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 is the Chief Innovation Officer for OST. Jim has provided the technical leadership and product strategic planning for the organization since the very beginning. Jim is a technology visionary who sets the long and short-term direction for OST. He specializes in seeing the “big picture” of technology, the computer industry, and the business objectives supported by IT. As OST has gained an international reputation, Jim has taught and spoken at conferences in Europe, Japan, and throughout North America.

Jim attended the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music as a pastoral ministries major, and went on to manage significant scale applications and infrastructures in the healthcare, manufacturing, and insurance industries. He has served as a consultant to many large organizations such as Herman Miller, Boeing, Priority Health, Magna-Donnelly Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Amway, Meijer, Komatsu, Mercedes, Navistar (International Truck), Flextronics, the US Navy and many hospital systems including Spectrum Health, Bronson Hospital, and HealthEast.

Jim has senior level data center skills in performance analysis and systems architecture, enterprise UNIX, reliability engineering, SAN design and implementation. He is a voracious learner and has held many technical certifications ranging from UNIX and Cisco administration through cloud architecture and design. As OST has grown and diversified, Jim has engaged with clients on product strategy, IT transformation, cloud enablement, CIO-level organizational change management, DevOps and IoT program leadership. Creating value by connecting the Data Center disciplines of the past to the Design-centric disciplines to help businesses leverage technology more effectively is a place of special focus for Jim in his recent engagements.

Jim has been heavily involved in OST’s healthcare initiatives where he has leveraged his decades of experience in healthcare, enterprise applications and systems architecture to design high performance infrastructures for the Epic EHR application and the client systems such as VDI for the access tier. He has also been directly engaged with the OST analytics team on assisting customers in the adoption of analytics to create substantial value and new revenue opportunities leveraging Big Data. In this space the combination of architecture, data visualization and design can be used to develop important new actionable insights.

Jim sits on the advisory board for the computer science/IS departments of Calvin College and Grand Valley State University Computer Science. He is an avid reader of all types of non-fiction and literature and most mornings can be found paddling a kayak, canoe or SUP before work. On the weekends, family and serving with his wife Ann at their church is a major focus.

Lastly, we must confess that some of OST’s peculiar culture is a direct derivation of Jim’s unorthodox style.