Operational resilience is a key objective during global events such as the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
As part of our pandemic preparedness planning, Sonic HealthPlus (SHP) has implemented contingency measures aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce and clients with a view to minimising impact on service delivery.
This planning is being overseen by SHP’s dedicated Pandemic Preparedness Team (PPT) whose focus is the development of strategies, policies and procedures designed to support and care for our teams and clients as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop. Working collaboratively with the broader Sonic Healthcare group, the PPT is constantly monitoring World Health Organisation (WHO) and Government updates, distilling information so as to be able to provide the most current and relevant advice to our workforce and clients.Please see our COVID-19 page in the Health Hub section of our website: https://www.sonichealthplus.com.au/health-hub/item/covid-19.
Business Continuity Strategies
SHP’s Pandemic Preparedness Team has instituted a number of business-wide strategies designed to mitigate the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus:
- Procurement of adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies and consumables;
- Institution of social distancing measures, wherever feasible;
- Deferment of all non-essential business travel (international and domestic);
- Reduced face-to-face interaction and increased availability and use of video-conferencing facilities;
- Self-quarantine for all employees and contractors returning from any overseas destination;
- Self-quarantine for all employees and contractors with flu-like symptoms or who may have had COVID-19 contact;
- Implementation of a travel register for those who have travelled and returned from any overseas destination;
- Flexible working arrangements including working from home where and when feasible and appropriate;
- Increased cleaning standards across the business;
- Reinforcement of infection controls and good personal hygiene;
- Suspect case in-clinic isolation measures;
- SMS notifications to those attending for pre-employment and periodic medicals that they should not attend the clinic if they have flu-like symptoms, have been in contact with COVID-19, or have returned from overseas within the past 14 days;
- Implementation of enhanced telemedicine protocols to reduce the need for direct patient contact;
- Strict plans related to Visitor protocols;
In addition, a number of operational strategies have been implemented with a view to ensuring service provision:
Essential Medical Services Continuity
SHP has identified vulnerable locations (primarily remote and regional clinic sites) and assembled emergency redundancy teams comprising doctors, nurses, paramedics, allied health and support staff ready to deploy in the event personnel at a vulnerable site are required to self-isolate.
Essential Corporate Services Continuity
Business critical Corporate Services Teams have been split over multiple locations or, where practical, asked to work from home in order to mitigate entire business unit quarantine.
Metropolitan Clinic Services Continuity
SHP has instituted the following measures to ensure continuity of service provision in metropolitan areas:
- Preparations for intermittent isolation-driven clinic closures and re-direction of patients and customers to alternative sites;
- Preparations for intermittent demand-driven clinic closures, re-deployment of personnel, and re-direction of patients and customers to alternative sites.
Given the fluidity of the developing situation, the PPT is meeting daily to ensure communication and operational strategies remain relevant, accurate and current. Overall, the aim is to ensure our workforce and clients are informed, have clear direction, and the tools necessary to help ensure uninterrupted provision of all business-critical functions.
Please contact us via the below channels if you require support in preparing your workplace.
CEO Sonic HealthPlus