Flirting with Disaster

Don’t overlook the importance of a good BC/DR plan

Kurt Hildebrand
Kurt Hildebrand
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In today’s IT landscape, technology has become ever more indispensable to all types of organizations, while risks of technology outages have continued to increase in kind. From natural disasters to ransomware, system failure to human error, unplanned outages or data loss can come from unexpected angles. In the healthcare industry, there’s more at stake than inconvenience when critical systems go offline. From check-in to check out—and literally everything in between—your organization’s ability to provide services can be impacted by even the smallest outage or breach. And then there’s regulatory compliance to contend with—not to mention angry patients and unfavorable press coverage. But that’s exactly why businesses like Connection offer the services they do, and why I urge you to read our white paper: Flirting with Disaster: Business Continuity and Data Protection in Today’s Healthcare World. If nothing else, please take a look at why I feel this article is worth your time to read.

The importance of BC/DR is often overlooked or overshadowed by “more urgent” concerns.
It’s easy to sideline the BC/DR conversation in favor of the IT crisis of the day, whether you’re an IT administrator, CIO, or technology consultant—after all, it’s just a “backup” right? Wrong. Keeping primary systems functioning properly is obviously mission critical, but without a functioning backup or standby, the organization could be hanging by a thread. This article looks at the issue from multiple perspectives—from the perspective of a healthcare customer, an industry expert, and a technology expert. I think it’s important for everyone to gain a more holistic perspective to understand the significance of this topic.

BC/DR is critically important in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare is highly IT-dependent in terms of delivering services. The services themselves are of the highest criticality (in some cases, life-saving care). And  healthcare is typically a “follower” industry in terms of state-of-the art information technology and hence is at a crossroads of both opportunity and need in terms of enhancements in this area.

This topic is extremely relevant based on the current events of today.
My team and I are having the BC/DR conversation with organizations of all types and sizes on a daily basis. From Hurricane Harvey to WannaCry ransomware, organizations are either learning the hard way (or are benefiting from their investment in) the value of BC/DR planning. While the technology supporting disaster recovery solutions has improved dramatically over the past 5-10 years, many customers haven’t implemented a BC/DR plan, haven’t updated their plans to take advantage of new technology, or haven’t implemented a BC/DR lifecycle that includes regular testing and training. The vast majority of organizations are at risk in terms of exposure to an IT outage, and yet haven’t implemented best practices in terms of recovery and preparedness planning.

So, even if BC/DR isn’t on your radar, take some time soon to learn more about it and how it impacts—not even potentially—your ability to provide care. Spread the word, make it a topic of concern at your next meeting, ask yourself if your facility is doing all it can. If not, give an expert a call and leave the flirting with disaster to some of your patients.

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    This article makes a great point. I worked for the Dept of Defense for over 20 years, and two must haves were a battery back-up for power outages (so we didn’t lose data) and a daily system back-up which was written onto physical discs in case one of our programs ever got corrupted, or the system was compromised by any other avenue. Having a process for these potential disasters can make or break a company!

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