Article | January 26, 2017

Compliant Health Record Data Protection In The Cloud

HITO Mike Grossman, Zetta

By Mike Grossman, CEO, Zetta

For Bizmatics, Inc., providers of PrognoCIS Electronic Health Records (EHR) products and services, HIPAA compliance is nothing short of critical. So when they recently sought to enhance their data protection in accordance with their HIPAA business continuity policy, including backup and disaster recovery (DR) processes, the company looked to the cloud. Why the cloud? Because direct-to-cloud business continuity can provide affordable data protection advantages not available through on premise solutions.

Bizmatics sought to protect as much as 40TB of data for the general practice and ambulatory specialty medical care offices they support. In practice for more than 15 years, the EHR company and its PrognoCIS application serve over 15,000 medical professionals and have facilitated over 25 million patient interactions.

That’s a lot of data, and it must be compliantly and reliably protected. The cloud was their answer. By moving its data protection to the cloud, Bizmatics is now able to ensure seamless operations to the medical practices it supports by being able to restore data quickly and dependably after a disruptive event. And Bizmatics isn’t alone. In fact, according to the State of Disaster Recovery 2016 Survey, 90 percent of IT pros that use a cloud-based DR solution are confident in their approach compared to just 74 percent who use an on premise only DR solution.

Why is the cloud fast becoming a leading choice for data protection, backup and recovery, particularly for healthcare operations? Here are four key reasons:

1) Undeniably Secure. Healthcare practices that aren’t properly backing up their data can find themselves vulnerable to ransomware and malicious cyber-attacks. With critical personal health information at stake, this isn’t something any healthcare provider can overlook. By protecting data compliantly in the cloud, healthcare business associates can easily recover and restore data, avoiding threatening ransom payments. This also addresses HIPAA requirements which state that healthcare associates “establish (and implement as needed) procedures for obtaining necessary electronic protected health information during an emergency.” By opting for a direct-to-cloud backup solution that uses multiple controls, including continuous third party vulnerability scans and industry standard SSL encryption, data security can be further assured. This provides the confidence healthcare providers need to assure peace of mind in an ever risky world.

2) High Performance. Advanced cloud-based data protection solutions are truly enterprise grade with the high-performance architecture needed to move large data sets quickly. For Bizmatics and its 40TB of data this was key. Enterprise-ready, direct-to-cloud backup solutions assure that protected data can be recovered quickly and reliably. In instances where backup archives must be accessed, advanced cloud solutions can also offer rapid failover, enabling data operations to be performed seamlessly in the cloud without downtime while local recovery efforts are performed for failback. Other advanced features that speed up the data protection process include advanced change detection and data compression, multi-threaded transport technology to avoid data bottlenecks, and highly efficient storage to ensure that it will accommodate your data growth, no matter how large it gets.

3) Resource Light. Because direct-to-cloud solutions are hardware free, they eliminate the extra cost and management resources required to manage on premise hardware. Hardware can not only add cost, it can also add performance bottlenecks during data recovery and risk in the event of an on-site disaster or outage.

4) Budget Friendly. The cloud can deliver levels of cost efficiency not possible with traditional on premise solutions. Rather than rely on expensive hardware investments and the added staff resources needed to manage them, direct-to-cloud data protection delivers a scalable and affordable solution for robust healthcare data protection. These competitively priced features allow PrognoCIS to remain a solution affordable to the majority of its customers in family practices and ambulatory medical specialties.

In the healthcare industry selecting reliable and HIPAA-compliant data protection provides the security and assurance required in the ambulatory care market. A direct-to-cloud data protection approach enables healthcare business associates to get back to focusing on providing features which allow doctors to continue improving patient outcomes with the peace-of-mind they want, knowing that their data is securely and compliantly protected.

About The Author
Mike Grossman is the CEO of Zetta and an expert in cloud backup and data protection and cloud disaster recovery.