Managed IT services providers in Atlanta have now revealed the necessity of health organizations to adopt disaster recovery to be HIPAA-compliant. It is a fact that most health organizations actually do not have procedures in place for backup and disaster recovery (BDR). Hospitals may have adopted this system for fear of losing crucial patient information. However, some ambulatory practices assume that they can maneuver through any disaster that may strike. This is the wrong approach according to HIPAA. You should have a contingency plan, which involves a BDR.
Why You Need to Plan for Disasters
Federal Privacy Protections actually insists on disaster recovery plans. HIPAA puts much emphasis on the security rule, which aims to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) of all protected health information (PHI). This means that providers do not have any excuse whatsoever for losing data even in the face of natural and unavoidable disasters. In cases when patients need their data, it must be provided to them.
Requirements of the Contingency Plan under HIPAA
According to HIPAA, healthcare providers must implement proper policies and procedure to safeguard all electronically protected health information in case of data breaches because of natural disasters like fire and floods. You need BDR services that include:
- A proper disaster recovery plan
- Testing and revision procedures
- A data backup plan
- Applications and data criticality analysis
- An emergency mode operation plan
You are not being HIPAA-compliant if you fail to practice the steps listed above. Firstly, you need to ensure that all patient’s data is backed up to an offsite location such as the cloud. Secondly, you should test your means of backup by staging a disaster to ensure that you can actually restore your data if the disaster strikes.
Do not look at BDR as just a federal requirement. It is a good practice for those people who are business-minded. Many organizations have lost a lot of revenue because maybe a disaster, such as fire, hit their premises, and since they could not recover their data, they had to close down.
It is important to have a proper contingency plan to minimize downtime if a disaster sweeps all data away. Be prepared by partnering with a managed IT services provider in Atlanta because setbacks occur anytime. Data loss may coincide with a medical emergency and things could get ugly if you cannot recover your data immediately. Remember that since hospitals are in operation 24/7, it is important that you have access to patient’s data any time it is needed.
Thus, to be HIPAA-compliant, think about your disaster recovery in addition to every other HIPAA requirements. Having an emergency plan is a safety measure that will ensure that the daily operations will be up and running even when a disaster compromises your data.
MIS Solutions is an IT services provider in Atlanta that seeks to ensure that clients conform to HIPAA requirements by providing proper BDR services. Contact us to today and let us implement a good contingency plan for your healthcare facility.