Monday, September 1, 2008

Book Review - Review of Disaster Planning for the Clinical Practice, Jones and Bartlett, 2009

Review of Disaster Planning for the Clinical Practice

By Neil Baum, MD, and John W. McDaniel

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
So many things seem filled with the intent
To be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Loss something every day. Accept the fluster
Of lost car keys. The hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Elisabeth Bishop, 1911-1979, Poems: 1976

This is a chance to review a book by authors I know well. For years I have been speaking off and on to Neil Baum, a practicing urologist and an accomplished author of many books on the ins and outs and ups and downs of clinical practice, and to John McDaniel, president and CEO of Peak Performance Physicians, a practice management firm best known for keeping medical practices up to code.

Neil and John reside in New Orleans, and thanks but no thanks to Katrina and Gustov, they know a thing or two about disease planning for washed out and occasionally washed up clinical practices. Katrina forced Neil out of New Orleans, forcing him and family to flee to Texas, and John has resuscitated a number of flooded practices.

In their book, Neil and John categorize disasters by size, shape, and type, then lay out ten chapters – technological disasters (mostly relating to hardware and software) , disaster planning, resuming practice planning, protecting and recovering assets, creating a backup plan, working with hospitals, getting the proper insurance, finding an alternative site for your practice, and disaster planning for your employees.

I like these features of the book.

• An appropriate quote serving as a prelude to each chapter “There’s no disaster that can’t become a blessing, and no blessing that can’t become a disaster.” ”Technology is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts on one hand, then stabs you in the back with another.”(I am a sucker for apt quotes.)

• Check-lists of what to do and how to do it.

• A crisp bottom line summary following each chapter.

• A CD at the back of the book for those seeking forms to fill out to check their level of preparedness

• A well-written no-nonsense text.

• A thirteen page index to help you find what you might lost on first reading.

• Timing – who would have dreamed I would be writing this review three years after Katrina and the day Gustov struck.

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