Major Healthcare Services Client
Our customer is a leading healthcare services provider in Singapore; operating 9 major clinics sited in strategic locations to make affordable healtcare services easily available to the community. This organization is part of one of the major healthcare service clusters. Their vision is to lead in the field of family medicine using an integrated and holistic healthcare approach. The corresponding mission is to provide patient-centric, preventive and quality healthcare to all patients. The organization is also committed to promoting research, trainng and professional development.
Since it is designated by the government as a public healthcare services provider, the organization is considered one of the essential healthcare services provider. This requires the organization to continue to provide healthcare services even during any major incident or crisis. The key challenge was to identify critical operations that will continue functioning when one or more of its sites is affected by a disaster, and/or when there is a national or regional public emergency. In other words, the organization had to develop a BCM framework and implement BC plans that will enable it to continue critical business operations, and integrate their responses and activities with the relevant public authorities and agencies. The customer also required the BCM implementation to be compliant with the TR19:2005 Technical Reference for BCM (now relaunched as SS540 Singapore Standard for BCM in October 2008). Another key requirement was that the approach must be affordable, and does not require too much resources to be committed for too long.
GMH’s Services and Solution
Generally, the 9 clinics are identical in terms of the organization structure and services; with the exception of the corporate office which is co-located with one of the clinics located in the central region. Firstly, an organizational-wide BCM framework was developed and communicated to the BCM steering committee and BCP project team members. Team members came from diverse backgrounds – finance, administration, facilities management, nursing, doctors, corporate and engineering. To establish a common understanding of BCM, its objectives, the planning process, project timeline and key roles and responsibilities, we conducted a 1-day BCM fundamentals training.
Subsequently, the members went through a series of facilitated workshop and consulting sessions to identify the threats and risks, and determine the critical business functions and minimum business continuity objectives. From the information gathered, we designed a BC strategy that required the HQ and clinics to be segmented into clusters of 2 or 3 sites; with each site backing up the other. This ensured that the customer need not establish separate alternate sites to recover critical business functions. The detail BC plans and procedures were then established and tested. The simulation exercise conducted was designed to identify any gaps in the BC plans.
Contrary to common perception that implementing and sustaining BCM is expensive, and requires the commitment of significant amount of resources, this organization benefitted from using GMH’s cost-effective approach to implement an organizational-wide BCM program and plans. Implementation costs were also minimized by establishing other clinics as alternate sites for any affected site. The BCM framework and planning approach also enabled the customer to fulfill its requirement to achieve TR19 certification.