The National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference of 2017 (NHCPC) finished up just over a week ago. We followed up with Rich Smith, a Senior Solutions Associate at Veoci, who attended the conference for the first time this year. He had some great insights about HCCs, how they’ve transformed over the years, and how they’re preparing for the future. Here is what he had to say about NHCPC 2017.
Did any topics come up a lot over the course of NHCPC 2017?
“Especially because of recent events, I’d say hurricanes. They had good discussions about [Hurricanes] Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They had some good discussions about the wildfires too, considering how many burned through California this year.
“There were a lot of posters that were exercise driven, especially for multi-point terrorist attacks. There was a woman I talked to who was showcasing a full scale exercise for multi-point terrorist attacks. As a coalition, testing your preparedness for an malicious, mass-casualty incident like this – it’s important because it involves everybody, [the police, military, hospitals etc.].”
Were there any memorable moments? Anything different about this conference?
“They had food there. And margaritas one night.
“But, it was my first time at this conference, so it’s a little different compared to what I’ve seen in other places. It was a pretty good spread of people. The stand out was that it was a very well-attended conference. I never saw the same people twice. It seemed like everyday there were different people.”
“And because it was all coalition driven, it was really a sharing of best practices for what coalitions do for exercises, training, how they structure their organization…”
What were some of the takeaways from NHCPC 2017?
“The thing I noticed is that coalitions have a come a long way over the course of the past couple of years. It’s a great conference because it brings in everyone in healthcare; hospitals don’t have a lot of national conferences to go to, so this is the one for them. And because it was all coalition driven, it was really a sharing of best practices for what coalitions do for exercises, training, how they structure their organization, that kind of stuff.
“Long ago, hospitals would get money to do preparedness on their own. Of late and the past couple of years, instead of funding each hospital, the hospitals come together with other healthcare partners to work together to bolster their preparedness as a network.
“Also, how effective the CMS* rule has been. It’s been a challenge because it just went into effect in November, but it’s given these facilities they’ve had trouble recruiting an incentive to come to the table.They now have people that would have never played in the exercise before participating because of the CMS rule. It’s really increased participation from the acute-healthcare, [long-term care, dialysis centers etc.], side.”
*On November 2nd of this year, the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) enacted new regulations for participating facilities to follow in order to receive funding. Among these rules is the required participation in two exercises throughout the year (or one if the facility has participated in an actual event during the year).
Some of our team members just got back from IAEM 2017, the biggest emergency management conference of the year. Check out our follow-up to IAEM 2017!