Healthcare News & Insights

Survey: Disaster recovery a top health IT priority for hospitals

As electronic health records and other IT trends increase the amount of data healthcare organizations must hold, an effective disaster recovery plan is becoming more critical. 

More than half (55%) of hospitals said improving disaster recovery recovery was one of their top IT priorities this year, according to a survey from recovery provider BridgeHead Software. That’s an increase from the 44% that said so last year.

That’s due to the fact that hospitals are being forced to hold a quickly increasing amount of data, especially as more organizations switch to electronic health records, BridegStone says. Plus, many hospitals aren’t especially confident in their current disaster recovery plans.

Among the hospitals that responded to the worldwide survey:

  1. 64% have a disaster recovery strategy in place, but only 26% said those plans are “robust, tried and tested”
  2. 55% have applications with data archiving capabilities, but just 16% have a full archiving policy in place
  3. 68% said their data volumes have grown over the last year, and
  4. 45% are planning a major storage upgrade of 1 TB or more in the next year.

Disaster recovery is important for all organizations, but it’s especially so in healthcare due to the large amounts of mission-critical data that must be held. Also, HIPAA requires providers in the U.S. to have a disaster recovery plan in place.

The law requires HIPAA-covered organizations to:

  1. Conduct an assessment to determine the organization’s risk of downtime and disruptions
  2. Come up with a plan to assess those risks
  3. Have the technology, procedures and personnel assignments in place to implement the plan, and
  4. Test the plan periodically and treat disaster recovery as an evolving process.

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