Over the last couple of years there has been so many natural disaster that most people were not prepared for. There are also man-made disasters that happen as well, such as a possible gas leak, electricity pole down and fires. Having a disaster plan doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but without one it could be severely costly to a medical practice.
One area of concern could be if you were to lose power or phone service was lost. It’s also a good idea to have a staff phone book where you have each and every staff member list their emergency contacts such as name and phone numbers of several people in case of an emergency. If employees have health issues they could also list those issues and also medication that they take. Also the make and model of their car is also a helpful piece of information.
Keeping track of what patients have checked in the office and what patients have checked out is also a good way in an emergency to be able to determine who is in the building. Having a supply of emergency supplies should be in a couple of areas of the office in case one area cannot be reached. An emergency supply kit should not only contain first aid supplies but also a supply of food and water. These items should be checked regularly to make sure it has not spoiled and items should be clearly marked with an expiration date for easy replacement. Waiting for a disaster to strike and then try and figure out what is needed is way too late.
If the power is out it would be good to have plenty of batteries and flashlights. In an emergency you really don’t know how long before help arrives. Having blankets and pillows should also be included in the emergency kit. Staff and physicians should have a disaster plan set in place. It even would be a good idea to have a practice run of what to do during an emergency.
There are many discount stores and warehouse stores that offer emergency kits that include many items mentioned above. Army surplus stores are also a good place to purchase supplies. All staff members along with the physician should be aware of where all the supplies are and what actions should be taken when or if an emergency happens. At least once or twice a year these procedures should be examined. New employees should also be trained and made aware of the disaster plan.
Things happen at a split second and it’s such an advantage to physicians, staff member and patients to have a well prepared office in case of an emergency.
Marina Hall is a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) and founder of MariAnn Medical Billing Service. To read a full “Interview with Marina Hall” visit her website at http://www.inscoding.com/aboutus.php
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