“Keeping up with COVID-19” Webinar Recap: Business Continuity during Recovery and Beyond

By nThrive | Posted: 06/09/2020

nThrive health care business continuity COVID-19

Hospitals and health care organizations across the country must be proactive in making decisions regarding business continuity to mitigate business disruption and maintain colleague and patient satisfaction.

In the nThrive webinar, “Health Care Business Continuity and Recovery for COVID-19 and Beyond,” part of the Keeping up with COVID series, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Product Management Mark Janiszewski, and Senior Vice President of Service Line Management Laxmi Patel, outlined plans for business continuity and business recovery as the country adjusts to “the new normal” stemming from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

Watch the nThrive webinar replay, download the presentation HERE and see how nThrive can help your hospital or health care organization improve your business continuity and recovery plans going forward.

Creating a business continuity plan

According to Investopedia.com, a business continuity plan starts by creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to an organization. The plan ensures that personnel and assets can function quickly despite disruptions.

How prepared are U.S. health care organizations today to overcome current business continuity hurdles? In an informal poll during the nThrive webinar, 67% of attendees indicated that their plans have room for improvement, 33% responded that their plans “rocked.” Janiszewski shared that those responses align with what he and colleagues have observed, “Many nThrive client health care organizations planned well, but experienced a few surprise ‘Aha’ moments where they ‘hadn’t thought of that’ or wondered ‘how do we keep that going?’”

Business Continuity Plan for Any Emergency

Patel offered a series of questions to help health care providers build a business continuity plan, mitigating disruption to employees while ensuring patient satisfaction:

  • Are you able to provide actual medical services?
  • Are you easily able to move resources to telecommute/work from home?
  • What staff will be unable to perform due to sickness, family leave or due to a role transition?
  • Can your resources be cross-trained?

Supplement Resources for Extra Support

Here is a list of staff resources you can build into your hospital or health care organization’s continuity plan. Vendors like nThrive are already providing this support to organizations:

  1. Medical Coders – interim services for inpatient and ambulatory
  2. CDI specialists – backfill resources who cannot work or work remotely
  3. Physician second-level review – provide clinical standard and guideline recommendations and support regarding length of stay or patient statusing
  4. Billers – technology-agnostic remote billers for interim medical billing support to get the bills out efficiently
  5. A/R Services – billing/collection process management; staff or management augmentation
  6. COVID-19 uninsured coverage verification – provide uninsured coverage verification to validate patients and ensure submission for reimbursement through CARES Act
  7. Paper claims management – print claims on paper and mail to payors that don’t accept electronic versions of claims
  8. Administrative support – support for printing or scanning that cannot be done via remote worksite

Janiszewski also shared a list of technology requirements for successful continuity to further strengthen your hospital or health care organization’s revenue cycle during recovery and beyond.

  • Data security – ensure colleagues are provided organization-provided security software and recent software updates, VPNs with strong end-to-end encryption, credentialing and more. nThrive software solutions are SaaS centrally hosted single instance solutions. They’re built to be we accessible and remotely accessible, either from a controlled device or from the institution – even a personal device if preferred.
  • Data infrastructure – to move data nimbly between organizations, providers and patients without losing productivity in altered work environments.
  • Equipment needs – Have a plan ready to execute that provides colleagues with equipment essential to sustain job performance and the revenue cycle.
  • Software needs – Using more standardized technology provides easier pivot to handling technologies going forward.
  • Remote access – Consider the different applications and software that your organization uses for staff to collect on revenues that are earned. Make sure they all work well together and are equally accessible remotely.
  • End point security – Ensuring devices accessing Protected Health Information (PHI) and critical patient information are protected so the company can control them in event of a need.

Business Recovery Planning – From any Emergency

As schedules open up again for elective surgeries on a limited or full-time basis, many hospitals and health care organizations are likely to see pent-up demand from people who have delayed procedures but are now coming back because they feel safe doing so. Be prepared to bring staff back into the office to meet increased patient volumes to ensure heightened levels of patient satisfaction while providing high-quality patient solutions.

As states open up and return to a new normal situation, Patel shared recovery questions organizations can ask to help build their plans for recovery, including:

  • Have you started scheduling elective medical procedures?
  • Are all of your staff able to return to their prior role?
  • Is virtual the new norm?

Technology Support from Vendor Partners

Here’s a list of vendor technology support you can build into your recovery plans. nThrive is currently this support to hospitals and health care organizations for:

Going Forward

As the industry anticipates additional waves of COVID-19, Janiszewski and Patel urged attendees to create and refresh plans to mitigate disruptions, considering long-term continuity and recovery planning as additional services to include as volumes from delayed procedures increase.

“Plan the when, where and how to bring back your furloughed employees. Manage this on a daily and weekly basis. nThrive can help,” Janiszewski said. “Ask yourself, is this an opportunity to come back better than things were before? If/when you bring people back, decide if you want them to serve in the same capacity – same tasks, same division of labor. Where can remote education and new technology, such as bots, give your organization the support it needs? Most of all, be safe and know that trusted vendor partners, such as nThrive, are here to help you any way we can.”

To watch the replay of our nThrive “Keeping Up with COVID” webinar, “Health Care Business Continuity and Recovery for COVID-19 and Beyond,” visit nThrive.com/covid19. To learn more about how nThrive can help your hospital or health care organization business continuity and recovery, feel free to contact our experts by completing this form fill area.