Disaster recovery is a process that provides the continuity of IT services during large-scale system failures. It operates through redundant systems, typically full off-site backups of critical data and applications. IT infrastructure also plays a large part in disaster recovery so that a company’s online presence and communications with the outside world can continue after a disaster.
While “disaster” may imply that disaster recovery responds to natural disasters, it applies to any enterprise system disruption. This includes a human error that causes widespread outages, a malware or ransom attack, or events such as a global pandemic that can significantly change business operations.
Disaster Recovery in Health IT Systems
Business continuity has become more critical as the healthcare industry moves toward HIT (Health IT) systems.
Many healthcare organizations today rely on practice management systems for appointment scheduling, billing and insurance claims processing, and other critical administrative functions. In addition, patient charts are maintained in electronic medical record systems, and medical images are often stored in PACS software, among other specialized medical systems. Losing access to any or all of these HIT systems can effectively bring a medical practice or a hospital to a halt.
Healthcare organizations will typically implement a detailed disaster recovery plan to ensure operations continue after a significant loss of services.
Healthcare IT Disaster Recovery Strategies
A typical healthcare disaster recovery plan includes the use of redundant systems. In IT terms, an application or other service will have a second instance running off-site with all data in sync. With rapid cloud adoption, medical organizations can leave this task to their SaaS application provider, as the vendor usually offers fully redundant systems.
Even with redundancy, patient data undergoes frequent backup and storage in a secure location. In addition, IT infrastructure, such as servers and network equipment, will be hardened against power failures via a generator or battery-powered uninterruptible power supplies.
Clear emergency management policies and procedures are other key components of disaster recovery plans, along with training on disaster recovery protocol.
As an organization creates its high availability plan, it should understand that acceptable downtime is an exponential function directly correlated with cost. Minimizing downtime can be very expensive for smaller organizations, which is oftentimes why cloud hosting options are chosen since they can assist with cost because of size and scale.
How TempDev Can Help With Disaster Recovery
TempDev’s team of NextGen consultants, developers, and trainers can help you implement, switch, or even upgrade your current EHR system. From dashboards, templates, and reports to revenue cycle consulting, automation, and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the tools to make the most of your NextGen EHR system.
Contact us here or call us at 888.TEMP.DEV to get the help you need to integrate with your disaster recovery planning.
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