Healthcare Business Continuity: Make Sure Your IT Infrastructure is Ready

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In any business, keeping operational when you’re supposed to be is always the goal. But what if something happens to keep you from functioning properly? This is especially important in healthcare where timely access to critical health information can literally mean life or death. Is your IT infrastructure ready for worst-case scenario? Do you have a business continuity plan in-place?

Let’s think about your healthcare clinic a different way: As a delivery service. Let’s say your network server is like a delivery truck. Its job is to get stuff to people that need it on time. It’s pretty good at its job when it’s running right.

Let’s say that your truck breaks down on the way to a delivery. Now no deliveries are happening but people are still counting on getting their stuff as usual. They don’t know, nor do they likely care, that your truck is down.

A disaster recovery plan is about what you do to get your truck fixed. Let’s say you call the mechanic, they dispatch a tow truck that then tows your truck to the repair facility. They diagnose the issue, order parts and when they arrive install the parts to get your truck back up and running. It only takes about three days.

But what about all the stuff people were expecting to have delivered to their doorstep? That’s three days of unhappy customers, followed by many more days of reputation loss because you weren’t able to get deliveries made on time.

A business continuity plan is about how to conduct business while your truck is out of commission. Let’s say you have a backup truck all gassed up and ready to take over for your main truck. You just start up that backup truck, take a few minutes to grab the stuff and start making deliveries. People still get their stuff while your main truck is in the shop. When the main truck is fixed, you start using it instead of your backup truck.

When it comes to your network infrastructure and getting back to work after the unexpected happens, standard server backups to disk simply aren’t enough. Standard backups are great for simple file restores, but what if the server being backed up fails, requiring parts? Like our truck example above, you would be out of commission and you would not be able to serve your customers.

You not only have to have good monitored backups, you need to have a way to get working again from those backups quickly while your server is being repaired. The cost of the potentially-lost business far outweighs the cost of such a solution.

Server downtime can damage the trust and reputation you have built with your patients and the community you serve. Don’t go without a proper business continuity plan. We are happy to discuss your current situation and help develop a plan – just give us a call.

Brock McFarlane is founding owner, CEO, and HIPAA Security Officer for Weston Technology Solutions. Weston Technology Solutions has been serving the Pacific Northwest since 1994, providing managed IT services to small and medium-sized businesses with offices in Bend, Anchorage and Spokane. www.weston-tech.com, bmcfarlane@weston-tech.com or 541-383-2340.

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Brock Mcfarlane of Weston Technology Solutions

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