Every business needs a continuity plan. However, it’s often one of the areas that get completed after a significant scale incident occurs. Although many healthcare organisations have overall procedures in place, the need to put them into practice typically never arises. With this in mind, it can be challenging to play out specific events if a company has never experienced them.
This plan should be in place for all types of disasters that could occur in a business. From fire, flood, industrial action, and pandemics, all need to be considered and part of business policies. So where do you start? The NHS and the government both have toolkits to help you create a tailored plan for your business, but here’s an overview of the things to consider when creating it.
Looking at the short-term and long-term impact
Whatever impacts your business, as the owner, you will need to consider the short term and long term effects on how you carry out ‘business as usual’. Thinking about areas such as:
–Staff numbers and whether they can come to work
–Accessibility to your premises
–Supplier deliveries and access to essential PPE
–Partnering with other companies to ensure services can be resumed
What should be included on the plan?
There are several elements to include on a business continuity plan, including:
–Name of person responsible for delivering the plan if required
–Identifying essential functions that need to deliver services even if a disruption occurs
–Implement how services will be restored in the coming weeks and months
–Identify critical things you need to get things back to normal as quickly as possible
With the above aspects in mind, there are also several other things to consider ensuring you can adapt your plan quickly and easily. These include:
Create mock-up scenarios
To understand how everything might work in a significant event, creating scenarios that you may face is a great idea to see how it all works together. This can help you tweak the plan accordingly and give you adaptive measures depending on the incident.
Create a list of reliable suppliers
A significant aspect of continuity planning is partnering with suppliers that can get you what you need quickly and efficiently. In the healthcare sector, you may require access to PPE and general practise equipment to carry out services. Compiling a list of companies such as the medical supermarket will ensure you have a reliable partner that has specialist equipment ready and available.
Get to know your technology
In some cases, your business may need to work remotely, so you must be equipped for home set-up. Situations can evolve rapidly, and technology is an essential gateway to access information for your business. You may also need to speak with people via video call and triage people accordingly. Equipping your practice and remote staff with the right technology for the job will make getting back to services more streamlined.
Business continuity is a critical process to ensure you can return to normal as soon as possible. Take a look at your current policy and consider whether it needs updating.