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Disaster Recovery Planning in the Healthcare Industry

In the world of healthcare, the development of a solid disaster recovery plan has tended to fall by the wayside, and rightfully so. Most of the available resources are focused on keeping the lights on, keeping the operation running and providing great service to patients. Fair enough, right?

Unfortunately, I’ve found not planning for disaster recovery can result in an inefficient scramble if a disaster does occur (no-brainer). Consider an event like Superstorm Sandy, which made operation nearly impossible (through generator shutdowns and power outages) for hospitals in the affected area.

As it stands now, many of the healthcare industry’s initiatives are focused on paperwork and files. Lately, though, there’s been a push for hospitals and other healthcare providers to “go digital.” We see this virtually everywhere we look. For example, it’s not at all uncommon for doctors and nurses to use tablets during their rounds. There are many wonderful things about the “go digital” initiative, and I believe it offers a perfect access point to evaluate the disaster recovery plan for your healthcare organization.

Compliance: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

For disaster recovery in the healthcare industry, one of the main priorities is compliance. HIPAA compliance is a huge consideration for healthcare providers everywhere, and while hospitals go digital they must keep their compliance measures intact. While there are dozens of cloud-based and IT disaster recovery programs available to healthcare organizations, compliance must be the top priority with any platform an office chooses to use.

While the “go digital” push is a smart time to focus on compliance, it’s also a good opportunity to consider disaster recovery. One great place to start is with the security of files and documents kept in the cloud.

If ransomware were to hit your organization, for example, thousands of personal records could be compromised and it would likely cost tens of thousands of dollars to restore them all. With that security concern in mind, its a great reason for healthcare providers to think twice about how to best keep files safe and away from prying eyes.

Part of effective disaster recovery preparedness means backing up files. Keep in mind, though, that the digital platforms they’re backed up on must be fortified with modern security measures meant to accommodate the sensitive nature of healthcare paperwork and records. Only then can a disaster recovery system truly accommodate the dynamic and changing needs of healthcare providers and specialists.

Read Why Backup and Recovery is Vital for Your Disaster Response Plan

Next Steps

It goes without saying that hospitals and healthcare establishments that want to focus on disaster recovery and security all at once will need a trusted partner to help guide the process. Today, focusing more on disaster recovery and file reinforcement is critical for any organization that wants to streamline security and scalability. The world is a fluid and uncertain place, and, while you can’t mitigate every disaster, you can prepare for the worst-case scenario so it’s easier to manage if it does befall you.

When healthcare providers take the issues of compliance and security seriously, hospitals and other health organizations find it easier to ensure that they’re well equipped for disasters of all types — ranging from natural disasters (like Hurricane Sandy) to digital.

While this migration may seem difficult, my team is here to be your partner in disaster recovery, security and compliance issues that affect your files and operations. From helping you address the specific issues facing your organization to collaborating to find the best digital solutions for your data, we’re ready to help simplify without sacrificing your security.

If you’re curious to find out how ready your disaster recovery plan is, download our Disaster Recovery Risk Assessment Checklist.

 

Dale Janda, Disaster Recovery & Storage Practice Manager

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