Healthcare News & Insights

Security, reliability keeping healthcare organizations away from cloud storage

Healthcare organizations are storing a lot of data these days – but they’re not doing enough to back up that critical information, according to a recent survey. 

It’s been well documented that the amount of data being stored by organizations is growing rapidly. That’s the case in health care even more so than some industries, as many patient records are being converted to digital data.

The huge amounts of data being stored require robust systems to back up that information in case of a natural or technical disaster — especially in health care, when missing data can put patients at risk.

Unfortunately, healthcare organizations aren’t doing enough to prepare for disasters, according a recent survey conducted by BridgeHead Software. Although 65% of the 158 healthcare executives polled said their organization’s data had grown in the past year, only 26% said they had a “robust, tried and tested” disaster recovery plan in place.

The “tested” part of that equation in particular has given healthcare facilities a lot of trouble, as 64% said they do have a plan, but 38% have never tested it.

Though organizations in some industries are turning to cloud computing services to help them with backups and disaster recovery, security and reliability concerns have kept that strategy from taking off in health care, according to BridgeHead’s survey. When asked where their organization’s backed up data resided, just 7.5% said the Cloud, making that the least common response. At the top were disk (67.5%), tape (50%) and optical media (27.5%).

Nearly half (47.9%) of respondents said concerns about security and the availability of data were the primary concerns keeping them from using cloud storage services.

Some experts recommend moving past those concerns, however, because the Cloud can make backing up data easier and less expensive. For example, a recent Q&A published in Medical Economics recommended that practices use a local backup on disk or tape, in addition to a cloud service, for additional reliability.

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