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Survey Says Nursing Homes Have Emergency Plans, But Struggle To Work With Local Authorities

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Nearly half of administrators surveys acknowledged not working with outside authorities such as emergency responders, hospitals, or health officials in their planning.

A survey of Ohio nursing homes has found they have made plans for coping with natural disasters and other emergencies, but that many haven't coordinated with key local agencies and facilities.

Researchers at Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center added questions about emergency preparedness to their biennial survey for the state. Some nursing home residents in other states were impacted harshly by disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Matt Nelson of the Scripps center in southwest Ohio says all 890 administrators responding reported having plans for disasters, evacuations and equipment failures. But nearly half acknowledged not working with outside authorities such as emergency responders, hospitals, or health officials in their planning.

State officials say they have identified action steps and are working to improve emergency coordination.