Subscribe or Manage Preferences

Delivering Care in the Wake of Natural Disasters

VBCR - October 2017, Vol 6, No 4 - Advocacy News
Brian Nyquist, MPH
Executive Director, National Infusion Center Association,
Austin, TX

 

The recent natural disasters have emphasized the importance of a robust continuity of business plan, because your practice may depend on it. Whether your clinic was directly impacted or you are in a community surrounding the area affected, preparation and response will determine how quickly and efficiently you are able to deliver care.

With thousands injured, displaced, stranded, and in need of immediate aid, it is easy to lose sight of your patients’ intermediate- and long-term needs once threats to life are mitigated. The demand for healthcare increases as displaced families evacuate to communities outside of their own, increasing strain on these local healthcare delivery systems. Clinics that lost operational capacity are in a race to become functional, and operational clinics in surrounding communities struggle to meet demand.

For individuals managing autoimmune conditions or complex chronic diseases, the disruption in care can be devastating and costly over the long-term. The arduous journey to find the right treatment has taken a demoralizing leap backward. Symptoms reemerge with increased severity, and increased hospitalizations, emergency department visits, physician visits, additional medications, and highly invasive surgical interventions inflate the already bloated burden of disease.

As a healthcare provider, you have dedicated your career to helping others. Your community relies on your ability to meet their healthcare needs. Are you prepared to meet the demands of your patient population, as well as the diverse needs of the greater community, following a natural disaster? Will you be able to quickly and efficiently deliver care when the need is greatest?

Following a disaster event, your focus—at least temporarily—must shift to filing insurance claims, structural repairs, and replacing drugs and equipment. It may seem overwhelming when there are so many operational needs to address, but if you look ahead, you can minimize disruptions in your ability to deliver care.

Remember that you are not alone; communities come together in times of crisis to persevere—it is our human nature. Hundreds of organizations work tirelessly in the background to connect the pieces of the recovery puzzle. Your future success will rely on a robust continuity of business plan, including adequate preparation, and a response strategy that leverages external resources and assistance to continue delivering the care your community desperately needs.

The National Infusion Center Association (NICA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization that was formed to ensure that the nation’s sickest and most vulnerable patients can access provider-administered intravenous and injectable medications they desperately need. To learn more about NICA and to access useful resources and support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, please visit https://infusioncenter.org.

Last modified: November 29, 2017
  • Rheumatology Practice Management
  • Lynx CME
  • American Health & Drug Benefits
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Myeloma
  • Value-Based Care in Neurology