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Using VMS to support business continuity in pharmaceutical companies

Using VMS to support business continuity in pharmaceutical companies Photo

Pharmaceutical companies, tasked with developing vaccines and therapeutics, are among the organizations that must maintain business continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption it has created. Protecting their facilities and employees from risk — including the introduction of the virus into the workforce — is a paramount concern for enterprise leadership and, indeed, society in its entirety. No one wants to take risks with the health and productivity of the highly-specialized and difficult-to-replace professionals that are developing solutions. From all indications, maintaining operations and workforce health is going to require long-term management until effective treatments are produced and distributed. This means that there must be systems that can reliably keep these facilities safe over time.

Unfortunately, facility visitors can be vectors of infection. While many in-person visits can be canceled, some are essential. Supplies must be delivered. Facility maintenance must be conducted. In some cases, employees must move from one site to another. While completely eliminating the risk posed by visitors is impossible, reducing it isn’t. VMS can play a central role in doing so and protecting the company.

There are two main ways that pharmaceutical companies can use VMS to reduce health risks:  visitor screening and information sharing among sites.

Screening: Getting information is the first act involved in transforming risk from unknown to manageable. Using Traction Guest’s Experience Editor, administrators can adjust workflows during the pre-registration stage (when employees send invitations and related messages) and sign-in stage to ask questions that can screen for high-risk visitors. Examples of such questions include:

  • Do you live with someone who works in the health care field?
  • Do you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
  • Have you been in contact with someone with such symptoms?
  • Have you recently traveled outside of your city?

Specific questions and what constitutes unacceptable risk will have to be determined by each organization with the guidance of public health officials. However, questions such as these, answered before a guest’s arrival on-site, can provide the information necessary to determine whether that individual should be granted access to your facilities or interact with your employees.

Information sharing: The organization should seek to minimize potential spread on-site in case an individual passed screening but is nonetheless carrying the virus. This is possible, as people may have unknowingly been infected during the regular course of activities in the community and may not show symptoms. Prior to the visit, employees should use VMS to communicate detailed instructions to guests on how to proceed once they arrive on-site and guidelines that describe social distancing, hand sanitizing, and personal protective equipment standards and procedures.

Expanding the case for going digital

In addition to convenience and auditability, health risk reduction has become an important reason to implement the flexible functionality of a digital visitor management system. The ability to use Traction Guest’s highly-granular Experience Editor to adjust workflows and deliver information, along with its pre-registration capabilities to automate screening, can help reduce health threats and complement the efforts made by essential businesses to reliably protect themselves and their workforces.