Hurricane Irma Claims Eight Deaths of Nursing Facility Residents in Florida

Posted by Frank Strafford on September 20, 2017 in Industry News,

During a disaster like a hurricane, healthcare facilities face enormous challenges in keeping patients safe during the storm and afterward—especially if the power goes out. Eight residents in a skilled nursing facility in Hollywood, Florida died last week when the facility went without air conditioning in the extreme heat. There was not enough power to run the air conditioning system even though the facility did not lose power completely. The deaths are likely heat-related and a criminal investigation is currently underway.

After a number of deaths in nursing facilities and hospitals during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, healthcare facilities began to prepare better for disasters like hurricanes. They did this in response to new regulations and of their own volition to keep patients safe in the event of an emergency. Many upgraded their generators. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills had a generator and did not lose power completely, but was not able to operate its air conditioning system. It is not clear if the problem was an insufficient generator or a blown transformer, or both.

A generator is part of a sound emergency plan for a hospital or nursing facility, but an evacuation plan is essential as well. The residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills evacuated residents only after the deaths, despite having a nearby hospital with functional air conditioning. Instead, nursing facility staff used fans and ice to try to keep the residents cool. The investigation is ongoing and it is not yet clear why residents were not evacuated sooner. Florida governor Rick Scott is calling for the nursing facility to lose its status as a Medicaid provider and the funding that goes with it. If this happens, it is likely that the facility will not be able to keep its doors open.

As a committed healthcare partner, and as people with our own aging loved ones, our hearts are broken for the families and friends of those who died in this tragedy. We send our condolences to you.

We also extend our deep appreciation to all of the hospitals and nursing facilities that learned from the past and implemented plans into place to keep patients safe. Because of your careful planning and good judgment, many have survived these storms. We are grateful that they will have the care they need during what may be a long period of recovery.

About Frank Strafford

About Frank Strafford

Related Articles

UPDATED: The New Relevance of the ...

June 14, 2021

The first COVID-related federal stimulus payments were sent in the spring of 2020. Unfortunately, payments were sent to millions of taxpayers who were deceased at the time of payment. Not only did ...

The Role of Delegated Entities in ...

December 14, 2021

Under federal law, Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plan sponsors may delegate administrative or healthcare service functions to third parties, such as a medical group, pharmacy benefit manager, cl...

Antibody Everybody’s Initiative Helps Contribute ...

March 10, 2021

Download Infographic Visit www.antibodyeverybody.org for more information...

Understanding OIG Exclusions

OIG Exclusions Screening Process

Exclusion FAQS

Quick OIG Exclusion Basics

Employing Excluded Individuals

Consequences to Employing an Excluded Individual

OIG Compliance Law

Laws and Publications on OIG Compliance

More Compliance Resources

About Us

Industry leader Streamline Verify has been forging new paths in Exclusion Screening.

Trusted for Good Reason

  • ✓ Guaranteed accurate
  • ✓ Certified Secure
  • ✓ Audit Proof
  • ✓ Feature-rich reporting
  • ✓ Round the clock real-time-data
  • ✓ Processing fully automated

Security First

  • ✓ Cloud hosted
  • ✓ Encrypted data
  • ✓ Real-time backups

Trusted for Accuracy

  • ✓ Physical security
  • ✓ Restricted access
  • ✓ Single sign-on
  • ✓ Password security
  • ✓ Certified secure
  • ✓ Cross checking

HEALTHCARE ESTABLISHMENTS NATIONWIDE COUNT ON STREAMLINE VERIFY

5

60%

Average workload reduction by implementing the Streamline Verify program

5

10K

Establishments trust Streamline Verify nationwide

5

2011

Serving the healthcare industry’s unique compliance needs since 2011

5

24X

Setting standards with hourly synchronization to primary source data

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]