Is your pharmacy prepared for an emergency?

You probably won’t get much warning before an emergency. Therefore it is important to have an emergency management plan in place to prepare you and your business for unexpected disruptions. It is important to be ready for all sorts of emergencies:

  • Natural - such as floods, drought, fire, landslides and storms
  • Human caused - such as crime, terrorism or riots
  • Technological - such as explosions, building or bridge collapse

During an emergency the main aim is to ensure your pharmacy continues operating and providing patients with access to medications. This webpage will discuss how to prepare your pharmacy and staff for an emergency.

Pharmacy Insurance It is important to check that your insurance covers you for potential risk. Read your product disclosure statement carefully.

Types of insurance you might need include:

1) Business assets

1. Building and contents

2. Glass breakage

3. motor vehicle

4. fire and other damage

5. equipment breakdown

6. goods in transit

7. fraud and dishonesty

8. money

9. theft

10. business interruption

2) Customers / Employees / Business owners

1. workers’ compensation insurance – this is mandatory when employing staff

2. personal accident, illness and life insurance

3. income protection insurance.

4. Workers’ compensation insurance

5. Public liability insurance – covers you for third party death or injury

6. Third party personal injury insurance – compulsory if you own a motor vehicle. This is often part of your vehicle registration fee

3) Your earnings

4) Liability insurance

1. public liability

2. professional indemnity

Pharmacy Business Location Ensure your pharmacy property is suitable

When ensuring your pharmacy property is suitable, some things to consider include:

  • Security alarms;
  • Video surveillance;
  • Fire or flood resistant building materials;
  • Ongoing property maintenance for fire prone areas such as removing leaf litter and long grass and regularly clearing cutters; and
  • Nearby vegetation and businesses that may pose an increased fire risk.

Back-up and Secure your Data

  1. It is important to regularly back up digital records and store the backup in a secure offsite location or in a cloud based storage.
  2. Check that you have up-to-date virus protection, secure networks and firewalls and secure password protection procedures

List of Emergency Contacts Keep a list of emergency phone numbers in a secure and accessible location

Your list of emergency phone numbers should include:

  1. Insurance company
  2. Bank
  3. Employees
  4. Wholesalers
  5. Nearby pharmacies
  6. Nearby medical centre
  7. Alarm monitoring company
  8. Landlord
  9. Specific trades (Electrician, Carpenter, Plumber, IT support etc)
  10. Business owners
  11. Dispensing Software Contact Details
  12. (Shopping Centre pharmacies: Centre Management, Centre Security)

Developing an Emergency Management Plan

An emergency management plan includes 3 separate plans to assist you before, during and after an emergency.

  1. The continuity plan - identifies risks, critical areas and how best to protect them.
  2. The emergency action plan - helps you and your staff know what to do in an emergency situation.
  3. The recovery plan - guides your pharmacy's recovery after an emergency.

Emergency Management Plan Template

Business.gov.au have created an emergency management and recovery plan template which takes you through the process of creating a tailored plan for your pharmacy and can be downloaded here.

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Page last updated on: 22 April 2020