16th September 2003
Is the healthcare industry really in good health if disaster strikes?
How robust are the contingency plans of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, CROs and manufacturers and other industry suppliers?
These days all pharma companies have highly sophisticated IT back up systems but very few have plans in place for their critical, irreplaceable paper-based information such as regulatory submissions - including investigators’ reports and patients’ records - should a disaster such as fire, flood or explosion strike. Regulatory guidelines are infringed if these records are irretrievably damaged and, of most concern, patient safety could be compromised.
Contrary to popular belief paper files do not really burn in a fire as they need oxygen and singed and soot damaged paper is relatively easy to clean and deodorise. Over 95% of paper damaged by fire can be fully restored. For flood damage this figure approaches 100% if state-of-the-art drying techniques and procedures are implemented swiftly by experts.
Document SOS is Europe’s leading document recovery and restoration specialist and has worked with a number of pharmaceutical companies both in risk assessment and providing consultancy on damage limitation and in several large scale recovery and restoration projects following fire and flood.
Document SOS offers a comprehensive range of services including a membership scheme that provides companies with a bespoke risk analysis and assessment of document storage, disaster recovery planning to reduce insurance claims and ensure business continuity. There is also the reassurance that an expert will be on site within a few hours of a disaster for an expert review and treatment. The Company also operates a sophisticated fast track logging and retrieval system ensuring full business continuity during a salvage operation. The Company is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Document SOS is ISO 9001 registered and has been awarded Millennium Product status.
Georgine Thorburn, Founder and Managing Director of Document SOS comments:
“This is a very serious and largely unappreciated issue for all organisations but particularly critical for this industry sector where all paper documents generated during the clinical development process have to be kept for the life time of the product which may be for many decades. Loss of some of this information means severe problems for companies and could even put lives at risk. Effective risk analysis and planning coupled with correct document storage can minimise damage and a prompt expert response can ensure that the majority of paper based information is effectively retrieved.”
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