Advice from the field ...
As health care continues to move from paper-based to digital records, data recovery is a business imperative. We asked GEOFFREY BROWN, senior vice president and ClO at Inova Health System, Falls Church, Va., how the seven-hospital system approaches data recovery.
* How often do you review and test your data recovery plan?
We formally test and report our results annually to Inova leadership and our board of trustees. Elements of the plan are reviewed throughout the year. We take this seriously for several reasons. First, the Inova senior leadership team understands the importance of making this investment. A few years ago, we shifted our strategy from disaster recovery of critical applications to business continuity. In this region, there remains a high awareness and sensitivity toward emergency preparedness and the impact down systems cause on our internal and external customers and operations.
* What kind of pressure is there to ensure that access to data can be restored quickly?
There is no pressure greater than our own internal efforts to ensure high data and system reliability of services to our patients. As our information systems become more integrated, any disruption impacts a larger population of our workforce and caregivers. Extended outages can significantly impact quality and safety, as well as business operations. When you consider the costs, not to speak of other implications, it makes sense to have an active process and culture in this regard.
* How should providers view cloud computing?
Cloud computing platforms should be held to an equal or higher standard. Performance metric service-level agreements, security, compliance and risk factors should be investigated thoroughly. Negotiations should include clear metrics on recovery services and data management based on your business requirements.