Business Continuity Plans for the Healthcare Contact Center

How do we prepare for the unexpected?

This is a question that lurks in the background during normal times but has come to the fore recently. The last number of years have brought all sorts of crises and disasters, including a global pandemic, severe weather events and an increase in cyberattacks.  To prepare for such events, organizations typically have a documented Business Continuity Plan as part of their overall strategy. This is to ensure that they can continue – as much as possible – to sustain operations during an unexpected event.

When it comes to the healthcare contact center, not being properly prepared is luxury that few can afford. Power outages, IT system failure, and office shutdowns all can have very real and immediate impacts on patient welfare and wellbeing. And this is unacceptable for organizations committed to supporting vulnerable patients on their care journey.

As a partner of choice for a range of leading healthcare brands, RelateCare is responsible for ensuring our partner’s patients can connect with healthcare providers around the clock.  Our professional services advisory team have worked with organizations across the globe to design, develop and implement robust Business Continuity Plans for internal operations. Our teams have also executed tried and tested plans in our own leading contact centers.

Important Components to be considered when developing a Business Continuity Plan:

  • CREATION OF AN INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAM
    • Select a team that’s consists of competent, confident members with delegated authority to carry out the roles and responsibilities outlined in the business continuity plan.
  • OUTLINE POTENTIAL SCENARIOS, EVENTS AND RISKS:
    • As much as possible, the plan should outline the most likely kinds of situations to arise. For example, power outages, severe weather events, cyberattacks.
  • DEVELOP FRAMEWORK OF RESPONSES FOR EACH SITUATION
    • Outline of necessary steps to take in the event of each situation. For example, what supports are in place to allow staff to work from home and maintain service levels in the event that your brick-and-mortar contact center needs to close. Has your organization ensured redundancy by operating multiple sites and engaged with an outsourcing partner to increase their share of volumes if need?
  • COMMUNICATION PATHWAYS AND DECISION POINTS DEFINED
    • A key aspect that often goes unnoticed at times of crisis is the communication pathway. Who is the decision maker in each scenario? Who needs to be informed first? Who does not need to be informed? These questions should be answered clearly in the plan. In a healthcare contact center scenario, there is often a wide array of stakeholders that need to be contacted.

By mapping out these key aspects, an organization can ensure quick recovery from a serious scenario which would cause significant disruption to the business. The plan should outline a clear recovery phase which is a solution that can bring the contact center to as close to ‘Business As Usual’ as quickly as possible, prioritizing critical processes.

If you would like to learn more about what goes into a Business Continuity Plan or wish to engage expertise to create your own, then please get in touch with RelateCare to find out more at info@relatecare.com

 

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