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White Paper

Aging Services White Paper: Total Systems Safety Approach to Hazard Vulnerability Assessment

Learn how to identify hazards and risks that are most likely to have an impact on your facility with a comprehensive methodology

Per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare organizations are expected to conduct a hazard vulnerability assessment (HVA) to identify potential risks and weaknesses as part of a comprehensive emergency preparedness program. These assessments consider the probability and potential outcomes of each hazard to better inform emergency planning and mitigation efforts. The assessment should be documented, reviewed, and adjusted annually.  

In this white paper, ECRI experts examine how a comprehensive approach to HVAs can impact safety. Total systems safety asserts that to advance patient and worker safety, organizations should account for four interdependent foundations within all improvement efforts:

  • Cultivating leadership, governance, and cultures that reflect a deep commitment to safety.
  • Engaging patients and families as partners in designing and producing care.
  • Fostering a healthy, safe, and resilient environment for the workforce.
  • Supporting continuous and shared lessons learned to improve safety and quality of care and reduce the risk of harm.

Learn how to adequately support and tailor the HVA process using these foundations to align with key considerations and best practices for emergency planning.

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Although most nursing homes met Federal emergency preparedness requirements, an estimated 77 percent reported challenges with preparedness activities intended to ensure that resident care needs are met during an emergency.
US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General