What companies tend to get wrong about business continuity

Every business owner knows that having a business continuity plan (BCP) is crucial to surviving any disaster. However, some still tend to overlook certain aspects of a BCP strategy, causing the plan to go up in flames. Ensure a solid BCP by knowing these five critical mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1: Not considering the small details

Once you’ve created a general business continuity plan, you need to think about the specifics to ensure that what you envision is executable. This includes fleshing out logistical considerations like medical aid and technology support.

For instance, you need to inform partner medical providers about your BCP so that they can make arrangements in advance. This may entail asking for key personnel whom your employees can directly contact if they ever need medical support during an incident. You may also need to figure out how your employees can securely access company data in case they can’t physically come to the office. Planning for the tiniest details may save your data and your employees’ lives, so run through your strategy regularly to ensure that they’re up to date and still effective.

Mistake 2: Failing to plan for employees

Companies that can bounce back after unexpected incidents are those that have thought about their employees’ needs when making a BCP, so plan every detail that may concern your staff during a disruption, from evacuation routes to emergency communication procedures. Doing so will ensure that your employees have everything they need to survive the worst.

Discuss your strategy with your employees and ask for their input in matters that concern their safety or ability to work. Also, let them know that you will be there to support them and their families in the event of a crisis. This way, your employees will have peace of mind knowing that the company is there for them, and this, in turn, ensures their loyalty.

Mistake 3: Not showing your employees how the BCP works

While many business owners worry about downtime, they may neglect to explain to employees how to effectively execute the BCP to minimize lost productivity.

Your staff are part of your overall plan, so they must know the BCP strategy to be able to carry out their roles satisfactorily. Demonstrate exactly how your employees are supposed to respond during a crisis, such as informing them who they’re supposed to contact during a natural disaster and what they’re supposed to say to clients if systems are down. Walk them through where and how they will work when the primary office is inaccessible. Then, have your staff do these tasks until they’re confident that they can perform them when a disaster strikes.

Mistake 4: Putting greater priority on operational continuity over employee safety

When an incident occurs, it’s understandable for business owners to assess the disaster’s impact on business. But being solely concerned with operational continuity and neglecting employees’ well-being and safety has consequences, too.

Check on your people first, as they are crucial in executing processes. If you have a data backup plan but no one to facilitate it, then your plan — no matter how meticulous — is rendered useless. Make sure that your workforce is reachable, safe, and able. Make it a priority for the crisis management team to contact your employees and see what help may be given to make their situation better. Supporting your team when the worst happens is a guarantee that they can get back on their feet and return to work more swiftly.

Mistake 5: Not having the right tech solutions in place

You shouldn’t wait for a natural disaster to hit before setting up a toll-free hotline that employees can call in for regular updates. You also shouldn’t wait for a data breach before you start looking for ways to secure your data backups. Without the proper technology solutions to mitigate an incident, your business might face increased risks, prolonged downtime, and steep revenue loss.

Talk to your IT department or consult with a technology specialist to ensure that you have all the tech safeguards you need in case things go south. The right IT solutions will streamline company-wide communication, secure workloads, and most likely minimize downtime.

Want to learn more about business continuity and how it can help your business? Contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site

What companies tend to get wrong about business continuity

Every business owner knows that having a business continuity plan (BCP) is crucial to surviving any disaster. However, some still tend to overlook certain aspects of a BCP strategy, causing the plan to go up in flames. Ensure a solid BCP by knowing these five critical mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1: Not considering the small details

Once you’ve created a general business continuity plan, you need to think about the specifics to ensure that what you envision is executable. This includes fleshing out logistical considerations like medical aid and technology support.

For instance, you need to inform partner medical providers about your BCP so that they can make arrangements in advance. This may entail asking for key personnel whom your employees can directly contact if they ever need medical support during an incident. You may also need to figure out how your employees can securely access company data in case they can’t physically come to the office. Planning for the tiniest details may save your data and your employees’ lives, so run through your strategy regularly to ensure that they’re up to date and still effective.

Mistake 2: Failing to plan for employees

Companies that can bounce back after unexpected incidents are those that have thought about their employees’ needs when making a BCP, so plan every detail that may concern your staff during a disruption, from evacuation routes to emergency communication procedures. Doing so will ensure that your employees have everything they need to survive the worst.

Discuss your strategy with your employees and ask for their input in matters that concern their safety or ability to work. Also, let them know that you will be there to support them and their families in the event of a crisis. This way, your employees will have peace of mind knowing that the company is there for them, and this, in turn, ensures their loyalty.

Mistake 3: Not showing your employees how the BCP works

While many business owners worry about downtime, they may neglect to explain to employees how to effectively execute the BCP to minimize lost productivity.

Your staff are part of your overall plan, so they must know the BCP strategy to be able to carry out their roles satisfactorily. Demonstrate exactly how your employees are supposed to respond during a crisis, such as informing them who they’re supposed to contact during a natural disaster and what they’re supposed to say to clients if systems are down. Walk them through where and how they will work when the primary office is inaccessible. Then, have your staff do these tasks until they’re confident that they can perform them when a disaster strikes.

Mistake 4: Putting greater priority on operational continuity over employee safety

When an incident occurs, it’s understandable for business owners to assess the disaster’s impact on business. But being solely concerned with operational continuity and neglecting employees’ well-being and safety has consequences, too.

Check on your people first, as they are crucial in executing processes. If you have a data backup plan but no one to facilitate it, then your plan — no matter how meticulous — is rendered useless. Make sure that your workforce is reachable, safe, and able. Make it a priority for the crisis management team to contact your employees and see what help may be given to make their situation better. Supporting your team when the worst happens is a guarantee that they can get back on their feet and return to work more swiftly.

Mistake 5: Not having the right tech solutions in place

You shouldn’t wait for a natural disaster to hit before setting up a toll-free hotline that employees can call in for regular updates. You also shouldn’t wait for a data breach before you start looking for ways to secure your data backups. Without the proper technology solutions to mitigate an incident, your business might face increased risks, prolonged downtime, and steep revenue loss.

Talk to your IT department or consult with a technology specialist to ensure that you have all the tech safeguards you need in case things go south. The right IT solutions will streamline company-wide communication, secure workloads, and most likely minimize downtime.

Want to learn more about business continuity and how it can help your business? Contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site

What you need to know about VoIP Quality of Service

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become a popular communications solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. There are so many providers and services to choose from, but how do you pick the right one? One crucial factor you should look into is a vendor’s Quality of Service (QoS).

What is QoS?

VoIP providers and IT experts define QoS as the overall performance of a VoIP system or network. This performance is usually measured by looking at objective statistics like bandwidth usage, transmission delay, call jitter, error rates, etc. Subjective data, like what the end users think of the system’s performance, are also factored in.

Why does QoS vary among providers?

QoS does not only apply to VoIP, but also to traditional phone systems. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the quality of landline calls is near perfect. This is because all traditional phone network providers invest in physical networks and connections that offer high QoS. That means switching from one provider to another doesn’t affect the quality of the calls.
But investments in physical networks are expensive, and customers end up shouldering the costs. The high cost of maintaining the transmission network (phone lines, switches, etc.) is also why there are only a couple of phone providers in most areas. In other words, it’s just too costly for small companies to launch a traditional phone network system.
In comparison, VoIP systems are a lot cheaper to set up and maintain. This has led to a high number of VoIP providers. And because anyone with capital can set up their VoIP systems without having to adhere to a standard, the QoS amongst providers can vary drastically. To find the provider with the best QoS, ask them these three questions:

How much of the network infrastructure do you own?

Almost every VoIP provider will rely on public infrastructure in order to transmit data. The rule of thumb is, the bigger the company’s share in the infrastructure, the higher its QoS is. This is because the provider will have more control over the technology.
One of the best options is to look for facilities-based providers. These companies own almost all of the network that carries VoIP calls and can therefore offer better services and quality.

How much traffic will run over public internet?

Some of the most popular solutions like Vonage will use almost 100% public internet for their traffic. Other companies will use a mixture of public and private networks, often using public internet for more affordable packages and private internet for high-end users. If you often use VoIP for functions that require heavy bandwidth like conference calling, then you may need to sign up for more expensive packages so the QoS doesn’t drop.

What level of quality can you guarantee?

The best providers will be able to guarantee a QoS that is comparable, or even better, than traditional phone networks. This is especially important for businesses that are looking to switch to a full VoIP solution. Ask your prospective provider to run a few tests on your network and to give you a quality assurance. If the numbers are too low for your business needs, look for another provider.
Do you want to know more about how to pick the best VoIP provider and how VoIP can benefit your business? Get in touch with our experts today.

This post was originally published on this site

What you need to know about VoIP Quality of Service

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become a popular communications solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. There are so many providers and services to choose from, but how do you pick the right one? One crucial factor you should look into is a vendor’s Quality of Service (QoS).

What is QoS?

VoIP providers and IT experts define QoS as the overall performance of a VoIP system or network. This performance is usually measured by looking at objective statistics like bandwidth usage, transmission delay, call jitter, error rates, etc. Subjective data, like what the end users think of the system’s performance, are also factored in.

Why does QoS vary among providers?

QoS does not only apply to VoIP, but also to traditional phone systems. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the quality of landline calls is near perfect. This is because all traditional phone network providers invest in physical networks and connections that offer high QoS. That means switching from one provider to another doesn’t affect the quality of the calls.
But investments in physical networks are expensive, and customers end up shouldering the costs. The high cost of maintaining the transmission network (phone lines, switches, etc.) is also why there are only a couple of phone providers in most areas. In other words, it’s just too costly for small companies to launch a traditional phone network system.
In comparison, VoIP systems are a lot cheaper to set up and maintain. This has led to a high number of VoIP providers. And because anyone with capital can set up their VoIP systems without having to adhere to a standard, the QoS amongst providers can vary drastically. To find the provider with the best QoS, ask them these three questions:

How much of the network infrastructure do you own?

Almost every VoIP provider will rely on public infrastructure in order to transmit data. The rule of thumb is, the bigger the company’s share in the infrastructure, the higher its QoS is. This is because the provider will have more control over the technology.
One of the best options is to look for facilities-based providers. These companies own almost all of the network that carries VoIP calls and can therefore offer better services and quality.

How much traffic will run over public internet?

Some of the most popular solutions like Vonage will use almost 100% public internet for their traffic. Other companies will use a mixture of public and private networks, often using public internet for more affordable packages and private internet for high-end users. If you often use VoIP for functions that require heavy bandwidth like conference calling, then you may need to sign up for more expensive packages so the QoS doesn’t drop.

What level of quality can you guarantee?

The best providers will be able to guarantee a QoS that is comparable, or even better, than traditional phone networks. This is especially important for businesses that are looking to switch to a full VoIP solution. Ask your prospective provider to run a few tests on your network and to give you a quality assurance. If the numbers are too low for your business needs, look for another provider.
Do you want to know more about how to pick the best VoIP provider and how VoIP can benefit your business? Get in touch with our experts today.

This post was originally published on this site

4 Ways EMRs assist healthcare organizations

Electronic medical records (EMRs) digitize your paper medical records and, when properly implemented, can generate a positive return on investment and improve organizational efficiency. The major drawbacks of paperwork are that it hinders a healthcare institution’s ability to treat patients and slows down processes. An EMR system eliminates these issues and offers a host of benefits to healthcare organizations. Here are just a few reasons to switch from paper records to EMRs.

1. Better communication

Fast and accurate communication between medical departments is key to providing quality healthcare. From staying in touch with ambulance staff to instantly contacting emergency room doctors, a healthcare institution must have an effective means of communication, and this is where an EMR system comes in.

EMR software enables frontline staff to quickly transfer a patient’s medical records to other departments in real time. When the patient’s information is recorded in the system, other medical staff will no longer need to question the patient about his or her conditions again, and can proceed to treating the patient in a timely manner.

2. Lower costs

Reducing operational costs is a must for hospitals operating on a tight budget, and cutting redundant expenses is therefore necessary. When it comes to paper records, a hospital could be using over hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper each year.

By implementing an EMR system, hospitals can reduce the labor behind recordkeeping and cut down on paper costs. It also reduces the likelihood of costly errors when handing out prescription medications because of illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation.

3. Scalable recordkeeping

Before EMRs, hospitals needed to devote an entire room, if not more, for storing the paper records of patients. When a hospital grows, the number of patients increases along with it, and more space is required for physical data storage. EMR software provides a more efficient way of storing data on a virtualized platform compared to traditional paper records. The recordkeeping process is completely scalable, and EMRs will not take up valuable space in the hospital like paper records do.

4. Efficient treatment

With the help of an EMR system, patient checkups take less time since doctors can quickly access a patient’s medical record and reference the information needed to schedule appointments. When the turnaround time for the recording and prescription processes is reduced, a hospital can greatly improve its patient workflow.

Moreover, if further consultation or testing is required, physicians in other locations can simultaneously view a patient’s medical record on their computers, and get the latest test results and recommendations from previous doctors. EMR systems essentially enable healthcare providers to collaborate more efficiently with one another.

A hospital’s goal is to provide better patient care, and the benefits of EMRs can help improve various medical processes, including quicker access to patient information, better collaboration between departments and healthcare providers, and improved patient workflow. For more information on how to implement EMR software in your healthcare institution, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

This post was originally published on this site

4 Ways EMRs assist healthcare organizations

Electronic medical records (EMRs) digitize your paper medical records and, when properly implemented, can generate a positive return on investment and improve organizational efficiency. The major drawbacks of paperwork are that it hinders a healthcare institution’s ability to treat patients and slows down processes. An EMR system eliminates these issues and offers a host of benefits to healthcare organizations. Here are just a few reasons to switch from paper records to EMRs.

1. Better communication

Fast and accurate communication between medical departments is key to providing quality healthcare. From staying in touch with ambulance staff to instantly contacting emergency room doctors, a healthcare institution must have an effective means of communication, and this is where an EMR system comes in.

EMR software enables frontline staff to quickly transfer a patient’s medical records to other departments in real time. When the patient’s information is recorded in the system, other medical staff will no longer need to question the patient about his or her conditions again, and can proceed to treating the patient in a timely manner.

2. Lower costs

Reducing operational costs is a must for hospitals operating on a tight budget, and cutting redundant expenses is therefore necessary. When it comes to paper records, a hospital could be using over hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper each year.

By implementing an EMR system, hospitals can reduce the labor behind recordkeeping and cut down on paper costs. It also reduces the likelihood of costly errors when handing out prescription medications because of illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation.

3. Scalable recordkeeping

Before EMRs, hospitals needed to devote an entire room, if not more, for storing the paper records of patients. When a hospital grows, the number of patients increases along with it, and more space is required for physical data storage. EMR software provides a more efficient way of storing data on a virtualized platform compared to traditional paper records. The recordkeeping process is completely scalable, and EMRs will not take up valuable space in the hospital like paper records do.

4. Efficient treatment

With the help of an EMR system, patient checkups take less time since doctors can quickly access a patient’s medical record and reference the information needed to schedule appointments. When the turnaround time for the recording and prescription processes is reduced, a hospital can greatly improve its patient workflow.

Moreover, if further consultation or testing is required, physicians in other locations can simultaneously view a patient’s medical record on their computers, and get the latest test results and recommendations from previous doctors. EMR systems essentially enable healthcare providers to collaborate more efficiently with one another.

A hospital’s goal is to provide better patient care, and the benefits of EMRs can help improve various medical processes, including quicker access to patient information, better collaboration between departments and healthcare providers, and improved patient workflow. For more information on how to implement EMR software in your healthcare institution, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

This post was originally published on this site