Disaster Planning for your Clinic

One can hardly turn on the news today with hearing something about some natural disaster. In recent weeks it’s been about earthquakes, tornados, floods and wild fire. And of course, the Northern Hemisphere Hurricane Season is upon us.

Clinicians need to be prepared for disasters…not only at home, but in your business as well. Even if you think it will never happen to you, you need to be prepared for the “never gonna happen” event.

Making a disaster plan is really just a business plan for disasters. Here are a few things to address:

  1. Take a look at everything in your office. Think about what would happen if it was not available. What would you do? How would you continue?
  2. How will you communicate and take care of your employees?
  3. Payroll…it’s gotta happen. Are you using a payroll service that is off site that will be able to generate that paycheck?
  4. Is there an alternative site you can operate if your building is unsuitable? Perhaps you can work something out with another provider with the idea you can each use the others space in order to keep you business going.
  5. Where will you be able to get equipment and supplies? Have all sorts of alternatives listed…everyone in your neighborhood may be headed for the local supply house for computers, etc.
  6. Data:  Back up your charts and practice management system regularly and store it off site. Consider storing it several miles away…say 50-100 miles. If you entire town floods, having a copy in your house may not help you.
  7. Video tape your office – include all equipment, furnishings and supplies. Consider giving a copy of the tape to your insurance agent, as well as storing a copy off site (see #5 above) as well as a copy for your files.  (This is a great idea for your home as well).

You can get more free information, including templates to make your plans at www.Ready.gov .

Photo Credit:  1985 — Typhoon Pat — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

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  1. Barbara this is so timely because I was going to share on the discussion board a situation that occured in my clinic and thank goodness for my insurance on my clinic. I came to the clinic one morning and water was on the ground on the outside.. I discovered that a pipe had burst in one of the bathrooms …. it is also important to know where your utility meters are and your water shut off valve… while you are waiting on someone tocome the flooding could continue and cause further damage… I turned off the water for the entire building and this stopped the problem but there was water everywhere… I called servicemaster they took care of the water and my insurance company took care of them of course I had a small deductible to pay but nothing near what I would have had to pay if I did not have the insurance…

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