Healthcare providers perform a special role in society, that of looking after the frail, sick and vulnerable of all ages. With this role comes the special responsibility of ensuring that those individuals entrusted to them receive the highest quality of care and are kept safe from harm.
The quality of that care is consequently monitored by a number of regulatory bodies, such as the Care Quality Commission, local government and the NHS in the UK. These bodies rightly focus on the quality of the care given to patients, but they do also turn their attention towards the duty of healthcare providers to keep people safe and manage risks to individuals and to the service provided.
Healthcare providers are usually subject to a stringent emergency planning regime. They must be in a position to show that they can effectively counter industry-specific incidents with the proper set of business continuity services, all while also attending patients.
In critical situations, healthcare providers face significant operational challenges related to staffing, resources, technology and patient care. Whether it's an unforeseen crisis or regulatory compliance, Crises Control can equip healthcare providers with the integrated communications platform needed to reach out to their response teams and stakeholders, handle the emergency and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.
The business continuity services that can be managed through Crises Control really optimize the process of countering all unwanted risk in companies.
Crises Control Facilitates:
- Business Continuity Planning
- ISO 22301/27001 Compliance
- Emergency Mass Notification
- Disruption Event Exercises
- Response Team Performance
- Crisis Incident Management
- Emergency Planning
- Stakeholder Communications
- IT Problem Resolution
- Incident Response Audit
Research that Crises Control has carried out with social care providers shows that hundreds of NHS funded social care homes across England will need to raise their game in order to meet their emergency planning obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Many of these care homes are currently not even aware that they are covered by the Act if they receive NHS funding for any of their clients. All of them will have to meet strict emergency planning guidelines, including the staging of exercise to test their business continuity plans every six months.
The full research paper, 'Business continuity planning and social care homes' covering the regulatory regime in social care homes, business drivers of IT business continuity planning, business disruption threats in the sector and recommendations for best practice, is available as a free download.
In the UK, the Care Quality Commission has put in place a formal requirement for all private social care providers to have business continuity planning in place in order to comply with Regulation 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
NHS funded providers, which includes all NHS hospitals, GP surgeries and even private care homes that receive some NHS funding are subject to a more stringent emergency planning regime under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, and must be in a position to show that they can effectively respond to emergencies and IT business continuity incidents while maintaining services to patients.
In the US healthcare providers and insurers covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 are required to draft a business continuity plan, defined as a routinely updated plan for responding to a system emergency, that includes performing backups, preparing critical facilities that can be used to facilitate continuity of operations in the event of an emergency, and recovering from a disaster.
Similar regulations now apply in many other developed countries around the world, as public authorities recognise the essential nature of business continuity planning to the continuation of healthcare provision in times of emergencies and catastrophic events.