RoutingBox Friday Recap: Downtime Procedures Your Organization Should Know
Downtime procedures is one of the most significant topics that we’ve covered throughout the RoutingBox Friday live series. All NEMT providers need to have a backup plan in place to protect their organization from any possible repercussions that may occur from software downtime.
What are the most common causes of software downtime?
- Mobile devices or their carrier can have a malfunction
- Internet outages
- Dead batteries
- Broken devices
- Stolen devices
Without having a backup plan in place to protect you from software downtime, your organization is in a very vulnerable position. The repercussions your organization could potentially face by not being able to access your trip data could be detrimental. For example, imagine if your driver had no way of accessing their scheduled trips, and passengers missed their appointments or were picked up/ dropped off late. Your organization is responsible for the consequences which is why it’s crucial to establish a downtime process.
The good news is that there’s a few ways to prevent this situation. One of the most valuable solutions is to provide each driver with a dispatch sheet that contains each of the drivers assigned trips and corresponding information. The dispatch sheet is a report within the RoutingBox software that has three different versions depending on the information you want to provide your driver. It’s recommended that these sheets be printed and given out daily, as a preventative measure to assure the efficiency of your organization regardless if the software is available.
Problems will arise in two specific areas if your organization loses access to the software:
- Communication of the trips to the driver: add-ons, will calls, or live dispatching.
- Data collection: this is a problem when the driver doesn’t capture all required data from the trip.
Most of the data collection issues could be avoided if preventative measures such as dispatch sheets were used as a backup. When it comes to communicating the trips to the driver, RoutingBox offers the page feature. This allows you to include a mobile number on file for each of your drivers. If you plan on contacting your drivers on their mobile devices, make sure this communication is done through a HIPAA compliant app. This will protect your organization, your driver, and the passenger.
As long as your driver has a HIPAA compliant messaging app on their phone, they can receive messages about their trips in case the software is down. The page feature assures that your dispatcher can still communicate with the driver to ensure that the driver stays on course for their trips. Using both the dispatch sheet and page feature is the best preventative practice for software downtime.
Aside from this, there are a few more procedures worth mentioning. If your organization is experiencing downtime due to an internet outage or connection issues, you may want to invest in a personal hotspot or a failover internet device. A personal hotspot is a device that can be taken with you for easy access to the internet regardless of where you are. A failover internet device will kick in as soon as your original internet connection fails. This device works by detecting an outage as soon as it happens, and switching you over to a cellular network that’s successfully up and running. No action needed on your part.
Both of these devices can provide you with an internet connection if your original connection has failed. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your organization and maintain passenger satisfaction is critical. Taking the necessary steps to prevent any mishaps will leave you thankful in the event that you experience software downtime.