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Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness

Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness

Your Pharmacy Disaster Recovery Plan

As we are all witnessing over the past couple of weeks, extreme weather can have a potentially devastating effect on our lives…and our livelihood!  A crucial part of your pharmacy’s livelihood is your pharmacy management system’s data! Have you taken the necessary steps to protect your data in case of such a disaster?   Here are some things to consider:

Back Up Your Pharmacy Data

While your building, computer equipment and inventory can be replaced after a disaster, your pharmacy data cannot… unless you have a current backup.

It is recommended that you backup your pharmacy system data every single day.  Daily backups not only keep your data current and secure, they give you one less thing to worry about when the unlikely event of a natural disaster actually occurs.

Here are a couple of suggestions for backing up your data.  First, perform a daily manual backup on a physical, detachable drive (external hard drive, USB device, etc.) that can be removed from the pharmacy each night after the backup is complete. This method ensures a copy of your data is always kept outside of your pharmacy.  If you are not diligent in backing up your data every day, you run the risk of missing data and the regrettable need to go back and re-enter that lost data from when you performed your last backup…a tedious and time consuming task!  Get in the habit of backing up your data every single day!  This process can also be automated to perform at a specific time each night. If you are occasionally forgetting to perform your backup, contact Rx30 to have the process automated each night.

Another option, which is a great tool to implement as part of a HIPAA disaster preparedness plan, is to utilize Rx30’s remote backup services.  Our remote backup services automatically backup your pharmacy system data nightly at our corporate headquarters and provides that extra assurance that your vital system data is remotely archived for retrieval should the need ever arise.  IMPORTANT:  this remote backup service is NOT designed to replace your nightly backup procedures outlined in the previous paragraph, it is simply another layer of security!

What about a Documented Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster strikes… now what? What is the first thing you and your staff should do? Who should you call? After a catastrophe, you can easily become overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. If you have a documented disaster recovery plan in place, you and your team will have the correct procedures to follow as well as any important information that may be needed such as account and policy numbers.

Your pharmacy recovery plan should include the following:

  • Contact information for all team members, your insurance company, your pharmacy software provider, wholesalers and other third-party partners, area DEA office and your local emergency management center.
  • Up-to-date inventory of everything in your pharmacy. This includes computer hardware, dispensing equipment and office equipment in addition to medications and over-the-counter items.
  • Pharmacy information such as critical account and insurance policy numbers along with your pharmacy’s NCPDP, DEA, NABP and NPI numbers. Having this information in hand will help when making the many phone calls required following a disaster.

Emergency Action Plans

After the initial disaster recovery procedures have been followed. You should have two action plans in place. An action plan that should be followed if your pharmacy is partially functional (computers are down but inventory and building still intact), and a plan of action for when your pharmacy is completely nonfunctional.

Consider a Community ‘Help’ Plan of Action:

Disasters often affect an entire community. Consider a plan of action to help your patients, friends and family who are also struggling with loss and destruction. For example, connect with fellow pharmacists in the area to set up a temporary pharmacy to assist those not critically injured.  Rx30 can also be a friend in helping you and your community in need by providing emergency needs to help your patients get the prescriptions they need.

If you would like more information on setting up automated backups or utilizing our remote backup services, please call Rx30 at 800-289-7930.  You may also email us at: info@Rx30.com.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected and are the target of future storms, wild fires, etc. Please know we are prepared and ready to help you all during this challenging time.