Guarding against natural disasters

WITH floods and cyclones forcing GPs to defend what they can of their practices, the RACGP has urged doctors to review their disaster recovery plans and any steps they take in salvaging water-logged patient files.

Reports of extensive water damage to paper-based medical records caused by recent flooding across the eastern states have prompted the RACGP to publish a series of fact sheets on how to plan for similar events in the future.

RACGP president Professor Claire Jackson said the sheets were developed to provide practice teams with useful tips on how to assess risk and prepare for flooding. They also gave  advice on recovering data from damaged files.

“There are some crucial steps for general practices in preparation of an evacuation, including backing up essential files daily, keeping a hard-copy list of patients seen since the last system back-up to enable records to be recreated if necessary, and sourcing alternate power