Emergency Preparedness Compliance: The Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA)

Emergency Preparedness
​​The onset of  a new year is an excellent time for healthcare organizations to review their emergency preparedness programs and specifically their emergency preparedness plans (EPP). A great place to start is with a review and update of the organization’s Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA). This is the tool that assess varying types of hazards (natural, human and technological) and determines the level of risk associated with each. The output is valuable in determining the need for disaster specific procedures, training and exercising.  It also provides a roadmap for where risk mitigation efforts should be focused. Annually updating the HVA is a requirement for healthcare organizations seeking reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services (CMS) and a best practice for everyone.  
Here are some tips for effectively and efficiently updating your organizations HVA:

  • ​​Identify any disaster/emergency situations the facility faced over the last year with particular focus on any after action reports that may have been developed. 
  • ​Review your community’s HVA or Hazard Mitigation Plan. They can often be accessed online or by placing a call to your Local Office of Emergency Preparedness.  
  • Make sure the HVA addresses hazards such as cyber attack, persons with a weapon, staffing shortages, supply shortages and emerging infections disease/pandemic. These will likely rank higher than in previous years.  
  • Include a variety of department heads in the HVA review process to ensure a comprehensive analysis of the ramifications of each hazard to your organization.  
AHCA/NCAL members can access HVA template tools and detailed instructions on how to complete the analysis on the website’s emergency preparedness page.

The HVA is just one component of a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan. Don’t forget to review the entire plan annually with specific focus on names, numbers, agreements, supplies, etc. An updated plan will serve you better when it is needed and keep you in compliance during survey.