Unit 6: Clinical Operations
Clinical administration

Section 2: Infection Control, Environmental Health, and Safety

Emergency Preparedness

The safety net dental clinic will need to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for emergency preparedness and response. Policies and procedures for response to disasters or emergencies of both natural and manmade origin, including but not limited to tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms and snowstorms, earthquakes, bomb threats, and bio-terrorism, should be covered in the written plan. The size and complexity of your clinic (oral health only vs. health center) will determine how complex your plan needs to be. Design your plan to eliminate any confusion before, during, and after a crisis or emergency, and to help you steer a course back to normal operations.

Detailed instructions on emergency preparedness and response can be obtained from OSHA.

Emergency Preparedness Plan Topics

  • Justifications to call an evacuation
  • How staff are notified
  • Emergency response team
  • Evacuation warnings and signals
  • Incident reporting and chain of communication
  • Facility shut-down requirements
  • Team duties preparing for, during, and after an event
  • Planning for an evacuation
  • Documents and equipment needed during the evacuation
  • Classes or levels of emergencies
  • Emergency briefcase
  • Supplies and equipment
  • Evacuation meeting locations
  • Required items at meeting site
  • Evacuation tasks
  • Public relations
  • Long-term evacuations
  • Recovery help for staff
  • Re-entering the facility
  • Starting up equipment and processes
  • Training needs analysis
  • Mock drills
  • Training requirements
  • Planning review
  • Continuous improvement