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Not only are electronic health records an essential part of new government regulations concerning health care reform, but a disaster recovery plan is also mandated. HIPAA disaster recovery laws also include the implementation of an ePHI data backup plan, in addition to disaster recovery and emergency mode operation plans. Patients’ health – and even their very lives – can be dependent upon on systems always being up and running.
The problem many practices have is that disaster recovery was not in the initial IT budget.
Your practice’s first step in disaster recovery planning is a business impact analysis that looks at all systems and applications, and determines impact to the practice and to patients in the event of failure. Next, practice groups should identify potential weak spots in order to create a plan that tackles susceptibilities. Disaster recovery planning isn’t just a great idea for HIPAA compliant physician practices. This article was originally published in the Velocity blog and is republished here with permission.
New White Paper: EHR Pricing Guide Download this guide to learn more about the cost of EHR software products. About HITECH AnswersHITECH Answers is a community hub site dedicated to educating healthcare providers and other stakeholders on the HITECH Act, the CMS EHR Incentive Program, Meaningful Use and other Federal Health IT initiatives. The key to surviving such an event is a business continuity strategy, a set of policies and procedures for reacting to and recovering from an IT-disabling disaster, and the main component of a business continuity strategy is to create a disaster recovery plan (DRP).
The first step in drafting a disaster recovery plan is conducting a thorough risk analysis of your computer systems. For example, a small Internet company (less than 50 employees) located in California could rate an earthquake threat as medium probability and high impact, while the threat of utility failure due to a power outage could rate high probability and high impact.
The results of Step 1 should be a comprehensive list of possible threats, each with its corresponding solution and cost. Disaster recovery budgets vary from company to company but they typically run between 2 and 8 percent of the overall IT budget. WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – The NGO Islamic Relief has urged the UN to establish a global contingency fund for disaster prevention as it is cheaper to help prepare for floods and drought than spend billions on emergencies.In a report on Monday, Feeling the Heat, the charity also called on governments and aid agencies to completely rethink their priorities and put disaster risk reduction at the heart of all aid programmes.
Despite common knowledge that investment in preventive measures is cost-effective in the long run, Islamic Relief said only a tiny proportion of aid goes on disaster risk reduction (DRR). This little-known agreement was mentioned at the Rio+20 summit in June, when governments were urged to “accelerate implementation” of the framework. Its report cited research by Development Initiatives showing that only 1% of all development aid goes towards DRR.
Islamic Relief criticised donors for “fiddling” aid figures, citing the case of money for climate mitigation and adaptation. Islamic Relief urged the UN and governments to come up with a “bold and binding international agreement to protect poor communities better when the voluntary and rather toothless Hyogo framework for action expires in 2015?.
The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns.
I bet they use the Pleiades constellation cluster this December to scare the bejeebers out of everyone and ask for donations to put things right. Which US presidential candidate is more pro-Zionist Israel and will glady give away our US Taxpayer money to them?
Without a comprehensive disaster recovery plan created by IT consulting services, you will find your business will struggle and ultimately fail if disaster strikes. First and foremost, you need to fully understand what constitutes a threat to your business. It’s important to make sure you communicate effectively with your employees so they can follow the plan you set forth.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not testing out their disaster recovery plan or testing it once and forgetting about it. A disaster recovery plan needs to be customized for every business and should be tested regularly to ensure its effectiveness. Subscribe to our Newsletter Our free regular newsletter is filled with valuable IT information. According to the law, a HIPAA covered practice must implement a contingency plan to guarantee nonstop access to electronic protected health information (ePHI) in the case of a system failure.
If your practice group is in the process of developing a HIPAA disaster recovery plan, you are tasked with explaining to patients how health care data will be moved without violating HIPAA privacy and security requirements. This strategy should include use of a cloud backup at a remote data center, working in tandem with a cloud service provider who understands the specific requirements of a medical practice.
List all the possible risks that threaten system up time and evaluate how imminent they are in your particular IT shop. So in this company’s risk analysis, a power outage would be a higher risk than an earthquake and would therefore be a higher priority when you create a disaster recovery plan.
How long can your business afford to be without its computer systems should one of your threats occur?
Companies for which system availability is crucial usually are on the higher end of the scale, while companies that can function without it are on the lower end. If, for example, they determine that the company must be up within 48 hours of an incident to stay viable, then you can calculate the amount of time it would take to execute the recovery plan and have the business back up in that time frame. The script will also outline priorities for the recovery: What needs to be recovered first? Eventually you’ll need to perform a component-level restoration of your largest databases to get a realistic assessment of your recovery procedure, but a periodic walk-through of the procedure with the Recovery Team will assure that everyone knows their roles.
The EU commissioner on humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva, strongly supports aid efforts that build up the capacity of communities to withstand shocks like drought or floods. In 2010, the world spent 23 times as much on emergency relief for the 10 countries hit hardest by disasters as it spent on disaster prevention.
After the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed almost 230,000 people in 2004, the UN general assembly agreed the Hyogo Framework for Action, in which 168 countries put their names to a 10-year-commitment to disaster risk reduction. Hyogo, a non-binding framework, called for a 1% allocation of national development budgets to DRR, along with 10% of humanitarian aid financing and 10% of reconstruction and recovery funds. Australia, the European commission and the UK have put resilience at the centre of their aid efforts, while Colombia, Indonesia and other at-risk countries are developing strong disaster programmes. Islamic Relief said the most disturbing results were in west Africa, which is now dealing with floods after drought.
To help protect yourself, you need to invest in secure IT server management to help you create a plan that will generate the results you need.
Knowing what you need your recovery plan to do for you plays an important role in the success of your plan. If all your critical information is saved offsite, whether primarily or as a backup, you can be sure it is easy to access when needed.
Make sure your employees are aware of how any communications should arrive so they know where to look when disaster strikes. While getting your business back in operation is critical, if your employees aren’t safe, your business won’t be able to function. This is why it’s important to work with IT consulting services that offer online backup and recovery service to their clients. We offer secure IT server management so you can be sure your business is in good hands after disaster strikes.
However, with healthcare reform, it is no longer an option to put off disaster planning indefinitely.

How would you recover your data and keep the business running after an unforeseen disaster? Anything that can cause a system outage is a threat, from relatively common man made threats like virus attacks and accidental data deletions to more rare natural threats like floods and fires. The management of our small Internet company, for example, may decide they can supply the budget only for the emergency generators and the company will have to assume the risk of an earthquake.
Emerson suggests that you have the recovery systems tested, configured, and retested 24 hours prior to launching them. Test the systems you’re going to use in recovery regularly to validate that all the pieces work. Research from the US government says $1 of risk reduction spending can result in as much as a $15 decrease in disaster damage. The situation is particularly stark in west Africa, where millions of people in the five countries worst affected by drought, received only 12p for disaster risk reduction (DRR) in every ?100 of aid spending over the five years to 2010. In 2010, $22.9bn was provided for climate mitigation, about 15% of total official development aid (ODA). Understanding what an online backup and recovery service will do can help you get a good start on your plan.
Once you are sure of your goals, your IT consulting services can help you craft the perfect plan. Allowing your employees to access information remotely can go a long way toward keeping everyone safe and bringing your business back online quickly.
First, it lets you know it will work when the time comes and shows you where adjustments should be made. They can help you put together a plan that will get results and will reduce the amount of downtime your company experiences after a disaster. It was a powerful lesson in the need for disaster preparedness and infrastructure resiliency that impacts clinical workflow.
When disasters strike unprepared companies the consequences range from prolonged system downtime and the resulting revenue loss to the companies going out of business completely, yet many IT shops are not prepared to deal with such scenarios. Determine which of your threats are the most likely to occur and prioritize them using a simple system: rank each threat in two important categories, probability and impact. For example, our small California Internet company could employ an emergency power supply to mitigate its power outage threat and have all its data backed up daily on RAID tapes, which are stored at a remote site in case of an earthquake. To complement the script, create a checklist or test procedure to verify that everything is back to normal once repairs and data recovery have taken place. What we are witnessing is a donors’ shell game in which funding is being reallocated under different budget heads and cut at the same time,” said the report.
And then the stars will travel back on their own orbits the way they have since the day they were formed and the UN will take credit for saving the world.
Additionally, when natural disaster strikes, it’s quite likely that medical practices will experience a surge in the patient population. As applications, hardware, and software are added to your network, they must be brought into the plan.
New threats to business seem to pop up every week and a sound DRP takes all of them into account.

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