Why Every Healthcare Organization Needs a Pandemic Preparedness Plan

As a society, we are adapting to a new way of living life through a protective lens as we engage in a ‘new normal’ that encompasses maintaining six feet of social distance, virtually touring the Louvre, or connecting with colleagues over yet another Zoom meeting. While a number of Americans have the luxury of working-from-home, the American healthcare system has been pressed, tested and stretched thin by COVID-19. It’s been pushed to the limit in ways that will have rippling effects for years to come.

While HIPAA regulations require healthcare organizations to have disaster recovery plans in place, most existing plans lack the scope, detail and forethought to address situations as severe as a global pandemic. Yet there is hope as we learn from our mistakes and shortcomings and in doing so become better positioned to address the next crisis.

Listed below are a few steps healthcare providers should consider as they continue to confront the challenges of COVID-19 while simultaneously improving their long-term disaster recovery plans in advance of the next crisis.

Key considerations for disaster recovery planning

  1. Critical personnel

    Determine the critical personnel your facility requires to remain operational. Once identified, create two categories: those who must work at the hospital and those who can work virtually. Once critical personnel have been categorized, management can determine how to maximize available space. An example would be converting administrative offices into treatment areas, increasing bed count and capacity to treat critical patients.

  2. HIPAA-compliant technology

    Once you have determined personnel who can work virtually, deploy technology solutions that will enable staff to work from home in an encrypted setting. Consider solutions that can integrate with your EHR, enable inter-departmental workflow efficiencies and allow for the real-time sharing of data and patient records.

  3. Established work-from-home (WFH) program

    An established WFH program enables hospitals to efficiently respond and adapt to disasters. When a hospital wants to roll out a new WFH program as soon as possible, there will inevitably be learning curves and adjustments. By having an established WFH program, hospitals can expand their virtual presence with confidence and a deeper understanding of best practices.  Based on previous implementations and virtualizations, we have simplified the process into our 4 Steps to Implementing a Work-From-Home Program in Your Hospital.

A proven solution

Over the last decade, a number of Vyne Medical clients have leveraged our technology enabling their staff to work from home. The Trace® platform is currently helping hundreds of hospitals enable thousands of employees to work remotely in departments including patient access, revenue cycle, quality review and organizational compliance, patient experience, IT, and more.

Trace provides digital access to critical healthcare communication – voice, fax and images – tying them to the patient record for improved financial performance, physician/staff alignment and patient experience. Trace enables day-to-day workflow enhancements that play an even more critical role during periods of crisis and chaos. The platform:

  • Enables staff to work from home
  • Optimizes workflow between departments
  • Creates paperless environments through cloud-based faxing
  • Stores conversations (in-person or over the phone) in a central repository for quality assurance
  • Helps to overturn denials with documented proof

To learn more, we invite you to review our recent webinar featuring one client’s story about how they leveraged Trace to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19.

We are here to help. Contact us to schedule a call with one of our Vyne Medical healthcare solution experts today.



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