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Written By

Jim VanderMey

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May 13, 2019

The Importance of Disaster Recovery in Healthcare

Disaster Recovery Services for Hospitals

I like to hike.  One of my favorite scenes in California is a simple gap between a fence on the Earthquake Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. The fence was split by the motion of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. It dramatically illustrates the gap and motion between the two plates.

There is a dramatic gap and motion between business and clinical leaders and healthcare IT leaders. We were asked by a client of ours last summer to help them communicate the business risk of not investing in a comprehensive IT Disaster Recovery (DR) plan.  IT was using language of SLOs/SLAs/RTO/RPO and because of the investment in sound DR infrastructure for Epic, their primary Electronic Health Record (EHR), the organization had made assumptions about the overall resiliency of their clinical applications.

OST has found in our direct research with IT departments in healthcare that the analysts supporting applications commonly overstate the criticality of certain applications and often under-appreciate the patient impact of other applications. Instead of based on arbitrary tiers, we organize applications based upon the clinical and business impacts of these applications and the internal and external stakeholders they support.

To illustrate this, we wrote a story to show what patient care would be like five days after a critical data center failure that left Epic up and running but the dozens of supporting applications unavailable and without a standardized approach for recovering the applications. We communicated the risks in terms of patient care, physician impact and organizational uncertainty. We turned that story into a video.

Watch the trailer:

Download the full version here.

Every example is real.  Every scenario described is a situation one of our clients or our team has personally experienced.  We hope this video helps repair the gap in the fence caused by the different motions between IT and the business and clinical teams in your hospital.

We hope you reach out to our healthcare team to see how we can support your DR initiatives. We are excited by the combination of clinical alignment exercises and business workshops coupled with great architecture to create modern DR solutions for healthcare using the capabilities of the cloud.

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About the Author

Jim VanderMey, Chief Innovation Officer, has been with OST since the very beginning. Throughout his career, Jim has taught and spoken at international conferences; acquired a wide range of technical certifications; consulted for enterprises in manufacturing, healthcare and many other industries; and accomplished much more. Outside of OST, Jim is a commissioner for the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services HIT Commission, sits on multiple advisory boards at universities and pursues other community involvement activities. Outside of work, you’ll often find Jim reading, paddle-boarding, spending time with his family (including six grandkids) and serving with his wife Ann at their church.