« Business Continuity

Report: Tabletop exercises and other preparations benefit hospitals

When nurses and other emergency personnel are well-versed in the business continuity plan for a hospital, there can be a quicker recovery if a crisis situation occurs.
When nurses and other emergency personnel are well-versed in the business continuity plan for a hospital, there can be a quicker recovery if a crisis situation occurs.

In times of crisis, it's crucial for hospitals to be prepared. If patient injuries mount, nurses and other emergency personnel need to know the precise plan for keeping operations controlled.

This blog recently reported on how well a comprehensive risk management assessment could benefit medical organizations in dire situations. After Hurricane Sandy, East Coast facilities were able to keep track of patient data and ensure that proper care was given, even as certain locations had to be evacuated.

Another key factor to keep in mind though, especially with technology evolving more each day, is the risk of data breaches within hospitals. A thorough business continuity plan will account for this possibility, and will ensure that all employees are trained in the best practices to keep patient information safe and secure.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20 million patient records have been compromised in the last two years alone, showing that data breaches are rising at an alarming rate.

InformationWeek Healthcare recently spoke with Doug Pollack, chief strategy officer at ID Experts, who attended a seminar held by the American Hospital Association. Industry experts were brought together to discuss security, compliance, and legal issues regarding best practices and how to create a culture of organizational compliance.

"We're increasingly finding … hospitals are interested in testing their response plan," Pollack told the news source. "They'll assemble folks and do a tabletop walk through of a sample data breach."

When organizations conduct a business impact analysis, they can assess how they might be affected from various situations and find the best solutions for quick business resumption. Hospitals and other medical facilities need to be well-trained in response and security techniques to keep patients – and their health information – as safe as possible.