Tips for Controlling Medical Office Chaos when Emergencies Occur Part One

Even if your medical office seems to run smoothly most of the time, it may not take much to tip the balance from smooth sailing to chaos. In creating disaster recovery plans, medical office managers should plan for small disasters as well as big ones. Your office may never have to suffer through the devastating disruption of a major tornado, earthquake or hurricane; but power outages, snow and ice storms, floods and wildfires are becoming fairly frequent occurrences. Even local disasters can have problematic consequences for medical offices, disrupting communications, knocking out computer access and preventing key personnel from reaching the office.

A short-term power outage that shuts down computer access, a flu outbreak among the staff or a major traffic snarl that prevents staff members from arriving on time can create periods of chaos and confusion that impact office efficiency and patient care. When considering emergency procedures and developing a disaster recovery plan for your medical office, consider not only how you’re going to handle major disasters; but how you’re going to prevent small emergencies from snowballing into office chaos.

1. Preventing chaos starts with establishing clearly defined office management procedures. Cross training staff ensures that work can continue smoothly even in the absence of a key staff member. Because equipment failure or a power outage can effectively shut down a modern medical office, all staff members should know who to call and what to do or not do to prevent data loss. You should also establish a manual backup system for accomplishing, recording and filing tasks that are typically performed by computer or in the cloud.