Business Continuity Plan - Responding to COVID-19

Needless to say these are unusual and stressful times, particularly in the healthcare sector!  I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what we're doing 'behind the scenes' to manage this situation. I also wanted to let you know some of the usage trends we're seeing along with some learnings from these.

How We're Responding

We have activated measures in our Business Continuity Plan to ensure the ongoing smooth operation of Power Diary should the effects of COVID-19 escalate, and to maximise the protection of our team.  Fortunately at present, despite having team members operating globally in over nine countries, none of our team members have yet caught the Coronavirus. 

The following measures have been implemented:

  • All team members are now working from home. This includes all leadership, technical and support staff. We have taken this measure to protect the team from the exposure risks of an office environment, and also to reduce the risks of team members being exposed and becoming ill at the same time.
  • We have temporarily paused the release of any new major features, or non-critical updates.  Bug fixes, performance enhancements, and new features that may aid practices to cope with the current circumstances will continue to be released as normal.
  • Rapid changes in the use of some features (i.e. a 900% increase in bulk SMS sending in four days) can highlight previously hidden inefficient system process. Normally these sorts of issues would emerge slowly with the natural growth of Power Diary and would be resolved before any detectable impact for users. To address this we've increased our system performance and monitoring processes to allow for faster identification and resolution of any performance issues.  
  • We're monitoring all key technology, service and integration partners to ensure we can identify and mitigate issues should they experience any changes to service provision.
  • We understand that health practices globally are having to make significant changes to operations within very tight timeframes.  As such, in addition to any urgent matters, we are now also prioritising support enquiries related to COVID-19. This will help ensure you get the fastest possible assistance for any COVID-19 related questions.  If your support enquiry also contains other less pressing questions you may receive a second reply from us at a later point addressing these.

Some Key Trends We're Noticing

The following is a list of usage trends we're noticing:  (I've included links to 'How to' Knowledge Base articles where relevant.)

  • Increased bulk SMS and emails being sent
  • Increase use of multiple reminders feature i.e. 1 and 3 days prior to an appointment
  • Broader adoption of electronic Treatment Notes
  • Increased use of the Client Portal for client self-bookings and online prepayment via our integration with Stripe
  • Increased first time logins from new devices and IP addresses (Likely due to more people accessing Power Diary from home.)
  • Increased enquiries relating to the use of video conferencing with Power Diary, particularly Zoom
  • Increased use of online credit card processing on checkout (Likely to reduce time spent at the reception area, and prevent card handling.)
  • Spike in first-time Medicare integration use. (Australia only)
  • Existing accounts are adding more new users than average (Likely due to practices ensuring team members are not sharing logins when moving to work-from-home arrangements.)

A Few Tips

From these usage trends and from evaluating the nature of enquiries made to our Support team we can offer the following suggestions:

  • Ensure all people who access your Power Diary account have their own unique login. Users are free, so adding users does not increase your costs. Ensuring everyone has their own login not only increases security, but makes it easier to identify which actions were performed by which users in the Log File.
  • Make sure that team members update their web browsers so they are using the latest versions.  This is particularly important for team members who may be using their personal laptops for work at home.  Speaking of browsers, we recommend Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari. Whilst Power Diary will operate on nearly all browsers, we do not recommend using Internet Explorer as this has been discontinued by Microsoft.
  • Keep communication with clients as direct and simple as possible. Send critical messages via SMS due to the near 100% read rate. Send long or less critical information via email when the lower open rate is less important.
  • If your practice is likely going to be providing Telehealth services, it is best to set this up on clinicians' computers as early as possible. The requirement to self-isolate can occur quickly, and setting up telehealth at the last minute can add to already heightened stress levels.  We've created an article on how to setup Zoom here.

We'll be sure to add to this list as new patterns and tips emerge.

Take care,

Damien, on behalf of the Power Diary Team

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