When Disaster Strikes: Data Recovery and Radiology

Updated: Feb 4

That won’t happen to us, that couldn’t happen here, it won’t be as bad as they say…

These are the things we tell ourselves when it comes to natural disaster. But, I’m sure you could go ask any one of the victims of the disasters that have struck the U.S. over the last two months, and they would have said the same thing. This begs the question, are you ready for when disaster strikes?

Is Your Facility Ready?

About 30% of facilities do not have an emergency preparedness plan. Creating a disaster plan requires thoughtfulness and time. It may seem burdensome, but you will pay the consequences at some point. Disasters can be localized like a large winter storm, tornado, earthquake, etc. or, more wide spread like Hurricane Harvey. Your disaster plan should consider both kinds of scenarios.

An actual disaster may cause you to change your disaster plan. Hurricane Sandy prompted Staten Island University Hospital’s radiology department to change its disaster plans. While they maintained power due to reliable, durable rooftop generators, they still had to shut down their servers because the basement had flooded.

Learn from your peers’ experiences to try to prevent those type of occurrences at your facility. No plan is perfect, but you can always learn from others to avoid repeating a similar problem.

Why Now?

The switch to digital and information being shared across facilities in real time does not often allow for down time. HIPAA requires data backup per section 164.308. The more progress we see in the industry, the higher we raise the bar when it comes to security.

These higher standards for security mean that the consequences of losing data due to a disaster are even more significant; they can cause loss of credibility and reputation, HIPAA penalties for non-compliance, financial losses, etc.

How Do We Simplify Disaster Recovery?

Many people are turning to a VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) as a true enterprise imaging solution.

It holds the solutions to many problems concerning disaster recovery. While “VNA” is a term overly used by a lot of vendors, there are few true VNA solutions. A true VNA is an archive solution for ALL DICOM and Non-DICOM data, and should provide offsite storage in multiple facilities. So, when disaster strikes, your data is secure no matter where the disaster occurs.

For more information on VNAs, click here.

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