Think of it as insurance. You dislike having to pay for it, but it is a critical need in any organization. You can be ready for planned downtimes, but what happens when it is unplanned?
As sited in HealthIT.gov about EHR downtimes, “Such unavailability can introduce substantial safety risks to organizations that have not adequately prepared. Effective contingency planning addresses the causes and consequences of EHR unavailability, and involves processes and preparations that can minimize the frequency and impact of such events, ensuring continuity of care."
- Downtime planning teams should include input from practicing clinicians to ensure all clinical workflows and processes are addressed.
- Develop a communication plan to include all hospital staff as everyone is impacted during a downtime. Nothing is worse than finding out about a planned downtime as it occurs.
- Make sure notices are sent out well in advance via email or a message posted on the sign-on page. Big font and bold lettering should capture their attention.
- While it can be difficult to know how long a downtime will last, offer periodic status updates to reduce frustration. Are you able to post statuses on another system that is up and running?
No matter what solution you decide to use, being prepared for a downtime will alleviate stress on your hospital staff and ultimately maintain patient safety – but even the best tools require planning and best practices to implement.
Ready to learn more about a downtime solution? We're offering a summer powercast for MEDITECH users specifically to help you prepare for a planned or unplanned downtime, particularly if you're upgrading within the MEDITECH platform. Register for this 30 minute demonstration of CareContinuity™, a comprehensive downtime solution, coming up on August 7 at 12:00 ET.