Healthcare Automation Penetration Creates Need for Updated Continuity of Operations

By John Tempesco, AtHoc

Healthcare, like every other industry in history, has reached the inevitable necessity of automating its operations to bring order to the chaos within the environment we live in.  The goal of this investment of billions of dollars is to deliver services to our patients in the most efficacious, efficient and effective manner possible to improve quality within the shrinking resources at our disposal. However, unlike every other industry, healthcare cannot simply stop as a result of the loss of our ability to access the automated tools in place and await its return. Preparation for the inevitable “down time event” is critical for the safety of patients and the continuity of operations. The key to orderly and expeditious restoration of safe and effective operations within the healthcare environment is simple – communication. Communication in the time of uncertainty brings a sense of surety necessary to direct all resources, guiding them to normalization of operations until the return to the steady state. Communication is also the mechanism to expedite its return.

As a result, there is an increasing need for the implementation of mass communication and alerting systems to provide a core platform for communication within the midst of confusion caused by unexpected downtime events.  Deploying a multi-channel, by-directional communication methodology informs every user of essential clinical and administrative systems that you are aware of the situation and directs them to resume operations using their manual back-up procedure immediately.  It eliminates the instantanteous uncertainty by providing guidance and informing users of status throughout the “down time event”. It also frees up essential technical resources focused on returning the production system to operational readiness without the constant interruption from a multitude of users across an expanding continuum of care.

The bottom line – in today’s automated clinical environment an effective, closed-loop communication system ensures that every resource within your entire organization is simultaneously and instantaneously informed of the current situation and efforts involved with restoration so that they can immediately return to the most important job in healthcare – safe and effective quality patient care.

John Tempesco is the Senior Director of Operations and Marketing for Athoc’s Healthcare Group. He has over 3 decades of experience in healthcare and over 2 decades of HIT experience in the private and public sector at such companies as ICA, Companion Technologies and CIMR, Inc.  He was a Hospital Corpsman and Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Navy for 21 years retiring in 1995.  He holds a BS in Business at Lock Haven University and a MHA from Baylor University.  He is a Fellow in both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Life Management Institute, as well as, a Certified Managed Care Executive.