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Business Continuity Emergency

A business continuity incident has been declared.

Along with hospitals in Oldham, Bury, and Rochdale, North Manchester General Hospital is experiencing digital clinical system disruption and instability. The problem does not stem from a cyberattack, but the technical difficulties are enough to make the situation a crisis.

Some operational difficulties include unreported CT scans, delayed blood tests, and many others. It is said that there's a continuing investigation, but there's no word on when the hospitals will once again be fully functional.

While it seems that the hospitals are working their way toward a resolution, one party is hugely impacted - the patients. The hospitals sent word that patient safety and service maintenance remain top priorities.

Everyone is doing everything they can to resolve the IT issues and minimize the disruption to patients and services. But the fact remains - there are still delays. There is additional waiting time across all services - consultations, laboratory tests and results, diagnostic tests or scans, and outpatient services.

The strain on patients and staff continues despite plans to transition wards from an online to a paper system. According to one senior hospital source, the paper system is functional and "working." Still, staff admits that previously quick tasks are taking much longer because "everything has to be handwritten." Without digital records, the hospital is losing patients.

Why did it come to this? How come the hospital's BCM did not work in this instance? It's too early to tell what went on with the IT systems. Management has not given an official statement of what went wrong. But suffice to say, simply having BCM does not cut it.

Could it be that the business continuity plan is something that has not been tested?

Experts say that the only way to honestly know if a plan will work is to test it. An actual event is always the best way to determine whether something works. However, a controlled testing strategy allows for identifying gaps and improvements.

North Manchester General Hospital and the others would have benefited from testing their business continuity plans to see how they would fare to disruptions such as the one that occurred.

You can benefit as well from testing your business continuity plan. BCM next can assist you in thoroughly testing a plan to determine whether it is complete and will achieve its goal.

Our digital tool can help you test the plans and make improvements in real-time.

Try BCM next to ensure business continuity in emergency situations.

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