Review of emergency preparedness in the office setting: How best to prepare based on your practice and patient demographic characteristics

Constance LeBlanc, Jock Murray, Louis Staple, Bridgette Chan
Canadian Family Physician Médecin de Famille Canadien 2019, 65 (4): 253-259

OBJECTIVE: To outline an approach to assessing the risk of emergencies in one's medical practice and determining the equipment and medications required for emergencies and the necessary staff training to meet this important facet of patient care.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION: The emergency preparedness recommendations presented in this article are based on data collected from family physicians' current preparedness plans, formal physician evaluation and informal feedback provided after 2 large group presentations, and the authors' expertise in areas including family medicine, emergency medicine, prehospital care, and pharmacology.

MAIN MESSAGE: Delineating risk based on practice profile, location, and demographic characteristics will inform the development of an appropriate plan to meet both public expectations and professional obligations. Reviewing the plan or having a practice drill of the plan once developed will improve the process in the event of an emergency. It is also essential to have medication and equipment checked periodically for expiry dates and proper functioning.

CONCLUSION: Physicians will encounter office emergencies at some time in their practice. Appropriate risk assessment, planning, and preparedness will allow the provision of high-quality care, safety for staff members, the best patient outcomes, and the reward of having managed a time-sensitive problem in an efficient and effective manner.


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