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

Applicants sought for 2018-19 ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:46:28 +0000 The American Dental Association Institute for Diversity in Leadership is accepting applications through March 16 for its 2018-19 class. The Institute is designed to provide [...]
Let go and live with less control
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:02:13 +0000 We all hang on to ideas, emotions and memories that sometimes deserve to be let go. In this article, I discuss learning about a major [...]
Facebook calls to action: Are you using honey or vinegar?
Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:42:13 +0000 It takes a matter of seconds to realize that someone is selling to you. In person, you may get that vibe from someone and instantly [...]
Find Give Kids A Smile events in your area
Fri, 05 Jan 2018 16:58:06 +0000 The ADA Foundation’s toll-free number for its Give Kids A Smile program helps caregivers and volunteers determine whether there is a GKAS event in their [...]
Manage debt so it doesn’t manage you
Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:23:59 +0000 Personal and practice financial management is a vital part of building a successful career in dentistry – and allowing you to lead the life you [...]
New CDT 2018 codes now in effect
Tue, 02 Jan 2018 15:16:33 +0000 It’s time to begin using the 18 new codes featured in CDT 2018: Dental Procedure Codes, the essential coding manual for dental professionals. This new [...]
Practice Successfully, Live Well: Ergonomic advice to reduce work-related pain
Thu, 28 Dec 2017 15:05:11 +0000 Dentistry is a physically demanding profession. Dentists often assume awkward positions to provide treatment to their patients. This leaves them at high risk of developing [...]
Medicare resources for dentists
Tue, 26 Dec 2017 14:30:39 +0000 Figuring out whether to opt in or out of Medicare can be confusing for some dentists. The ADA has resources to help dentists make the [...]
Keeping dental practices electronically secure
Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:02:01 +0000 Remaining compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act can be an arduous but necessary task for dentists. The ADA has resources for dentists [...]
New York dentists show value of mentorship
Tue, 19 Dec 2017 14:30:20 +0000 As they drove home to New York City from Rutgers University nearly a decade ago, Dr. Marcus Johnson and Dr. Edly Destine may not have [...]