By Tim Mullahy, Liberty Center One
Business continuity is critical to every organization and every industry - but if you work in healthcare, it’s even more important. In large part, that’s due to HIPAA. That’s not the only reason, though.
What happens to your organization in the event of an emergency? If your infrastructure fails due to a natural disaster, how will you ensure business continuity? If there’s a data breach, what’s your response plan?
These are all questions you need to answer, no matter what industry you work in. As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the need for checks and balances to keep our organizations up and running in a disaster have grown more important than ever. Nowhere is that truer than in the healthcare field.
Yours is an industry where consistent access to patient data could be the difference between life and death. A field where the information you work with is of the most sensitive, most critical nature. A vertical that deals with some of the most intimate parts of its patients’ lives.
This is precisely why regulations like HIPAA exist. And it’s also why HIPAA includes a strict set of guidelines pertaining to disaster recovery. Per HIPAA guidelines, healthcare organizations and covered entities must develop and implement plans for:
You have a duty of care to ensure that patients are in no way compromised during downtime, and that the security and integrity of their data are never put at risk. Fortunately, so long as you follow the guidelines established in HIPAA, it should not be terribly difficult to establish the policies and procedures necessary to make this so. To that end, you should take the following steps:
There is no other way to say it. Disaster recovery is as much a part of HIPAA as confidentiality and privacy. If you do not have clear contingencies in place to protect your systems, people, and data in an emergency, you are not compliant.
About The Author
Tim Mullahy is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Liberty Center One, a new breed of data center located in Royal Oak, MI. Tim has a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.