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Don't let your practice's medical emergency kit become a liability

As a doctor, you know that medical emergencies can happen anywhere - including at your office. Should a potential life-threatening situation arise in your office, whether with a patient or an employee, you want to make sure you have the necessary pharmaceuticals or equipment in a designated medical emergency kit to care for the person until help arrives.

As a doctor, you know that medical emergencies can happen anywhere - including at your office. Should a potential life-threatening situation arise in your office, whether with a patient or an employee, you want to make sure you have the necessary pharmaceuticals or equipment in a designated medical emergency kit to care for the person until help arrives.

So …

  • Do you have a medical emergency kit in your office?
  • If so, do you know where it is currently located?
  • What’s in it?
  • How to use everything in it?
  • And, whether its contents have expired or work?

How you answer these questions may make all the difference in a person’s life — and your own professional liability — should an emergency occur. If you don’t have a kit, don’t know how to use its contents, or have outdated pharmaceuticals or non-working equipment in it, you could be exposing yourself to avoidable risk.

What you should include in your emergency kits will depend on your particular patient population. For more on the “basics” you may want to consider including, check out this article from American Family Physician.

You can either create your own kit by purchasing items separately or buy a ready-made one from any number of vendors. However, keep in mind:

  • Keep your kit in a prominent, easy-to-access location that everyone in the office knows about.
  • Conduct semi-annual drills to ensure all staff know how to use the equipment.
  • Assign someone to be responsible for periodically checking all kit items to make sure none of the pharmaceuticals have expired and that all equipment is operational. You could use the spring and fall time-change dates as reminders.
  • Make sure you and your staff members are familiar with the contents of the emergency kit and are trained in its use.

Also, make sure you and all staff members tasked with the responsibility of knowing how to use the equipment have up-to-date certification in basic life support.

If you have PSIC insurance and want more information on risk management for your medical practice, contact our Risk Management Hotline today at 888-336-2642.

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