As the volume of medical data grows exponentially, it has become increasingly necessary for healthcare organizations to protect medical records against loss or corruption.
Hospitals specifically are mandated by HIPAA regulations to secure duplicate record keeping and are embracing new and efficient ways of backing up their data. This approach not only eases the restoration process but also helps organizations to boost savings.
“With our old system, I had no confidence I was getting good backups, and restoring was always really painful,” Reagan Eubank, a network technician for Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, recently told HealthTech. “Now, it takes me about five minutes to check the backup report each day to make sure everything is working.”
Although new backup systems can promise organizations new levels of speed and stability, the evaluation process can still be daunting. Here’s a look at what to consider as you assess your organization’s backup needs.
Keep Backup Issues Front of Mind
Choosing the right backup solution can make the difference between an onerous chore and a stress-free experience. Don’t ignore these factors during the process:
- Compatibility with legacy equipment: Montgomery County Memorial Hospital in Iowa initially ran into some snags getting its new Commvault backup system to play nicely with some older hardware and SQL databases. “But once we got Commvault’s support involved, they jumped on the problem and stayed with it until it was resolved,” says network administrator Terry Koppa
- Compliance with federal and state requirements: Any solution you implement must meet necessary data protection standards, says Pund-IT president and principal analyst Charles King. These include HIPAA, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), Critical Access Hospitals regulations, and the meaningful use provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
- Duplicate copies of data: Regardless of your backup system, keeping its vital contents in several places is key to quick, seamless recovery. “If you don’t have three copies of your data, it’s probably not that important to you,” says Andrew Connel of Oklahoma Surgical Hospital. “That’s why we always have the original, the onsite backup and the offsite DR.”