Many healthcare organizations lack confidence in disaster preparedness, survey finds

A number of healthcare organizations said they don't believe they have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan implemented, even though disasters remain prevalent in the U.S., according to a survey from DrFirst, a provider of e-prescribing and medication management solutions.

The survey, conducted in August, involved 109 healthcare professionals in acute, ambulatory, hospice and home care.

Five findings:

1. Most respondents (68 percent) reported they were affected by two or more natural and/or man-made disasters over the last five years.

2. At the same time, 72 percent of acute care respondents said they have implemented a disaster recovery plan that is comprehensive, covering diverse scenarios both inside and outside the organization. However, only 29 percent of specialty care respondents, such as cardiologists and endocrinologists, reported the same.

3. Hospital-based respondents said the installation of backup generators to prepare for possible power outages (56 percent), along with ordering and maintaining additional inventory of supplies and medicine (52 percent), is the most crucial requirement of a disaster preparedness plan. Next was secure, HIPAA-compliant medical messaging (44 percent).

4. Forty-five percent of survey respondents said telehealth is effective in provide care to patients in their regions during or immediately after disasters or emergencies. But DrFirst said more than half are worried connectivity and other technical issues could affect telehealth reliability. Additionally, only 27 percent of respondents reported they believe their organization currently has adequate telehealth capabilities.

5. Only 40 percent of respondents said they believe their EMR/EHR is equipped to take care of all patients during a disaster.

Read more about the survey here.


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