Three tips for hospital disaster recovery

Three tips for hospital disaster recovery

August 20

An IT disaster in a hospital could result in more than lost data. Loss of life, care complications, and more could result from a computer system crashing. As such, it is vital that any medical center have a thoroughly tested and reliable disaster recovery solution in place that will not only get systems back up and running without a hitch, but do it quickly.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, a major crisis occurred in July when hundreds of healthcare facilities lost access to their electronic health records for up to five hours. The issue was caused by human error, and while no patients were harmed, the situation could have been much worse. To avoid situations like this in the future and ensure the hospital can retrieve its data should a power outage or other crisis occur, certain steps should be taken.

Prepare for the worst

Data backup software is only as good as the system it is installed on, which is why any organization, hospital or business, needs to ensure its infrastructure is prepared for a worst-case scenario. Should a hurricane strike, the center needs to have a plan for both protecting patients and its patient data. However, no healthcare facility should prepare for the worst and overlook an “easy” scenario. A faulty power supply can cause just as much damage as a storm, and no organization can anticipate when the power might go out.

Take downtime into account

When disaster strikes, downtime in inevitable. A hospital has to have a contingency plan in place so that operations can continue as normal, because the ill cannot wait for the computer to come back up. A hybrid backup solution – which includes both on-site and online backup services – will allow a medical center to get back to work even if the cloud is inaccessible or it’s hard drives become corrupted.


The most important part of implementing backup and recovery software is testing it frequently and thoroughly. Without testing, no disaster recovery plan is complete and could fall out from under the organization the first time it is needed. With testing comes not only assurance of reliability, but peace of mind as well. Panic is just as likely to cause problems after a crisis as lost data, but with thoroughly tested solutions doctors and nurses can rest easy knowing patient data is safe and will be accessible once again.