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Pandemic Plan Checklist: Always Keep Up to Date

Carry out careful pandemic planning for businesse with a checklist to keep the impact on work processes as low as possible.

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Why a Pandemic Plan Checklist for the Operational Tasks?

A pandemic can result in a large number of employees falling ill and being absent for long periods, which can seriously disrupt business operations. Sooner or later, such a situation can become a serious test of strength. Although many companies have already had negative experiences with absences due to illness, in many places no pandemic plan for business has been carried out.

A pandemic plan helps companies to protect themselves against the economic consequences of a pandemic and their employees against infection with the pathogen. During a pandemic, the management of a company is confronted with numerous questions and organizational issues within a very short time. A pandemic plan checklist helps to plan everything carefully before the occurrence of such an emergency and to keep an overview of all measures.

This article informs about:

1. Why a pandemic plan is so important

2. The goals of a pandemic plan for businesses

3. The content of a pandemic plan checklist

4. Digital technology for a pandemic plan for business

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Why Is a Pandemic Plan So Important?

With the experience gained from previous pandemics, the effects of a future pandemic can be estimated and planned accordingly. Every company must therefore prepare itself for an event whose exact time and extent it does not know. This generally applies to all emergency and disaster planning. Pandemic planning for business is only a special case.

A pandemic differs in some respects from other types of damage. These are usually local or regional and start suddenly (earthquakes, floods, major accidents, etc.). A pandemic, on the other hand, is a event that is not limited in space and time and that continues to develop. It is difficult to predict the direction of propagation, speed and duration.

The most effective weapon against a virus is vaccination. However, an effective vaccine against the "pandemic" virus is not available right from the start. It must first be developed and produced in sufficient quantities.

At the beginning of a pandemic, therefore, classic methods of hygiene and infection control are used. In the case of an airborne pathogen, these are preventing the absorption of viruses via the respiratory tract (respiratory protection), avoiding contact with possibly infected persons (social distancing) and eliminating contamination (disinfection). In addition, clinical medicine agents, including inhibitory drugs (virustatics) can be used.

These uncertainties about the success of the measures in the case of a pandemic make prior pandemic planning so important. So that in the event of an occurrence, an immediate reaction can be made.

The Goals of Pandemic Plan For Businesses

Acting preventively and averting the consequences of a pandemic is only possible to a limited extent. Once a pandemic-capable virus is in the world, a pandemic can hardly be prevented. Nevertheless, the measures from the pandemic plan checklist should not be omitted. These should be used as effectively as possible to achieve the modest but important goals of pandemic planning:

  1. Slowing of the spread beyond the region. This may result in lead time for regions and countries not yet affected. During this time, the development of a vaccine can be advanced. Preparations can be made for the possible appearance of the pathogen.
  2. Slowing down the spread of the disease in the affected region. In this way, the overburdening of the healthcare system is to be reduced by spreading the number of diseases over a longer period.
  3. Slowing of the morbidity and mortality rates in the population.
  4. Ensuring the supply of vital products and services to the population. To maintain infrastructure, order and security. The available resources should be used as efficiently as possible.
  5. Limiting the damage to the economy using orderly maintenance measures.
  6. Reliable, up-to-date and comprehensive information from decision-makers and the population on the pandemic and its consequences.

The Content of a Pandemic Plan Checklist

A company cannot simply be shut down if many employees are missing. Usually, there are areas and processes that must continue without interruption or can only be interrupted for a short time. Defining these areas or interruption periods, naming the employees who will continue the core processes, naming their deputies who will step in case of illness - all this is part of a pandemic plan for business.

Many companies employ not only their staff. Employees of other employers provide some services. Besides, borrowed personnel can be used in the event of a pandemic. This person must also be considered in the pandemic plan. Besides, services for the company can also be provided by other companies (outsourcing), or your own company must provide services for others.

To create a pandemic plan for your business and use the appropriate checklists, it helps to follow the following 3 steps:

Step 1: Check Possible Effects on the Company

  1. Which business processes are indispensable? What effects would the failure have on the company?
  2. Are there special requirements based on legal obligations, legal regulations, etc. to maintain the functionality of essential business processes?
  3. Are there any contractual obligations under which customers have been promised the provision of services?
  4. What consequences would the loss of your business activities have on the environment? Would the company still be viable after the pandemic?

2. Step: Examine Internal Operating Procedures

  1. Which internal processes must be constantly monitored or cannot be interrupted?
  2. Which suppliers and utilities (e.g. electricity, water, gas) are indispensable for the operation ?
  3. Which services provided by external parties (e.g. maintenance, fault clearance) are indispensable for operation ?
  4. Where must precautions be taken (e.g. fuel supply, medical care)? Where are there dependencies on preferential treatment, special permits from authorities (e.g. access to restricted areas)?

3. Step: Define and Implement Company Goals

  1. identify a person responsible for pandemic planning and preparedness All necessary participants or operational areas should be involved.
  2. In larger companies, a management concept for an influenza pandemic should be established. Does an existing crisis management system also cover the scenario of a pandemic?
  3. Set rules for information and communication, e.g. for the information of employees, customers and the public.
  4. Draw up general rules of conduct, e.g. rules of behaviour in the event of illness of employees and persons in their domestic environment as well as rules on personal hygiene.
  5. Familiarise employees with these rules in an appropriate way, e.g. through instructions, e-mail, intranet or notices.
  6. Check whether further precautionary measures should be taken for employees, e.g. stocking up on medication and personal protective equipment
  7. Support seasonal influenza vaccination and promote the willingness of employees to be vaccinated.
  8. Check organizational measures for their feasibility (define-key personnel and determine their supply)
  9. Follow up on the latest information from the local authorities
  10. Contact chambers, associations or trade organisations and find out about their information and services.
  11. Offer own help in the community and surroundings as well as trade and professional associations.

The time aspect should also be considered in pandemic planning. Contingency planning means planning for events for which there are only assumptions regarding the occurrence and scope. The assumptions are set out in the national pandemic plan for Germany and the pandemic plans of the federal states:

  • Assumptions about the expected rates of disease are contained in the National Pandemic Plan. Here, disease rates of 15, 30 and 50 % of the population are assumed.
  • The total duration of a viral wave is estimated at 8-10 weeks, the peak of the disease is expected to last 3-4 weeks. Through interventions (closing of schools, prevention of encounters, distribution of antiviral drugs) the peak is reached later, and the duration is prolonged. However, the viral wave is attenuated as a result.
  • The total duration of the pandemic is even more difficult to estimate, as it can occur in several waves. However, an effective vaccine may be available at an advanced stage.

Isolated OP mask on the office table

Use Digital Technology for a Pandemic Plan Checklist

To carry out the pandemic plan for your business with pen and paper can be time-consuming and confusing. It isn't easy to see whether the right measures have been implemented, and the right information has reached the right people. There is also an increased risk of data being lost or measures not being implemented.

A better solution, in this case, is to use a digital solution. With Lumiform's mobile app, you can perform any pandemic planning for your business simply by using a tablet or smartphone - online or offline. With the desktop software, you can create pandemic plan checklists and monitor the implementation of the necessary prevention measures. This significantly reduces the risk of quality losses, documentation errors and damage to your reputation.

Lumiform makes it easier to comply with legal requirements for the documentation of pandemic planning by using the mobile app to document everything and by guiding the system through all documentation processes. Clean, transparent documentation helps to avoid errors in pandemic planning and high fines.

The digital app application offers many more advantages for pandemic planning:

  • The flexible form construction kit helps to create an individual pandemic plan checklist for different areas within minutes.
  • Keeping an overview of everything that happens in the different areas of the company.
  • Increase the efficiency of internal processes: Through more efficient communication within the team, with third parties and with management, as well as faster reporting of incidents, you can resolve incidents up to 4x faster than before.
  • Continuous improvement of quality and safety: Internal tests and processes can be continuously optimized through the flexible checklist construction kit. Since Lumiform guides the inspector through the test, no training is required.
  • All reports after using a pandemic plan checklist are generated automatically - this saves the complete postprocessing.
  • Comprehensive analyses help to identify problem areas for pandemic planning in the company more quickly and thus to improve audit processes continuously.
  • The very simple operation offers no margin for error for inspectors on site. The app offers less complexity in documenting or filling out pandemic plan checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.

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