Do You Have Recovery Plans if Disaster Strikes?

August 1, 2023

ISMIE offers key steps for protecting practice operations

This has been a year of record-breaking heat waves, rainfalls, flooding, tornadoes and wildfires across the United States. These types of natural disasters, in addition to other threats, have the potential to have a major impact on your medical practice operations.
If disaster should strike, here’s what to do:
  • If paper records are offsite: Do you have a list of whose records were stored in the facility? If so, be sure to contact those who were impacted. In addition, it is important to post a notice on your practice’s website and/or within your facility for patients you cannot reach and who may no longer be active in your practice.
  • Depending on where your records or devices are stored and potentially damaged, it is recommended that you contact the property/casualty insurance carrier and/or the management company where this information was stored to report the incident and determine if additional coverages for the loss are available.
  • When selecting an offsite storage facility, ensure that it meets local and state requirements to help prevent damage to your medical records. This might include verifying that the facility has cooling systems for electronic devices, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors in working order.
  • Lastly, be sure to check with your personal and/or corporate counsel for guidance.
In addition to thinking about safeguarding your paper records, be sure you consider how you would handle a situation in which electronic records were compromised or destroyed.
Whether a major or minor incident, it is always a good idea to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. ISMIE offers related resources including this article on emergency preparedness. There are also several helpful emergency preparedness planning tools and guidance available in this edition of our Lessons from the Field series.

For more information, please contact our Risk Management Division by email.
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