Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Any emergency action plan is only as good as the people who implement it. Proper training and appropriate, highly visible signage are critical to a plan's successful execution. One of the common requests received in my office involves creating or updating a veterinary hospital's emergency action plan. Every plan will be different because of a particular clinic's location, size, layout and regional threats — earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, for example. Nonethe- less, the same core principals exist for everyone. To that end, let's go over some basic recommendations for devel- oping, updating and executing your hospital's emergency action plan. Contacts Keep a list of emergency contacts. These include: • Governmental emergency management offices. • Law enforcement agencies. • Local hospitals. • Local utilities. • American Red Cross chapter. • Your property insurance agent. Animals Develop an evacuation, relocation and transportation strategy for hos- pitalized animals. Preferably, have a reciprocal agreement with two or three other hospitals so that the partner clinics will take in another practice's hospitalized animals in case of an emergency. Equipment Have on hand: • Flashlights and spare batteries. • Battery-powered radio. • Access to fresh bottled water. • An alternate electrical source, such as a generator. Signage Place in a conspicuous location: • A hospital floor plan that clearly shows exits, utility shutoffs and any other special features, such as a safe room. • A list of fire hazards, such as a kitchen, boiler room, chemi- cal storage area or laboratory. This information will help pre- vent anyone not familiar with the building — think clients and emergency personnel — from moving toward an area that could feed a fire or pose an explosion risk. Training Be sure to: • Review the evacuation plan with all new hires. • Routinely review the evacua- tion plan with all employees. • Update the plan as necessary. Fire The management team should: • Call 911. • Signal employees and clients to leave through the nearest exit upon hearing a fire alarm or seeing smoke or flames. • Ensure that all employees have evacuated. You may need to doublecheck restrooms and other contiguous areas. • Assist any disabled people. • Close, but do not lock, inside and outside doors upon evac- uation, if possible. • Assemble at a predesignated location outside the building and account for all employees and clients. • Report any missing people to emergency personnel. • Permit building re-entry only when authorized by fire officials or when manage- ment has determined that no emergency exists. Animals The standard recommendation is to evacuate the building immediately and leave all animals behind. This is a difficult concept for any veterinary team to accept. Opening doors to cages and runs while exiting the building is another option. Granted, closing interior and exterior doors to Protect your livelihood with all the right coverage through AVMA PLIT. We are the most trusted source of professional, business and personal coverage for every stage of your career. our expertise is your strength Workers' Compensation • Business Property & Liability • Employment Practices Liability • Umbrella Liability • Flood • Commercial Auto • Data Breach • Professional Liability • Veterinary License Defense • Professional Extension (Animal Bailee) • Embryo & Semen Storage Coverage • Safety & Risk Management Resources • Personal Auto • Homeowners • Renters • Personal Excess (Umbrella) Liability For a coverage comparison of your entire insurance portfolio to the PLIT program, call 800-228-PLIT (7548) option 4 or visit

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