At Syneos Health, our priorities continue to be protecting our employees’ health and safety, and partnering with our customers, sponsors and investigators to deliver life-saving medicines to patients worldwide. As part of our commitment to continuous communication, following our initial Business Continuity Planning (BCP) update, we’re sharing this week’s BCP PULSE to keep you aware of our efforts.
RESPONSIVE, NOT REACTIVE
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, we’ve seen a variety of employee and customer reactions, most following the same general pattern: initial moments of bewilderment, a desire to consume as much information as possible, and now, a calmer dialogue on short- and long-term strategies.
We remain committed to being responsive to the incredibly dynamic environment – not reactive. That means among a sea of guidance, regulations and restrictions, we collect, reconcile and synthesize relevant information with our Transition Management Office to provide guidance to our employees on when – or when not – to act or pivot. We are at the ready to fight this pandemic and address the challenges at hand.
Beyond Business Continuity Planning, we’re also updating you on our perspectives and public health actions to address this pandemic:
- Supporting Monitoring Continuity – If you were unable to join our April 3rd webinar, “Implementing Remote Clinical Trial Monitoring to Ensure Continuity of Trials and Data Preservation – While Keeping Patients Safe,” you can click here to watch the archived version. You can also listen to the latest episode of our COVID-19 podcast series, “Continuity in Clinical Trials,” featuring our President of Clinical Solutions, Paul Colvin.
- Syneos Health Ventilator Initiative – As we continue our public health ventilator educational initiative, bi-level positive air pressure (BiPAP) devices are now an acknowledged bridging option for COVID-19 patients in need of ventilation, with the FDA and American Association for Respiratory Care issuing guidance providing for the use of these devices on an emergency basis. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced the purchase of 3,000 BiPAP machines last week. This option is also gaining visibility from metro and regional media - WABC 11 TV, Triangle Business Journal and WRAL Techwire – as health systems prepare for the shortage of mechanical ventilators and more healthcare professionals may be required to treat outside of their specialty.
BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING UPDATE
Our Business Continuity Planning Transition Management Office (TMO), in alignment with FDA, CDC, WHO and other local and international health authority guidance, includes numerous workstreams. Each week, we’re including select workstream updates to keep you aware of our learnings and efforts.
- Regional/Country Assessment
- Ongoing, standardized assessment of risk indicators and other multi-factorial inputs on a regional and country level, enabling rapid guidance and updates related to working from home, site visit policies, and travel limitations/restrictions.
- Custom-built interactive map displaying operational status of all Syneos Health office locations globally overlaid with COVID-19 reports via John Hopkins University to provide a “near real-time” assessment of our capacity to operate through this crisis.
- Business Technology
- Around-the-clock monitoring to ensure our IT infrastructure remains resilient and is able to support remote work (e.g., increase in use of video and teleconferencing services) and any added load to customer-facing or service delivery technology.
- Custom-built, shared trackers and dashboards help visualize status of key indicators and enable us to focus on areas of concern in near real-time.
- Corporate Communications
- Rapid and real-time internal and external communications planning designed to ensure updates and changes can be communicated swiftly to multiple audiences who need to know specific information.
- Weekly BCP Pulse distribution and real-time COVID-19 Resource Center updates including Corporate, Clinical Monitoring, and Commercial Virtual Field Team learnings, in addition to Subject Matter Expert podcasts to ensure you have access to our latest actions.
- Launch of our “Ask our Experts” internal weekly video series, moderated by our own medical and scientific experts, to answer employee questions and provide real-time perspectives.
- Tracking and recording of any Planned Deviation to ensure project teams have the agility to amend processes to respond to this new operating environment.
- Additional functionality to CTMS and new dashboards to provide project-wide views and monitor site restrictions and flag potential enrollment delays.
- Increased frequency of project essential trainings with more than 3,000 clinical staff in attendance weekly.
- Intense focus on ensuring virtual field teams are able to continue working, based on ongoing communications directly with customers to balance their needs and the safety of our employees.
- Ongoing evaluation of remote field teams to identify best practices and, where appropriate, to have this information inform our post-COVID offerings and activities.
- Rapid survey deployment to healthcare stakeholders – HCPs, payers, clinical sites – to gain data and insights into COVID-19 response, impact and needs.
- Human Resources
- Global, regional and local management and guidance surrounding the health and well-being of our people, their families and the communities where we work and serve, in line with public health practices, and local labor and employment requirements.
- Rapid and real-time COVID-19 potential exposure and positive identification self-reporting measures and protocols aligned with local guidance and contact tracing.
- Compilation of company-wide FAQ repository managed by the TMO where employee questions are logged, assigned and tracked to ensure a timely response.
We’re regularly updating our COVID-19 Resource Center with capabilities and perspectives to navigate, deliver and learn together. We’re looking to exchange your learnings and experiences too. Should you have ideas, comments or concerns, please contact us.
Thank you for your partnership.