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Maintaining Continuity in a Time of Crisis

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that normal operations can be disrupted at any time to varying degrees as a result of completely unforeseeable or underestimated events. This is why animal care and use programs must have disaster and business continuity plans. But even the best-laid plans will never cover every scenario, nor do they always consider every necessary aspect of a disaster. That’s why it is critical that programs take one important, yet straightforward step, to assist in a number of “disaster” situations: adopt a software solution for managing your animal care and use program.

Utilize technology to your advantage. Biomedical research software solutions, like TOPAZ Elements Prime, provide tools and processes for research compliance and operations to help ensure your animal care and use program is compliant, efficient, and effective. Leveraging a digital strategy can provide a litany of benefits.

Accessibility: A previously undervalued benefit, our web-based software allows workflows to be accomplished from any device with internet access, allowing one to instantly deploy business continuity processes for compliance and operations management.

Risk Reduction: With informative dashboards and alerting mechanisms, Elements will help you to minimize risk by preventing over-ordering of animals, helping you to prepare for expiring protocols, ensuring that animals are moving to appropriate new locations, and avoiding overpopulation of animal rooms. The software even allows for inter-committee visibility, for example, so that substances that require IBC review have been approved before the IACUC approves that substance’s use in animals.

Automation: Workflows can be automated to reduce the burden on researchers and staff. Route protocols for review; review animal health reports and provide treatment plans; place animal orders and send invoices; access committee meeting information all from your office or home.

Process Improvement: Elements provides the necessary framework to deploy, manage, and enforce accepted practices. Implement new policies and procedures through the configurability of the software at the administrative level. Software can easily be used to facilitate improvements in these processes, such as mandating your institution’s implementation of USDA pain categories, linking standard operating procedures directly to your protocol form, or modifying the workflow used for your IACUC protocol review process.

Support: You are not alone whether it is during unprecedented times or “normal” day-to-day operations. Knowing there is always someone with whom you can pick up the phone and speak is high value in times of uncertainty.

Recovery:  When disaster does strike, time is critical and having SOPs and tools to get your program back up and running is paramount. TOPAZ also offers a powerful and unique service that compliments its high-quality product and support services: Disaster Recovery. A Disaster Recovery Service is incredibly useful to any organization that might not have the necessary resources to make a truly effective and comprehensive disaster plan. In fact, the service is useful even to organizations that do have the resources, by outsourcing important data recovery tasks, leveraging alternate geolocations, and freeing up internal resources to focus on other disaster recovery and business continuity efforts.

Disaster Recovery Service (DRS) includes TOPAZ maintaining servers in cold standby awaiting customer activation via data backups provided daily to TOPAZ from the client for storage that are kept for a rolling 30 days. In the event of a disaster, TOPAZ uses the latest data backup, applies the backup to standby servers, and ensures the organization is back up and running within 24 to 48 hours.

DRS provides storage-related cost savings and allows companies to back up data more frequently and with less complexity. It provides a more timely and efficient solution to restoring an organization’s mission-critical data and operation. Strengthen your technological infrastructure and maintain business continuity using TOPAZ Disaster Recovery Service.

These are just a few key elements where software solutions can provide relief and security, ensuring that your biomedical research efforts can be maintained through nearly any situation. Now more than ever, biomedical research is an integral part of the global health and welfare of all mankind.

What is your digital strategy to maintain continuity for your staff and your biomedical research program?

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