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Business continuity: Illustrated by hospital ward closures 

Business continuity: Illustrated by hospital ward closures
Business continuity: Illustrated by hospital ward closures

Alex G. Stewart

, Sam Ghebrehewet

, and David Baxter

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date: 19 April 2018

This chapter describes the strategies for business continuity when a significant challenging event affects a hospital or other healthcare provider: the scenario is a norovirus outbreak affecting several wards and staff. The strategy includes business impact analysis and a disaster recovery plan. The importance of developing a generic response plan, rather than a response for each type of incident, is emphasized. The early involvement of the infection control team, isolating or cohorting patients, and liaison with the community are essential components of the response. The chapter describes how a ‘less serious event’ (a few reported cases) may rapidly escalate into a major incident. The business continuity plan should be implemented early, and should identify which services can be stopped, and which must continue. Finally, the importance of holding a multi-agency and multi-professional debrief meeting as soon as the incident is declared over is emphasized, with revision of the plan accordingly.

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