Keeping a pharmacy open and running in a crisis requires planning and preparation. To ensure business continuity is as smooth as possible, consider the points below.
Backups are a necessity and should not be underestimated for risk mitigation. If a major event (e.g., flood or earthquake) incapacitates your business then an off-site backup is the last line of defence from complete loss.
- Ensure backups are done at least daily and are accessible off-site.
- Test backups routinely to ensure that they able to be restored in case of emergency i.e., the data is valid. Cloud-based solutions like Toniq Vault will do automatic backups and test them for data integrity.
A stable power connection is crucial, especially in emergency situations.
- Consider a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) for each business-critical workstation (e.g., server) and any other infrastructure such as local network and internet connection.
Internet / Health Network
Many services require an internet connection including EFTPOS and NZePS. Your Connected Health network connection is required for ePrescribing, Special Authority lookups, and claiming.
- Investigate having a backup internet connection such as a 4G hotspot for the router.
Laser printers require a high amount of energy to print - you may want a backup plan where you can print any required receipts or labels.
- Look into a contingency plan for sufficient power to run the label printer, as well as the server.
If you are unable to return to the premises due to a major event, you will need a device off-site to restore the most recent Toniq backup onto.
- Possibly invest in a laptop or workstation that is not permanently at the pharmacy.
Depending on the event you may need to contact customers, suppliers, and other interested parties.
- Have contact details for Te Whatu Ora, Pharmac, and your district portfolio manager so you are able to get advice as to what best to do in the situation.
- Plan how to contact patients and customers in an emergency, to advise them of any changes to prescription availability, or other interruption to business. Texting is a great way to send out bulk comms to your customer base.