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The time to plan for a natural disaster is when the sun is shining - in other words, right now.
I hesitate to raise the topic of disaster planning. It’s a topic that very often receives significant attention during a disaster and then gets pushed to the back of the closet when all is well. The challenge is to take a serious look at your practice’s disaster plan - or lack of one - during a calm time.
Here are some key areas to consider as you build your disaster plan:
Having an emergency preparedness plan will not stop a disaster, but it will certainly help you and your staff deal more effectively with the challenges a disaster can bring. Katrina and Ike were important, first-hand lessons for me; the same could happen to you. If you would like a disaster planning guide, contact me by e-mail and I will be happy to provide you with a template. Exercise caution and be prepared!
Owen Dahl, FACHE, CHBC, is a nationally recognized medical practice management consultant with more than 24 years of experience in consulting for and managing medical practices. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Physicians Practice.