Four Best Practices for Backup and Recovery Solutions in Healthcare

Four Best Practices for Backup and Recovery Solutions in Healthcare

Don’t get me wrong. Every data set holds importance to someone out there, but let’s be honest, in healthcare, some data means the difference between life and death. Between patient records, prescriptions, and insurance information, organizations in healthcare can’t afford to lose or ‘misplace data. Legislation such as HIPAA ensure that recklessness and carelessness with data is met with hefty fines.

As with near every industry, healthcare organizations are increasingly looking toward the cloud for a backup solution. It makes sense; there’s mounting pressure for IT departments to stay on pace with storage and computing capacity. From the expanded use of electronic health record systems and many other new technologies, on-site storage just doesn’t cut it these days.

If you’re considering implementing a cloud-backup solution or have already made the jump, here are five best practices you’ll need to consider. While these practices still apply to other industries, healthcare IT teams may find this information particularly relevant.

HIPAA and Security

Before making any technical decision in healthcare, you can be sure that HIPAA will have been discussed. HIPAA violations can result in hefty fines, legal action, and significant damage to your organization’s reputation and credibility. While you may think implementing your backup solution by yourself due to budget restraints, regulatory concerns may have you considering a managed approach. Cloud managed service providers can keep you in check with HIPAA and application monitoring; services that you may not be able to find in your own IT department.

Identify Dependencies and Operation Critical Systems

Critical systems and dependencies are just as important as data and applications when it comes to backup. Moving these systems and services to the cloud require you to have a strong understanding of the dependencies in question are to make sure that they’re properly replicated. Because there are costs associated with these recovery speeds, you should ensure that only the most important servers are provided with these quicker RTO speeds. In hospitals, you should also ensure that once these recovered systems go live, that they’re able to communicate with any third-party services.

Target Recoveries

Your data recovery system isn’t just equipped to recover massive amounts of data; it also needs to focus on the loss of individual files and smaller data sets. Recovery solutions often copy data as one single file, which means that if you’re looking for one single file you’ll experience something not unlike searching for a needle in a haystack. In public cloud, with the ability to copy over data in its original configuration, you won’t have to worry about any of that.

RTO and RPO

Backup is all about meeting objectives. Recovery time objectives should be as quick as possible to ensure that the transition from the failed IT infrastructure to the new set of resources is as smooth as possible in order to cut down on operational disruptions. Recovery point objectives, on the other hand is the maximum tolerable time in which data may be lost from an IT service. This is the period of time in which data ceases to be current. With cloud backup, organizations are afforded multiple recovery plans that can minimize RPO and RTO securely and affordably.

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Tess Hanna

Editor at Solutions Review
Tess Hanna is an editor and writer at Solutions Review covering Backup and Disaster Recovery. She has a degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University. You can contact her at thanna@solutionsreview.com
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