Excerpted from page 49 of the October 2016 edition of AOA Focus.
"It doesn't matter how big or small you are—you should have a plan," says Jerry Sude, O.D., who has been studying and teaching practice management for more than 35 years to doctors of optometry and others.
Dr. Sude says putting emergency preparedness into practice is an essential part of good management.
"We are in health care. I think it's important that we stay open when possible without jeopardizing the well-being of employees and patients," says Dr. Sude, who is president of Novus Clinic in the Akron, Ohio, area.
Co-founder and chairman of OD Excellence LLC, based in Healdsburg, California, Dr. Sude has a few ideas for doctors thinking about whether their offices and staffs are prepared to handle emergencies, manmade or environmental.
His tips for doctors include:
- Carry disaster or loss of business insurance. AOAExcel® offers business owners insurance.
- Install or maintain a security system. This should include an emergency hot button that can be pressed discreetly to notify the authorities. "The police will know it's an emergency," he says.
- Back up patient records stored in the office at a secure off-site location. "Your electronic medical record company will have options for you," Dr. Sude says.
- Outline emergency procedures in employee compliance manuals. Dr. Sude's office manual includes procedures for emergency drills for fires, for instance. "Everyone has to sign off that they have read the procedures."
September marks Paraoptometric Appreciation Month, the only formal observance dedicated to honor optometric practice staff. Three ways for doctors to honor their staff and for paraoptometrics to advance their careers.