Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Partnerships and Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share

Preparing for the Worst — Disaster Recovery and the Practice

An electrical outage is usually just an inconvenience. But if the power was down for an extended period in your community, would that impact your ability to keep your practice open?

Here's another question — in the aftermath of a disaster, cell-phone towers, computer networks and land based phone systems might not function. How would you communicate with your dental team and your patients in such an emergency?

The ADA has developed a process to guide dentists through the development of a business recovery plan. The process includes five steps to business survival and recovery:

Evaluate

The first step is a comprehensive evaluation including policies, lease agreements and materials management. Sample: If a catastrophe wiped out your dental practice, would your insurance policy cover all the remaining lease payments on your equipment? Or would you be faced with continuing to make payments on equipment you could no longer use?

Create

The second step includes not just a written plan, but also tactics for communicating your plan and developing a network of support in a time of crisis. Sample: If you had to call on the local Red Cross, the Salvation Army or other volunteer group for help, would they know who you are? What do you know about them? Give them a call and take time to get acquainted.

Before

The third step includes the actions to take when a threat is imminent. Sample: Remember, a disaster does not necessarily release you from HIPAA regulations. Do everything possible to preserve the confidentiality of patient records.

During

The fourth step outlines the steps necessary to take in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Sample: You may need substitute personnel until things return to normal. It's a good idea to know where you can find a reliable agency that will provide people with the skill levels you require.

After

The final step addresses the challenges of rebuilding. Sample: Disaster victims may perform well during the initial shock phases, but lose their energy levels after prolonged stress.

It is human nature to think of disasters as something that only happens to others. But developing and implementing a recovery plan can mitigate loss, save lives and assure your practice continues to function when it may be needed most.

New Dentist Now Blog

ADA-endorsed student loan program rebrands to Laurel Road
Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:30:34 +0000 Darien Rowayton Bank — the student loan refinancing program endorsed by the ADA — announced June 15 that its online lending division inclusive of its [...]
Your patients’ top fluoride questions — explained!
Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:27:40 +0000 Need answers to your patients’ common fluoride questions? Dentists recently asked an ADA expert their questions about nature’s cavity fighter, based on what they hear [...]
ADA Foundation awards celebrate leaders
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:24:22 +0000 The ADA Foundation is seeking nominations for its Dr. David Whiston Leadership Awards, which recognize promising dentists who have shown the potential for leadership in [...]
Working with my father
Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:25:35 +0000 When I tell people I work with my father, they always seem to say, “Oh … how is that?” I’m always astonished by the question and [...]
Organized dentistry: It’s all in the family
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:30:22 +0000 Despite a successful dental practice and heavy involvement in organized dentistry, Dr. Bill Calnon never intended to raise two dentists. He simply wanted his sons [...]
As dentists, we step into the public spotlight (whether we want to or not)
Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:13:17 +0000 One day, I was searching my name on Google (don’t act like I’m the only one that does that), and I saw some interesting things [...]
Photo slideshow: You’re invited to the 2017 New Dentist Conference
Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:51:48 +0000 Dear Colleagues, As chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee, I wanted to personally invite you to the New Dentist Conference at ADA 2017. I’m [...]
Dos and Don’ts: Your practice’s Facebook page
Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:54:22 +0000 Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social network in the U.S., and it can be a great way to communicate with patients and [...]
Alaska woman returns home to work as dentist under childhood doctor
Tue, 06 Jun 2017 13:30:06 +0000 Editor’s note: This is article, republished with permission, originally appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on May 22, 2017. Sam Friedman, Daily News Miner Fairbanks, [...]
Employee Handbooks: You don’t need one, until you REALLY need one
Mon, 05 Jun 2017 14:17:50 +0000 When starting a new practice, you look for every possibility to keep costs down. You are already concerned with paying the loan for the practice, [...]