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    If disaster strikes, is your practice prepared?

    Business recovery insurance, ‘recovery box’ for valuables are key preventive tools

    Hurricanes and wildfires may have claimed recent headlines, but natural and other disasters that can devastate physicians’ practices, hospitals, and entire regions take many forms—from blizzards, earthquakes, floods, and fires, to terrorist attacks, explosions, epidemics, and data breaches.

    In essence, no one (and no practice) is immune.

    A month after Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, Houston-based urologist Steven Canfield, MD, says his practice is still having to reschedule operating room times to help out with the hurricane-induced OR shortage.

    Dr. Canfield, chief of urology at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston, says Houston medical centers and medical schools had learned their lessons about hurricane preparedness after severe flooding from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Texas Medical Center, for example, has since installed a flood gate network, above-ground electrical vaults and generators, and water pump systems to protect its infrastructure.

    Read: How to get reimbursed for BPH water vapor ablation

    Steven Canfield, MDDr. CanfieldBut while the preparation and timely implementation of storm surge protections kept the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center and Texas Medical Center from severe flooding, Harris Health System’s two flagship hospitals and community practices in Houston were impacted. As a result, so were affiliated physicians and patients, says Dr. Canfield.

    “Ben Taub Hospital flooded,” Dr. Canfield said. “LBJ General Hospital, where the UT Medical School provides coverage and where I also practice, didn’t flood but sustained storm damage—to the point that a number of ORs have been shut down since, and about 100 inpatient rooms have been affected, leading to a mandatory cancellation of elective surgeries requiring postoperative admission.”

    Next: Patient triage addresses critical cases

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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