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Nursing Homes Say They’re Ready for the 2018 Hurricane Season

May 24th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
Following the death of 14 residents at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after it lost power during hurricane Irma, the state suspended the facility’s license. Now it’s trying to get it back.
Attorneys brought an expert witness on heat stroke to testify before an administrative judge to help prove staff acted reasonably when responding to the emergency.
“So if we’re going to assess did they ask reasonably then I think it’s fair to say lets hear from an expert what would be some of the reasonable things you would expect people to do,” Jeffery Smith, an attorney representing Hollywood Hills asked.
“I am not aware of any national standards for this population when it comes to prevention recognition and treatment of heat stroke,” said expert witness Dr. Douglas Casa.
Hoping to prevent a future disaster, new laws require permanent generators be installed in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Nursing homes say the new generator law along with additional training and disaster preparedness have put homes in a better position to protect residents this hurricane season.
“Our facilities have been doing disaster drills, working their emergency preparedness plans, training their staff,” said Kristen Knapp with the Florida Healthcare Association. “Making sure they have everything they need to be ready for hurricane season.”
Facilities say every storm is different and brings new challenges, but what’s important is learning from the mistakes of the past and improving upon them.
“We’re all watching to see what this year’s hurricane season is going to bring, but there were a lot of lessons learned and our priority is always keeping our residents safe,” said Knapp.
AHCA says it will be releasing detailed information on how many nursing homes and ALFs have come into compliance with the new generator rule soon.
Facilities have until June 1st to do so.
If you want to see whether a facility you or a loved one is living in is in compliance with the new state laws, you can check here.

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