It’s hurricane season – again! Hurricane season 2013 started June 1 and it took just days for the first official tropical storm [Andrea] to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. As hurricanes approach, unless you have taken note of the lessons learned from past disasters, your practice could be one flood, lightning bolt or large wind gust away from losing 100% of your patient data.
Don’t let the aftermath of a storm be a reminder that backing up your data to an external drive or DVDs but still leaving the equipment in your office just isn’t enough. Rain, water damage, fire, etc. can destroy those backups too. This reason alone is why online backup services are a growing trend.
Learn these lessons before it’s too late
Whether you have the possibility of being affected by Tropical Storm Andrea or you have been affected by other situations in the past, your practice’s goals following the next natural disaster are clear:
- Communication: establish accessible communication lines for both patients AND staff to share office closings and relocations
- Shelter: have a plan of where to find shelter
- Information systems: take steps to protect your EHR, billing and financial data
- Make sure that your data is backed up regularly to an off-site server
- Have a plan for restoring your data, once your office is operational again or you have set up an alternate location
- Generator support: Consider having a generator handy to help ensure your equipment is safe and to help your office continue to operate
- Vendor support: set up a protocol for contacting your tech support and suppliers
- MediPro’s client care specialists are prepared to give top priority to calls from customers in geographical locations affected by disaster.
The aftermath of hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Ike or Sandy, has brought several new challenges to the healthcare industry and have shown us better ways to prepare for and recover from disaster. Be sure to develop a disaster plan for you practice before you are faced with a major threat. As with any healthcare provider, you play a critical role in your community. While you are fully committed to helping your community through times of need, MediPro will be here and fully committed to supporting you and what you do best in every way we can.
“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” -Arnold Glasow