Bolster physical and emergency resources
Consider taking extra measures to protect the physical plant and keep care going, such as placing power generators and other critical systems in an underground concrete location or placing backup systems in non-vulnerable regions. Have a virtual backup to traditional services, understanding that virtual care can provide medical assistance in the event of damaged facilities. Remember that disasters can cause population shift, so consider capital planning carefully. Evaluate any insurance policies, including coverage, period of indemnity, limitations and deductible to ensure they meet the consequences of a major event.
Conduct scenario planning well in advance
Determine current levels of resilience and start planning for what comes next. Prepare for a potential loss of market share in the wake of serious damage, and consider the impact of a credit rating downgrade should the facility not have the same population makeup after a major event. Hospitals should aim for ample days of cash on hand to remain financially stable during and after a disaster.
Have a public relations plan
Form a plan to handle the disaster’s aftermath with patients, employees, insurers, vendors, credit rating agencies, and investors and creditors as critical audiences. Plan to combat negative or false information on social media during and after a disaster, as patients and employees may be scared off. Establish positions that will allow for growth and prove immune to a disaster’s effects, such as regular community engagement events or patient-family advisory councils.