As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, our hearts extend to everyone battling this virus in real-time.
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. With that, we’re sharing a detailed view of our Business Continuity Planning actions.
Customer service, continuity and remote work
Syneos Health is making every effort to ensure this situation will not impact the timeliness or quality of the work we do for you.
We’re constantly monitoring the developing situation and taking action on a daily basis as part of our Business Continuity Plan (BCP), in alignment with FDA, CDC, WHO and other local and international health authority guidance, while leveraging our extensive pandemic and infectious disease expertise to inform our actions.
Driving this coordination and continuity is the Syneos Health Transition Management Office (TMO), which is comprised of senior multidisciplinary leaders across the organization who meet on a daily basis to review our current status globally, work on our BCP workstreams, and direct actions as this unprecedented situation evolves. Many of these senior leaders are part of our Global Operations Management group, who you’ve come to know through our Trusted Process® clinical trial acceleration project management methodology.
Our ongoing planning and preparedness activities are calibrated on a daily basis to the level of threat, impact, and the potential for escalation regionally. These planning efforts include customer continuity, and employee support and well-being programs.
Our Business Continuity Plan includes the following workstreams, with our top priorities being the safety of our employees, local, regional and governmental guidance, and extensive collaboration and information exchange with the customers we serve:
- Regional/Country Assessment workstream
- 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.
- Daily updates for each country – sharing regional lessons learned and scenario modeling.
- Business Technology workstream
- 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.
- Ongoing evaluation to ensure multiple levels of redundancy should a critical system fail.
- Corporate Communications workstream
- 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 and take action.
- Tools include a robust COVID-19 information repository on our company intranet, SyncUp, guiding employees on real-time actions, prevention and social distancing measures. Our internal intranet is complemented by our regularly updated company website, providing customer guidance, business continuity and virtual solutions.
- A rapid and real-time 360o global feedback mechanism to ensure messages, guidance and tone are appropriate to pandemic adjustment curve considerations.
- Project/Clinical workstream
- Intense focus on ensuring clinical trials proceed, and that site staff and patients are safe and in compliance with governmental policies.
- Ongoing guidance for risk-based and remote monitoring in high-impact/restricted regions, working in lockstep and cross-collaborating with the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) and the US FDA.
- Risk assessments conducted at study/project level by project teams and in consultation with sponsors to assess current status.
- Standardized forms for use in sponsor agreement and documentation of required deviations from planned study processes and SOPs.
- Detailed and controlled guidance and tools for project team use in maintaining site by site continuity to the extent possible, while ensuring local government compliance and focusing on employee and patient safety.
- Designation of essential operations and plans to reassign staff from non-critical functions if employee absence is a threat.
- FSP 360 continuous client discussions to align internal and client guidance related to site-based activities.
- Daily information sessions to discuss and develop best practices to prepare for the post-COVID-19 world.
- Commercial workstream
- 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.
- Well-established, flexible processes and infrastructure evaluated regularly to help ensure business continuity including a remote-powered Engagement Center enabled by 365/24/7 tools, resources and technology.
- Continuous evaluation of remote interaction platforms and tools that support video, materials distribution and co-browsing capabilities.
- Constant evaluation of extensive virtual engagement infrastructure, including the development of a Remote Detail Soft Skills training program.
- Activation of our Compliance Team, who are experienced in working closely with customers to identify and deploy solutions to the field quickly and efficiently.
- Human Resource workstream
- 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.
- Country-specific protocols to actively respond to outbreaks that may occur at any one of our sites, ensuring compliance with local government mandates.
- Rapid and real-time COVID-19 potential exposure and positive identification self-reporting measures and protocols aligned with local guidance and contact tracing.
- Ongoing access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and materials to communicate access to EAP.
- Active monitoring of employee wellness, and fielding of pulse surveys to ensure comfort and care are realized.
- Corporate Real Estate workstream
- Management of our various sites and coordination of virtual, remote work-from-home guidance as well as reactivation of sites where appropriate. This includes ensuring work-from-home employees have access to office-based equipment on an as-needed basis.
- Coordination of the supply of personal protective equipment to our most at-risk employees.
- Active sanitizing and cleaning efforts in line with appropriate guidance.
- Vendor Management workstream
- Active assessment of risk level of any vendor we depend on, requiring confirmation from critical vendors that they have their own robust Business Continuity Plans and are able to deploy as needed.
Resources for your business – virtual connections
Syneos Health continually updates our website with capabilities and perspectives to navigate, deliver and learn together.
Syneos Health is committed to the continuity of all our services, and to ensuring the health and well-being of our people throughout this period of escalated concern. We have instituted non-essential travel guidance, rapidly adopted teleconferencing platforms for team meetings, are practicing social distancing and continue to reinforce the importance of prevention behaviors.
During this time, we continue to look ahead and evolve our ways of working, ensuring that our processes, people and innovative technologies enable the continued development and delivery of medicines to patients worldwide. For more details on our COVID-19 approach, how we’re conducting remote/virtual work, and our shared global perspectives, visit syneoshealth.com/covid-19-resource-center.
Thank you for your partnership.