Tornado 2Not much can stop an EF5 tornado as it winds its way through a community. Ask anyone who was at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO, when a tornado dismantled the facility in 2011. Disasters to medical facilities aren’t always this dramatic or obvious. Sometimes it’s a simple climate control malfunction that can wipe out a server containing hospital data. What are you doing to ensure your rural hospital is prepared for a disaster recovery?

Another dramatic scenario took place in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast. Healthcare workers were suddenly without the data they need to properly treat patients. The issue led IT professionals to realize that disaster recovery is as much about the safety of the patient as it is about the availability of the data. When a natural disaster hits, there are many, many systems that have to be restored. As more facilities integrate electronic health records systems into their workflow, the subject of disaster recovery processes has become extremely important.

Still Using Paper Records? Consider Digital
Any facility still relying on paper records and film for their data and medical imaging needs should know that a fire can permanently erase critical information and a flood can wash it away forever. However, with digital information, you have the ability to back it up and have redundancies in place so there will always be a copy of the information available somewhere.

Unfortunately, too many facilities begin their disaster recovery journey after they’ve been hit hard and have lost critical data. How far along are you in ensuring your data is being stored safely?

Developing a Plan
Medical facilities have since March 26, 2013 been required by law to have a contingency plan in place in the event of a disaster. You are supposed to have a plan for how your data is backed up, how you’ll access data while in emergency mode and how you’ll protect the security of your health information while you’re in your emergency mode.

Seeking Answers in the Cloud
Having backups on-site is not going to qualify as a “good” plan for disaster recovery. If a huge natural disaster hits your facility, all your backups will go down as well. This is why more facilities are looking to the cloud where information can be a thousand mile and more away in a secure location. The advantage is that the data will be stored in a facility that has power, is far removed from the disaster situation and has no down time as you struggle to operate at the disaster site.

Your Solution is at OffSite
Not only should you have your disaster recovery plan include taking your data, including medical imaging offsite, you should choose OffSite Image Management, Inc., to protect your rural hospital data. At OffSite we have the interests of the rural facilities at the top of our list of concerns. Your data is just as important as the data the big hospital groups require to keep their patients on a path to recovery. Contact us today and find out about our Level IV data centers and our cloud-based solutions that give you quality performance in disaster situations and in the normal, everyday situations.