Effective date: 5/4/2015

    (1) Pursuant to Florida Statutes § 400.506(12), each nurse registry shall prepare and maintain a written comprehensive emergency management plan, in accordance with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for Nurse Registries, AHCA Form 3110-1017, May 2015, incorporated by reference and available at https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-05234. This document is available from the Agency for Health Care Administration at http://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Emergency_Activities/index.shtml. The plan shall describe how the nurse registry establishes and maintains an effective response to emergencies and disasters. The plan, once completed, will be sent electronically to the contact designated by the Department of Health as required in Florida Statutes § 400.506(12)
    (2) The nurse registry shall review its emergency management plan on an annual basis and make any substantive changes. Plans with any substantive changes will be forwarded for review to the entities identified in subsection (1).
    (3) Changes in the telephone numbers of those administrative staff who are coordinating the nurse registry’s emergency response must be reported to the county emergency management office and to the county health department. For nurse registries with multiple counties on their license, the changes must be reported to each county health department and each county emergency management office. The telephone numbers must include numbers where the coordinating staff can be contacted outside of the nurse registry’s regular office hours. All nurse registries must report these changes, whether their plan has been previously reviewed or not, as defined in subsection (1).
    (4) When a nurse registry goes through a change of ownership, the new owner shall review the registry’s emergency management plan and make any substantive changes, including changes noted in subsection (3). Those nurse registries will need to report any substantive changes in their plans to the reviewing entity in subsection (1).
    (5) In the event of an emergency, the nurse registry shall implement the nurse registry’s emergency management plan pursuant to Florida Statutes § 400.506(12) Also, the registry must meet the following requirements:
    (a) All administrative staff shall be informed of responsibilities for implementing the emergency management plan.
    (b) If telephone service is not available during an emergency, the registry shall have a contingency plan to support communication, pursuant to Section 400.506(12)(f), F.S. A contingency plan may include cell phones, contact with a community based ham radio group, public announcements through radio or television stations, driving directly to the patient’s home, and, in medical emergency situations, contact with police or emergency rescue services.
    (6) Nurse registries shall assist patients who would need assistance and sheltering during evacuations because of physical, mental, or sensory disabilities in registering with the local emergency management agency, as required in Florida Statutes § 400.506(11)
    (a) Upon initial contract for services, and at a minimum on an annual basis, each nurse registry shall, pursuant to Sections 400.506(12) and 252.355, F.S., inform the patient and the patient’s family member or other person acting on behalf of the patient, by the best method possible as it pertains to the person’s disability, of the special needs registry and procedures for registration at the special needs registry maintained by their county emergency management office.
    (b) If the patient is to be registered at the special needs registry, the nurse registry shall assist the patient with registering, pursuant to Sections 400.506(12), F.S., and must document in the patient’s file if the patient plans to evacuate or remain at home; if the patient’s family or other person that provides care to the patient can take responsibility during the emergency for services normally provided by independent contractors referred by the registry; or if the registry needs to make referrals in order for services to continue. If the patient has a case manager through the Community Care for the Elderly or the Medicaid Waiver programs or any other state funded program designated in law to help patients and clients register with the special needs registry, then the nurse registry will check with the case manager to verify if the patient has already been registered. If so, a note will be made in the patient’s file by the nurse registry that the patient’s need for registration has already been reviewed and handled by the other program’s case manager.
    (c) The independent contractors referred by the nurse registry, or registry staff, shall inform patients registered with the special needs registry that special needs shelters are an option of last resort and that services may not be equal to what they have received in their homes.
    (d) This registration information, when collected, shall be submitted, pursuant to Florida Statutes § 400.506(12), to the county emergency management office.
    (7) The person referred for contract to a patient registered with the special needs registry, which shall include special needs registry patients being served in assisted living facilities and adult family care homes, shall ensure that the same type and quantity of continuous care is provided in the special needs shelter that was provided prior to the emergency as specified in Florida Statutes § 400.506(12), unless circumstances beyond the control of the independent contractor as described in Section 400.506(12)(d), F.S., make it impossible to continue services.
    (8) When a nurse registry is unable to continue services to special needs patients registered under Florida Statutes § 252.355, that patient’s record must contain documentation of the efforts made by the registry to comply with their emergency management plan in accordance with Florida Statutes § 400.506(12) Documentation includes but is not limited to contacts made to the patient’s family or other person that provides care, if applicable, contacts made to the assisted living facility and adult family care home if applicable; contacts made to local emergency operation centers to obtain assistance in reaching patients and contacts made to other agencies which may be able to provide temporary services.
    (9) When a state of emergency has been declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor, pursuant to Florida Statutes § 252.36(2), the nurse registry must contact those patients needing ongoing services pursuant to Section 400.506(12)(a), F.S., and confirm each patient’s plan during and immediately following an emergency. The nurse registry shall contact the assisted living facility and adult family care home patients and confirm their plans during and immediately following an emergency.
    (10) If the independent contractor is unable to provide services to special needs registry patients, including any assisted living facility and adult family care home special needs registry patients, due to circumstances beyond their control pursuant to Section 400.506(12)(d), F.S., then the nurse registry will contact the independent contractors it has available for referral to find another independent contractor for the patient, pursuant to Florida Statutes § 400.506(12)
    (11) During emergency situations, when there is not a mandatory evacuation order issued by the local county emergency management office, some patients, registered pursuant to Florida Statutes § 252.355, may decide not to evacuate and will stay in their homes. The nurse registry must establish procedures, prior to the time of an emergency, which will delineate to what extent the registry will continue to arrange for care during and immediately following an emergency pursuant to Section 400.506(12)(a), F.S. The registry shall also contact the patients who need continuing services by calling the patient at home or calling the assisted living facility or adult family care home the patient resides in to determine if the patient still needs services from the registry and which patients have plans to receive care from their family or other persons. If the assisted living facility or adult family care home does relocate the residents to another assisted living facility or adult family care home in the geographic area served by the nurse registry, the registry will continue to provide services to the residents. If the patients relocated outside the area served by the registry, the registry will assist the assisted living facility and adult family care home in obtaining the services of another registry already licensed for that area until the patient returns back to their original location.
    (12) The prioritized list of registered special needs patients maintained by the nurse registry shall be kept current and shall include information, as defined in Sections 400.506(12)(b) and (c), F.S. This list also shall be furnished to county health departments and to the county emergency management office, upon request.
    (13) The independent contractor from the nurse registry is required to maintain in the home of the special needs patient a list of patient-specific medications, supplies and equipment required for continuing care and service should the patient be evacuated as per Section 400.506(12)(c), F.S. The list must include the names of all medications, their dose, frequency, route, time of day and any special considerations for administration. The list must also include any allergies; the name of the patient’s physician, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner and the physician, physician assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner’s phone number; and the name, phone number and address of the patient’s pharmacy. If the patient permits, the list can also include the patient’s diagnosis.
    (14) The patient record for each person registered as a special needs patient shall include the list described in subsection (13) above, and information as listed in Sections 400.506(12)(a) and (b), F.S.
Rulemaking Authority 400.506, 408.821(4) FS. Implements Florida Statutes § 400.506. History—New 8-10-06, Amended 3-15-07, 5-4-15.