get out in front of these new requirements and be compliant with 3178-P accreditation, which has many advantages including a safe and secure environment for all stakeholders (Patients, Staff and Visitors), mitigation of risk from legal and financial liability and marketing benefit from offering a truly safer and more secure facility. click for more on CMS 3178-P.
The Center for HealthCare Emergency Readiness, LLC (CHCER) provides specialized services for healthcare facilities and other organizations in the general areas of security and all-hazards emergency management planning and response. Our consulting staff consists of healthcare and other professionals with extensive experience and requisite certifications in the healthcare and other industries.
As seen in on our Leadership page, our consultants have deep subject matter expertise across many disciplines, with decades of experience in a broad range of topics from Physical Safety and Security, Facilities and Property Security Management, Accreditation, Compliance, Emergency Management Planning and Readiness, Disaster Exercise Development and Implementation and Project Management. Over the years, we have expanded our consulting and technology offerings based on market needs and growth in capabilities to serve clients.
CHCER consultants are familiar with current security design standards as published by the Veterans Administration for Physical Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Justice, United States Marshal’s Service, the General Services Administration, Department of Defense, and the National Fire Protection Association among others.
CHCER provides professional services and assessments in the following areas:
- Security Management and Security Programs
- All Hazards Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Disaster Response Plans and Exercises
- Incident Command System to include Hospital Incident Command System (HICS)
- Business Process Improvement
- Project Management
The benefits of CHCER services may include
- Objective and factual assessment of the facility’s exposure to security risks
- Assessment of security management programs at each facility to protect critical infrastructure and key assets
- Objective and factual assessment of the facility’s disaster preparedness plans and processes and its ability to integrate and effectively participate in known expectations of the National Response Plan and National Incident Management System
- Cost-effective recommendations to mitigate/eliminate vulnerabilities and reduce potential destruction and recovery time related to an all-hazards event
- Improvements in compliance with mandated standards and regulations
- Establishment of processes to assist in management decision making, e.g., “Protect in Place or Evacuate.”
- Reduction/elimination of operational inefficiencies
- Demonstration of a commitment to the safety and security of employees, patients, and facilities
- Improvements in corporate image through enhanced community awareness that the facility is aware of and has taken steps to be prepared for potential threats
- Improvements in “real time” working knowledge of the various mechanisms available to fund their readiness efforts
- Promotion of an improved business climate about favorable insurance and lending considerations
The healthcare industry is rapidly going through structural shifts due to changing legal and regulatory requirements; among the most important being the mandatory Emergency Management in CMS 3178-P, regulations move to ACO reporting requirements and the wave of mergers and acquisitions that are concentrating healthcare capabilities under groups and associations. CHCER services are designed to help clients overcome some of the most important challenges associated with these changes. Our consulting revolves around the combination of Program Development and Implementation, Process, Technology and Content to solve challenges in several operational areas including:
- CMS 3178-P Compliance for Conditions of Participation (COP)
- All Hazards Vulnerability Readiness – Program Design and Implementation,
- Active Shooter Vulnerability Assessment and Program Design and Implementation,
- Accreditation Management including ACO CoP Compliance and Reporting,
- Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI),
- Other areas which are process-driven and measurement influenced.
All-Hazards Readiness – Program Design and Implementation
Today more than ever, healthcare providers need to remain vigilant in the face of the four major threat categories that might disrupt the provision of healthcare services; more intense and frequent natural disasters, existing and novel threats of biological pandemic, hospitals being seen as “soft targets” for terrorist action and the continuing rise in workplace violence against all stakeholders in the healthcare community, particularly women. We support clients at the Board and Executive levels to develop plans to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and manmade events. Our vulnerability assessment is unique in the industry and is based on hands-on field experience ranging from managing combat evacuation hospitals to securing the leading Children’s hospital in the nation. Deliverables include a prioritized roadmap that defines the path to a differentiated level of preparedness. There is a long history of terrorist threats in the healthcare environment and by hospital staff, including in Egypt, Russia, Mumbai, India, the UK, and at the US base Camp Chapman. Safety and Security is an area that is particularly weak in terms of accreditation requirements, making hospitals a very soft target. If safety and security are an important priority for your hospital, please contact us for more information.