You Need to Plan for the Worst and Hope for the Best

You Need to Plan for the Worst and Hope for the Best

By John Newcomb, June 2, 2020

Hope plays a big part when an entrepreneur decides to start a business. But entrepreneurial optimism usually doesn’t forecast the possibility of a global pandemic. Don’t let an unforeseen calamity torpedo your organization’s operational prowess. Instead, make hope integral to creating a business continuity plan. Don’t abandon hope; use readiness as part of your entrepreneurial ambition to build your practice.

Business continuity was once as simple as ensuring standalone contingencies for every analog system your practice used to treat patients. Now, the digital transformation of healthcare means that business continuity must account for the intricate interoperability of all systems coordinated together as one. In other words, your network is only as strong as its weakest link. This qualitative change demands that you plan for contingencies.

The template for planning remains the same. This strategy comprehensively assesses the processes and devices your staff uses to treat patients, how these tasks are affected by sustained downtime and the solutions needed for recovery. But unlike traditional workflows, digital systems enhance efficiency and thus are deployed throughout your practice. So, an outage in one part of your network tends to ripple across the entirety of your network landscape.

That’s why a backup and disaster recovery (DR) plan is essential for your practice’s continuity plan. Not only do you determine which data files need backup, but you also control how they are backed up and where they’re stored. This practice provides a significant contingency plan should a calamity knock down a core part of your IT infrastructure.

Another key element of a continuity plan is transparency. Crises may alter patient treatments or negatively impact PHI, leading to severe consequences if this data is lost or breached.

When disaster strikes—and it will, eventually—your practice needs a plan in place for immediate deployment. As part of your response to a catastrophe, you’ll want strategic points of contact ready to notify patients and staff should circumstances dictate. This transparency requires reliable communication options that keep all stakeholders “in the loop.”

Unquestionably, the COVID-19 pandemic has tested the foundations of all organizations. Without a continuity plan set-aside, future disruptions will likely wreak even greater havoc.

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