Cloud News

DRaaS Critical to Recovering HIT Infrastructure Downtime

Organizations are deploying DRaaS solutions to ensure patient data is not lost and critical workflows are not interrupted in the event of system failure.

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By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- As health IT infrastructure datacenters collect more information from mobile and connected medical devices, organizations are faced with making sure all the data is backed up in the event of a system failure.

According to a recent report conducted by Transparency Market Research, the disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) is expected to grow significantly through 2024 as organizations seek flexible and scalable disaster recovery solutions.

DRaaS solutions duplicate physical or virtual servers in the event of a man-made failure or natural disaster. DRaaS solutions are also cloud-based so they are duplicated to a third-party provider, protecting the data in the physical location is compromised. 

Report authors stated that organizations across all industries are leaning more heavily on their data, making it vital to protect the data from being compromised. DRaaS is implemented to protect data from disruption from small outages to major system failures.

Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions are more flexible and scalable compared to traditional disaster recovery solutions. Traditional solutions require setting up servers and configuring them to match the host site for a smooth transition when recovery is needed.

Traditional solutions can also be expensive as organizations may need to purchase both the main and recovery servers at the same time to avoid configuration incompatibility.

For healthcare organizations with electronic health records (EHRs) as the major focal point of workflow operations, DRaaS solutions are critical to ensuring patient data is not lost.

“Where backup and recovery is particularly stark is when being down directly impacts the business,” Zetta CEO Mike Grossman told HITInfrastructure.com. “It’s a significant issue in the context of healthcare where people’s lives are involved. The real issue is, what happens when something goes wrong, what do you do to recover the data, and how quickly can you be up and running again?”

Grossman also pointed out the important distinction between backing up data and recovering it. While the terms are often used together or interchangeably, simply backing up data to an off-premise cloud server does an organization little good from an operations standpoint.

If there is no comparable recovery solution to retrieve the backed-up data, healthcare organizations are unable to resume regular workflow. In emergency rooms or ICUs, a lack of recoverability could put patients at risk.

“The biggest difference between backup recovery in healthcare vs other industries is that the data is so inherently private and you have the whole layer of HIPAA compliance. There are some similarities with other sectors, like the financial space for example, where it’s not just data, it’s data that needs to be absolutely safeguarded in a significant way,” Grossman explained.

“Healthcare more than any other sector has that sensitivity related to data,” he continued. “If you want to provide solutions in the healthcare space you have to be absolutely rock solid when it comes to issues of compliance.”

Healthcare organizations have been reluctant to leverage cloud technology, but over the past year, the healthcare industry has seen a significant rise in the adoption of cloud-based IT infrastructure solutions.

“In the past year healthcare organizations that have historically been reluctant to leverage the cloud are shifting to the cloud,” Grossman observed. “The biggest piece of advice for healthcare organizations implementing advanced backup and recovery solutions would be to consider a cloud solution.

“Legacy solutions tend to have hidden costs and are hard to manage which makes it difficult to get up and running when something goes wrong. If you’re a healthcare organization and you can’t be down, cloud recovery is a very attractive solution.”

DRaaS solutions have the flexibility and scalability healthcare organizations need as they depend more on their health IT infrastructure. Organizations that would be crippled by an outage need to consider a cloud-based backup and recovery solution to ensure the continuation of critical workflow.