5 Steps Medical Practices Should Take to Prepare for Disasters

Disaster MedicineSeptember is National Preparedness Month. The American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM) and the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS®) recommends that all small-business owners establish and maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date plan to ride out a disaster or wide-spread emergency. This is especially important for small medical practices, which are legally responsible for safe-guarding their patients’ medical records and could be called upon to help treat injuries − or even to save lives.

The ABODM provides a path to board certification in Disaster Medicine for qualified physicians. In fact, in many ways, physicians who want to undertake leadership roles in times of community-wide calamity would do well to reinforce their credentials by focusing on Disaster Medicine as a second specialty. Disaster preparedness and response experts are integral when it comes to community-wide preparation and recovery, but every medical practice should make its own disaster plan as well. While every practice is unique, there are several general steps every physician or office manager can take once the potential serious risks have been identified:

  1. Prioritize the practice’s operations on the basis of what will be maintained throughout the duration of the emergency and determine how those operations will be maintained.
  2. Assign team members to relevant tasks, preferably in keeping with their everyday duties.
  3. Create an inventory, with photographs and receipts, of every item in the office.
  4. Make a list of emergency contacts and keep it in an easily accessible place.
  5. Create a document, preferably digitally and in print, that provides all the details of the disaster plan.

Other factors should be taken into account as well. In fact, the number one consideration during a disaster situation is the safety of staff members and patients. An evacuation route should also be pre-planned, in case the immediate vicinity becomes unsafe. It also is vital to establish guidelines for recovery ahead of time, keeping them as general as possible to suit the particular emergency or loss.

To learn more about Disaster Medicine board certification, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

 

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine