Healthcare industry

The challenges of cloud-based disaster recovery in healthcare

Healthcare companies are struggling with getting a handle on the vast amount of data — especially protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) — they have to manage. Whether your organization is a healthcare practice or a vendor serving healthcare organizations, you’re responsible for ensuring the retention, security and availability of this data, which calls for a thorough disaster recovery strategy. However, disaster recovery is becoming more challenging.

How the evolution of the healthcare industry affects data security

The healthcare industry has faced dramatic data management challenges over the past few years. There was the migration from paper to EHRs. Then the Affordable Care Act threw nearly 23 million patients a year into the mix. This influx of PHI and PII increases risk, since the industry is a focal point for cyber attacks due to the value of medical data [PDF]. You can expect to see the number of breaches continue to increase, as the rise of the Internet of Things gives hackers more entry points into your network. Ironically, at the same time, providers are wasting $8.3 billion a year on outdated technology.

That’s exactly why organizations like yours outsource disaster recovery, but even that’s getting more complicated and risky now that HIPAA has started a new round of business associate audits. You’re responsible for ensuring you have business associate agreements (BAAs) in place with your vendors and for making sure they handle PHI and PII according to HIPAA guidelines.

As if that’s not enough pressure, it’s not just your business that’s at stake — it’s patients’ lives. If you don’t keep their data safe, they’re at risk for identity theft. Even worse, in some cases, the quality of care they receive could be impacted, whether because their health records aren’t available or because someone is receiving fraudulent care under their identity. Imagine if you could have helped prevent catastrophes like these by implementing solutions that better protect patient data.

Addressing industry challenges through outsourcing

Outsourcing can be risky, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you partner with the right vendor, you can improve your ability to protect your data and network.

The key is to partner with a third party that's experienced in serving the healthcare industry and is familiar with HIPAA guidelines. They should also be able to sign a BAA and provide service level agreements (SLAs) that fulfill HIPAA requirements.

In addition, a single vendor can often provide several services, such as network security, cloud vaulting, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and data archival. By consolidating services, you can spend less time monitoring multiple vendors.

Reducing risk with BlackVault managed recovery platform

As a disaster recovery and business continuity services provider serving the healthcare sector, we know how to meet the unique needs of healthcare organizations. Our fully managed BlackVault Managed Recovery Platform offers several integrated cloud-based data and network security services. We’re knowledgeable about where technology is heading and can provide a solution that meets HIPAA compliance and technical requirements backed by strict SLAs.

To learn more about BlackVault Managed Recovery Platform, click below.

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Local communities depend upon your healthcare organization to meet their medical needs and to keep their confidential data secure. When preparing a disaster recovery plan, it is important for your businesses to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements.

To comply with HIPAA regulations, you must have disaster recovery plans that provide the ability to recover and access data while protecting the security of your patients’ electronic health records in the event of a business disturbance. The implementation of a data storage and retrieval plan in conjunction with the preparation of disaster recovery procedures allows you, as a healthcare provider, to restore and secure patient data.

After a disaster, voice communication needs to be restored both internally and externally. Internal communication is vital to assess the damage to your business and to convey the actions that need to be taken toward recovery. To support the demands of the community, local calls need to be rerouted in order to update your patients’ relatives on their loved ones, address billing issues and redirect emergency patients to an alternate hospital.

A mobile or fixed-site recovery facility allows you to use a workspace with office technology. The ability to process paperwork and regroup with staff members is vital to regaining control of your daily operations. A Mobile Recovery Center (MRC) provides your employees with the option to work locally during the recovery process, as well as aid in the restoration of your organization.

We provide you with the business continuity solutions you need to back up and access your data, restore voice communications and continue your daily operations in a fully equipped workspace, while meeting HIPAA compliance regulations.

Are you prepared for a business disruption?

Data vaulting and recovery
  • How will you restore and access patient data?
  • Is your health organization’s data being backed up securely?

We offer secure, private cloud solutions that give you ready access to your data while meeting compliance requirements.
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Network and voice recovery
  • How will calls be made if your voice network is down?
  • Who will the community contact if they cannot reach your health facility?

We provide multiple network and voice recovery solutions to help you establish internal communication and reroute incoming calls.
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Mobile work area recovery
  • Will your business be able to meet its recovery time objectives during a business disturbance?
  • Are your employees willing to leave their own families behind after a disaster to relocate to a secondary office space?

We can bring an MRC to your desired location fully equipped with voice and data technology, restored backup information and office equipment in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
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Fixed work area recovery
  • Where will your health facility continue daily administrative functions if your primary facility is destroyed?
  • Can your business afford to maintain a fixed-site location with up-to-date technology?

We offer regional fixed-site recovery facilities with fully equipped, ready-to-use temporary office space following a disaster declaration.

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  • Can you gain immediate access to backup technology to restore business processes?
  • Is your business confident that it can configure all the necessary hardware to restore data, voice communication and network connectivity?

We maintain the physical equipment necessary to restore your business processes, provide on-site support and deliver your required hardware in 24 hours or less.
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Professional planning services
  • Do you have specific BC/DR plans in place?
  • Have you considered outsourcing the development and administration of your business continuity program?

Our professional planning services can help you meet your specific BC/DR objectives, whether they involve modernizing your current program, developing a new plan or meeting compliance requirements.

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