Is Your Practice Prepared for Hurricane Season? A Practice Checklist
Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially begins on June 1st, and for many providers based in Florida or up the East Coast the threat to your home and business is no small matter.
While many prepare their homes for potential impacts, the workplace is often overlooked. Particularly for healthcare providers who need access to critical patient data getting your practice ready for inclement weather is an important aspect of hurricane safety.
Use these tips as a guideline to make sure your practice is on track to protect and recover from damage caused by natural disasters.
- Buy shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind borne-debris.
- Remove any branches or trees adjacent to your building that could potentially fall and damage it.
- Anchor and brace any large furniture.
- Relocate and protect valuables.
- Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment in high up areas. Consult with your IT vendor for the best location to keep any onsite devices to protect from damage year-round.
Protect Important Documents
- Designate important contacts to save that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc. Make a copy of these contacts in a secondary location.
- Keep electronic instead of paper files whenever possible to avoid loss of information.
- Back-up data to avoid water damage, especially patient records and other medical documentation. Use cloud hosting services to keep your EHR data off-site and avoid possible damages or loss of data.
Prepare Your Office
Keeping this checklist of items on site will help prepare your office and staff to stay safe should disaster strike without notice.
- 3 day food supply (non-perishables)
- Supply of water to last 3 days
- Chairs and blankets for employees
- First Aid Kit
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Tool kit
- Plastic bags, duct tape
- Cleaning supplies
- Electric generator
- Emergency contact information for local authorities
Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
While any business will suffer if data is lost, medical practice’s can be particularly hurt by loss of patient health data. Before disaster hits, make sure you have a plan in place to protect your business.
- Make sure data backups (preferably cloud based and housed off site) run regularly, not just during potential weather emergencies.
- Save your cloud providers contact information and keep it on hand for easy contact when needed.
- Work with a provider you know will have your data back up and running in no time at all.
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