Best Practices for Healthcare Incident Response Plans
In modern healthcare organizations, a high-quality and well-distributed incident response plan (IRP) is absolutely vital. However, the details of such a plan will vary greatly depending on circumstance and need. Every organization needs to keep a variety of governmental requirements and regulations in mind when creating its IRP, but after that, the distinct conditions and specifications are generally up to you and your team. Proper
safety and security solutions require that you keep an open mind, and cast a wide net when drafting an IRP: no detail is too small, no chance too rare.
But there are some best practices that can help in the creation of this critical document. Not only that, but there has been an impressive amount of research done over the years on the notion of IRPs and their relation to the healthcare industry.
The Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality even collaborated to compile a list of key actions to take during an incident:
- Select a multidisciplinary Change Team.
- Ensure representation from three different leadership levels: Senior Leadership, Clinical/Technical Expertise, and Front-line Leadership
- Ensure at least one member is very knowledgeable of team strategies, tools, and training techniques.
- Ensure at least one member has experience in process improvement including performance trending techniques. Relevant skills include data collection, analysis, and presentation.
It's important to keep in mind the wide array of potential incidents in which an IRP will need to be used for; from cyber threats to actual physical incidents at your healthcare buildings or even natural disasters. When coming up with an IRP, it's a good early step to identify what threats may be most likely for your organization and to focus on them initially. This will assist you in determining the true scope of your IRP.
Also, when forming an IRP, it's important to have the full support and participation of executive management, as well as creating a defined team to both implement and create these procedures. This is a true top down situation, where the urgency and priority placed into this plan's creation will filter down to the rest of your organization.
And finally, once the document and procedures have been created, execution in the face of an incident is still your ultimate test. With that in mind, it's imperative to operationally test the actions of your IRP and thoroughly understand its organizational effects. Remember: this is a living document. Additions and subtractions should be welcomed as evolving threats and weaknesses come to light.
NC4 can assist in the organizational communication platforms that every solid IRP requires. Safety and security solutions in healthcare are best served by experience and thoughtful, easy to use systems; we consider this the vanguard of our company. Call today for more information at 877-624-4999.
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