National Health IT week continues with the fifth blog post from our guest author, Kimi! #HealthIT
The healthcare industry is constantly innovating and growing due to the rapid technological advances of the 21st century. With EHR’s (Electronic Health Records), and a growing interoperable network becoming more prevalent, it is hard-pressed to find a hospital that isn’t trying to stay up to date with the latest technology. As good as the healthcare industry gets when everything is right, we need healthcare IT to work its best when everything goes wrong.
Natural disasters are on the rise with more and more areas affected every year. With this year’s most recent hurricane, Hurricane Dorian, more than 40 hospitals and clinics closed just in Florida alone. According to PWC’s article Natural Disasters Create Devastation that Lasts Long After the Event Passes, recent disasters have cost the United States over 200 billion dollars leaving devastating effects for years. All hospitals must have a contingency plan for these unexpected natural disasters with the backup disaster recovery plan becoming critical to patient information.
Helping Protect Healthcare Data
Most health systems rely on a 3-2-1 rule of three copies of data in two different media with one copy offsite for disaster recovery. These contingency plans must be able to both protect PHI (patient health information) data, comply with HIPPA, and be responsive during emergency situations. Most hospitals will utilize an offsite data center only a few miles away at best for their second location. This would mean that both on and offsite data would be destroyed if a storm came to that area.
Instead of storing one copy of data at an offsite data center a few miles away from where natural disasters can still strike, hospitals can utilize cloud-based storage solutions to store their data across the country and out of harm’s way. This would allow the hospital to still have access to patient data if their onsite storage was destroyed.
While the cloud is a great way to prepare for the worst, any disaster recovery plan is better than no plan at all. Even the most comprehensive disaster plan cannot cover all possible scenarios, but having one that covers the most scenarios is better than leaving medical data unprotected.