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While there are a lot of ceremonious holidays and events, Hurricane Florence highlights the importance of one of September’s official themes, National Preparedness Month.  Just like you should have a plan for your home and personal life in case of emergency or disaster, it’s critical to have contingency plans in your professional life as well.

Even though healthcare organizations know they need to plan, implement, and test contingency operations procedures, a recent article from industry news source Becker’s indicates that many healthcare organizations lack confidence in their disaster preparedness plan. For many organizations, formulating and testing this plan finds itself a place on the bottom of the organizational “To Do” list, always bumped for something more pressing.  Unfortunately, operating this way likely means you will be met with an unplanned situation where your procedures are not tested and ready to go, causing more undue stress.

In light of National Preparedness Month, make an appointment, and stick to it, to address your contingency plans.  These plans don’t have to be scary! Consider utilizing your Security Risk Analysis as a starting point to help with your plans. Need help getting started? DataFile offers a Security Risk Analysis service to help practices identify issues and formulate their contingency operations plan before they ever need it.

Unfortunately, thinking of National Preparedness Month also brings to mind the images we see on the nightly news of those still enduring the after-effects of Hurricane Florence. While historic flooding continues in the wake of the storm, our CEO Janine Akers wrote a LinkedIn Pulse Post last week reflecting on the lessons learned from last year’s Hurricane Harvey, and sending her best wishes for those about to, and still enduring, the effects of Hurricane Florence. Her four major lessons learned include:

  1. Plan for contingencies
  2. Create a go-box for important documents
  3. Compile a vendor directory
  4. Test your plan

To read more of Janine’s takeaways from last year’s healthcare response to disaster recovery and emergency mode operations with Hurricane Harvey, read her LinkedIn Pulse Post.  You can also find five other lesser-known contingency planning tips in our “HIPAA and Harvey” White Paper.  Don’t find yourself or your practice unprepared – use this month’s National Preparedness theme to plan now for ease of mind later.

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