Last week, NEMT President Linda Allard blogged about preparing our business and home offices for recovery in the event of a natural disaster.
At the same time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its federal disaster preparedness requirements for healthcare providers and suppliers.
In the healthcare documentation industry, we need to ensure that all of our transcriptionists, coders, IT specialists and others can continue to work — or have seamless coverage — if the power or Internet goes out.
For hospitals, nursing homes and other providers, it’s a lot more physical. The new rules — which providers will have a year to put into practice — are intended to make sure patients can be treated in the middle of hurricanes, floods, terrorist attacks or pandemics.
One of the major requirements involves testing generators because catastrophic generator failure has been a repeated problem in hospitals and nursing homes during major storms.
The government predicts it will cost more than $279 million to implement the preparedness measures. By this time next year, we’ll know if they’re right.
For those of us in the documentation field, the new measures are another reminder for us to check our own backup plan.
- Is your data backed up to the cloud?
- If you can’t work tomorrow or even call in to give instructions, can someone else pick up your job and keep moving?
- If a disaster takes out power in your entire region, can you get enough people in an unaffected area to pick up the work seamlessly?
- And our “hit by a bus” scenario — if you are hit by a bus on the way to work, can someone else find all of your files? Will they know what to do with them? Can they figure out what you’ve named your files and how you’ve saved them?
Disasters are inevitable. Surprise isn’t – plan ahead.
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