Minimize Downtime Woes with dbtech’s Solutions

13 December 2022

AUTHORED BY: Cally Kobza

We all know the feeling of frustration and dread that comes with technical issues. Your staff is trying to do their job, but they can’t because the systems are down. And it’s not just frustrating for them – it’s costly for your hospital, too. Downtime problems can cause a significant financial strain on already-tight budgets. But, there’s good news: dbtech offers innovative solutions that can help minimize downtime woes and keep your hospital running smoothly. Keep reading to learn more about how our products can help you avoid costly downtime problems in the future.

The Impact of Planned & Unplanned Downtime

Downtime solutions intended to blunt the disruption in hospital operations during planned and unplanned EHR downtime events are no longer a niche response. With ransomware attacks on the rise, such a solution is one that should be a part of every hospital’s downtime mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.  

Hospitals experience extreme disruption to patient care and business practices during a downtime event, including:

  • Registering patients on paper, and keying that data into the EHR after downtime has ended. 
  • Medication, radiology and lab reports, allergy lists and other clinical notes are typically “printed” in preparation prior to a planned EHR downtime event, but many EHR downtime events come unannounced. 
  • Paper stock of integral registration forms like consents, financial authorizations and more must be assured at each registration desk prior to the known EHR event. 
  • Patients are sometimes diverted, and procedures often canceled, due to downtime events. 
  • Test results from ancillary systems are not seen until the EHR comes back online, creating either a phone glut between providers and the resulting department or huge printing jobs in order to communicate the results.

EHR downtime hinders critical hospital operations, causing delays in care and disrupting workflows. Among the various adverse effects on staff, it can also lead to lost revenue and diminished patient satisfaction. 

Common EHR Downtime Scenarios We Encounter

When looking at the unfortunate EHR downtime scenarios that have occurred over the last year, you’ll see how a downtime mitigation plan that includes dbtech’s Downtime Solution can help.

“Patients arrive onsite at the hospital only to surprise staff who didn’t know who to expect!”

With dbtech, all encounters created by the EHR are transmitted to and recorded in our Downtime Solution in real time, thus permitting users to see which patients were pre-registered for any given day. In addition, census reports and clinic schedules can be sent on regular intervals to the Downtime Solution so that patients and visitors can be directed appropriately.

“…Patients noticed growing stacks of paper behind the front desk counter, including on the floor, where staff appeared to be keeping ever-growing amounts of patient information that couldn’t be logged online.”

Where do we begin? To start, with dbtech’s Downtime Solution there will be no stacks of paper piling up, waiting for data to be re-keyed into the EHR. There also won’t be copies of insurance cards, waivers or releases sitting around waiting to be scanned into the Enterprise Document Management (EDM) system. Note, most EDM platforms rely heavily on an operational EHR, thus making them ineffective during an EHR downtime event.

Simplified Patient Registration At All Times

With dbtech’s Downtime Solution, all onboarding documents like insurance cards, driver’s licenses and more are scanned into our solution and later transmitted to your EDM in the appropriate format. Forms like Waivers and Releases are stored in our eForms component, providing a full forms library for both printing physical forms or digital interactive eforms.

The same goes with patient registrations. Instead of keying patient data from paper into the EHR, the dbtech Downtime Solution automatically transmits any registration data that was collected during the downtime event back to the EHR! This will result in a cleaner and more efficient recovery process.

Improving Recovery Time Following an EHR Downtime Event

Planned EHR downtime events don’t last more than a few hours. However unplanned downtime, especially due to ransomware attacks, can last days or even weeks.  It is estimated that recovery efforts take up to two weeks for every one day of downtime. Staff spend time keying data from paper into the EHR and scanning documents into the EDM. After the downtime event is over, regularly scheduled staff must still conduct “business as usual”, so it often requires unscheduled overtime at a great expense to have added staff on hand to complete that recovery. 

Thankfully, much of the downtime recovery effort is mitigated by using dbtech’s solution!  Patient data documented in the Downtime Solution is communicated back to the EHR in HL7 or text format, and documents are exported out electronically. Now, staff can spend less time recovering after a downtime event, thus allowing them to focus on delivering quality patient care.

Unplanned EHR downtime doesn’t have to be a huge disruption in your hospital operations. With the right tools and processes in place, your hospital can continue to run smoothly in spite of any EHR downtime.

Counteracting EHR Downtime with dbtech’s Comprehensive Solutions

While it takes teams of security experts to figure out how to avoid ransomware attacks, it takes a solution like dbtech’s to mitigate the effects of downtime. Have peace of mind knowing that patient data is accessible during a downtime event. Continue to provide quality patient care without worrying about the long hours and mounds of paperwork that come with downtime recovery. With dbtech’s Downtime Solution, staff will be prepared for any intended or unintended disruption. Learn more about our downtime solution. 

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