In the present day, the most uttered phrase by the entire human race is ‘stay home, stay safe’ as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as all offices, schools, colleges, and other non-emergency establishments are shutting down to mitigate the ill effects of coronavirus, the core members and facility managers have stayed back to safeguard their company. And for those critical facilities that couldn’t stop operations amidst these threats, facility managers have evolved rapidly together with their teams so that they can face risks of operational facilities to serve the greater good.
There are different things to think about what lies beyond this crisis, how it is going to shape the future work structure, and how organizations should balance various responsibilities. But amidst all these negativities, the good sign is that facility managers are now exercising their credibilities to a considerable extent. This profession has always been an important one for all organizations.
In case a healthcare facility already possesses a business continuity plan, it is imperative to include all the procedures which are mandatory for safe continuation of crucial operations during the pandemic. Here goes a checklist of actions that a business continuity plan must cover:
Preparing the medical practice team:
The first step is to determine the internal communications that are required for keeping the staff informed about the outbreak and train them on the practice of those policies. There should be designated personnel for overseeing the practice of the contingency plans while acting as the central point of communication. The next step is identifying which employees are vital for the mainr6 of operations and develop a backup team to take up their position if any undesired situation arises. Also, you should think of how the closure of public commute will affect the staff members’ ability to report to work.
Protecting the staff members and the patients
Your organization should proactively share resources with the patients. The WHO has offered a list of resources for the public which include infographics and informational videos. There should be a well-developed external communication plan so that patients are updated on the closure of offices and timings of visiting the healthcare facility.
Your organization must actively take part in making the staff members aware of the appropriate procedures of handling patients who have been inflicted with COVID-19 infection. There should also be policies for reducing exposure for practice staff and service providers by thoroughly screening patients before allowing them access to the facility. Also, there should be proper enlisting of procedures and protocols to be followed if any of the medical staff develops symptoms of coronavirus.
Conducting an inventory
The inventory for supplies should be reviewed as your healthcare facility is likely to witness a surge in demand due to the breakout of the pandemic. There should be a well-maintained list of the personal protective equipment and other supplies that are required to be purchased. It is wise to have a backup supplier in case your primary supplier is not able to provide supplies to the practical requirements.
Leveraging digital-care solutions
Facility managers should look into different research technologies and other solutions so that some employees can securely work from home. In case such employees should be trained for optimum utilization of their resources, then facility managers should also arrange for it. They must assess if telehealth options can be allowed to deliver care if the patient is not able to access your healthcare physically. There could be a patient messaging app or a total where they can put in their queries and your healthcare facility can offer ideas regarding how to deal with the threats of the pandemic.
Outsourcing the responsibility
As healthcare facilities are working through their business continuity plan, there could be some gaps that your internal team may not be able to fill up. Regardless of whether you need assistance for billing or integrating patient messaging or training your employees, outsourcing these critical responsibilities can offer peace of mind while healthcare providers can do their duties. Such facilities can help a healthcare organization in terms of EHR, practice management, medical billing, and several other facilities.
Despite the rapid spread of this infection, it is a proven fact that the pandemic can be suppressed as well as controlled. Many countries have shown that it can be controlled when we are well prepared. Countries that have successfully detected, isolated, and mobilized people in response to COVID-19 are gradually coming out of it. It is very important to follow the guidelines published by CDC and state healthcare bodies to be updated with important information about stopping the spread and curing those who are afflicted with the disease. If everyone can come together in this crisis, we all can defeat this threat with our country emerging stronger out of it.