5 Ways ServiceMaster Recovery Management Can Help Healthcare Facilities Recover After Hurricane Laura

Over the past 40 years, ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) has helped thousands of businesses recover from hurricanes, many of which have operated in the healthcare sector. Our team has been on the ground for record breaking storms like Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Florence and Irma, and has long practiced the expertise needed for restoration in this industry.

When a hurricane hits, nothing is more important to the community than functioning healthcare facilities. Time is of the essence, and completing a healthcare facility restoration goes beyond having the equipment and knowledge related to the facility restoration itself. Oftentimes these jobs involve specialized capabilities and skills like biohazard cleanup, privacy standards, equipment handling and more.

Over our many years working in the healthcare industry, we recognized the need for a specialized restoration process engineered specifically for healthcare. Below are just a few of the capabilities we’ve mastered through our experience restoring healthcare facilities after a major hurricane.

Specialized Healthcare Restoration Services
Healthcare restoration is not just about larger scale damage. It requires a great deal of expertise regarding complexities such as patient confidentiality, reducing operational impact of the restoration and understanding different needs between medical room types (i.e. operating rooms vs patient rooms).

Our specially trained technicians go through extensive background and testing before being on-site for healthcare facility restoration. Some of the elevated standards we maintain, and train our team on within our Hospital and Healthcare Restoration Process include;

Healthcare Construction HCC – Certification (ASHE)
HIPAA Compliance
Phased Restoration and Construction Plans
ICRA Protocol Compliant – Guidelines + Regulations
Low VOC Products
Bilingual Trained personnel
Daily Project Communication
Limited Patient Interruption

In action: Hurricane Harvey
When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in August 2017, SRM was able to help one client recover eight dialysis clinics and seven urgent care centers across the state. Our trained team handled biohazard waste, confidential medical records, expensive medications, sterile medical supplies, sensitive employee files, specialized imaging equipment and proprietary medical equipment. All of these actions require specialized training in healthcare restoration from a highly trained and experienced team.

Each one of these healthcare facilities also required clearance testing. This testing provides third-party verification that SRM had adequately completed their job to the standard they promised. SRM successfully passed all clearance tests upon completion of the project.

Water Mitigation
If your healthcare facility has experienced water damage from a flood, burst pipe, sewage backup or any other situation after a hurricane, you may face the immediate danger of bacteria contaminating sensitive or sterile areas, such as operating rooms. If not addressed quickly, the problem continues to grow… literally. Mold begins to grow as quickly as 24 hours after a water loss. To minimize the damage after a hurricane, it is important to respond quickly and effectively.

Effective water mitigation for healthcare facilities goes beyond simply extracting water. Aspects such as potential damage to highly specialized equipment, patient logistics, possible resident relocation and the increased risk of infection all need to be accounted for when establishing a mitigation plan. Additionally, precautions need to be taken to contain any potential risk including the introduction of airborne mold spores which can spread quickly throughout a facility.

In Action: Hurricane Florence
A senior living community in Wilmington, NC was affected by Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Over 35,000 square feet and 74 resident rooms had been affected, and strong winds had damaged the roof, allowing water to infiltrate the facility. There were many challenges to restoration such as, the restricted access caused by still rising water, the constant movement of flood waters changing access and routes previously open and finding lodging for crews.

Leveraging our national partners, SRM was able to bring in over 70 painters, drywallers, carpenters, hygienists and pack in crews to work simultaneously to complete the project on schedule. In the end, we completed the project to the highest client satisfaction, achieved the quickest turn-around time possible and residents were moved back in as scheduled, by the Thanksgiving holiday.

Equipment Staging
Getting equipment to the site of the storm and setting it up before the hurricane makes land is a critical piece of damage prevention. Having restoration equipment like generators and water extractors ready to mobilize immediately limits downtime from storm damage, and facilitates a quick restoration process.

Many restoration companies do not have the team numbers, resources and capabilities to stage equipment prior to a storm. We pride ourselves on our ability to move quickly, and dive right into restoration projects as soon as possible, and being on site in advance means we’re able to get to work both before and after the hurricane hits.

In action: Hurricane Michael
In October 2018, Hurricane Michael clipped the island of Cuba and set multiple records while becoming the most intense hurricane to make American landfall since Hurricane Camille (1969). ServiceMaster DSI was prepared with power generators, water extractors and other equipment set up and ready to combat damage from the hurricane days before it made landfall.

Our SRM team had resources spread across the Florida panhandle, and were on site in Panama beach when the storm hit the coast on October 10. Our crews went in right away to begin the restoration process for 40 commercial locations in a dozen Florida and Georgia cities

Emergency Power
Emergency power is crucial to helping organizations and residents after a hurricane, especially for healthcare facilities. After a storm hits, many people work to restore power before any other restoration activities. Many businesses need a power source to keep their products or services functional, and to facilitate cleanup.

Our emergency power services are not just limited to providing electricity to your commercial facility. We can also provide temporary climate control equipment and light towers to better support the needs of critical facilities, like hospitals and assisted living facilities.

In action: Hurricane Katrina:
A prominent Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi contacted SRM before Hurricane Katrina was projected to make landfall to keep its 170,000 square foot facilities operational through the storm. When the storm had passed, the Medical Center was the only standing hospital facility within 100 miles, but it still sustained substantial damage.

The hospital had no power or clean water after the Hurricane. SRM provided temporary power to the Medical Center with our industrial generators and had access to equipment that converted salt water to drinking water.

Document Restoration and Recovery
While medical equipment may be one of the most expensive aspects in a hospital or healthcare facility, documentation, including patient and resident records, is the most important element to continuing operations. In addition, patient records need to be handled in a very deliberate way to adhere to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. From managing and documenting the chain of custody, to maintaining security for all storage facilities housing medical records, you need a restoration provider that can ensure your documents and records are handled in complete compliance with HIPAA standards.

In action: Hurricane Katrina
In the same case study detailed above, the Biloxi medical center saw extensive water damage to documents. The medical records were dried by our pop-up document drying center.

We offer state-of-the-art freeze-drying capabilities to restore all physical documents possible. If needed, we have hand ironed, rescanned and organized entire document libraries in order to allow hospitals the ability to get back to full operations. No other competitor offers this level of full-service restoration, which allowed the Biloxi medical site to retain its critical documents while protecting the privacy of its patients.

SRM: Hurricane and Disaster Recovery You Can Trust
ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) is the commercial restoration branch of ServiceMaster DSI. SRM has a dedicated team tracking all global weather and potentially catastrophic events that may impact any business areas. Before a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall in the United States, SRM mobilizes vast resources, equipment, expertise and manpower to the potentially affected area.

The SRM team has managed projects as large as $56 million in scope, and in some of the most sensitive commercial environments. Our highly experienced and versatile large loss experts know that each client’s needs are unique and require a tailored recovery solution. That’s why we have our own account manager solely focused on restoration for the healthcare and senior living industries.

If your healthcare facility has been hit by Hurricane Laura, SRM has the restoration experience it takes to deal with the aftermath of this major hurricane, and understands the importance of privacy, compliance and safety throughout the process.

If your healthcare or senior living facility is in need of hurricane damage recovery, click here to request ServiceMaster Recovery Management’s services.

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