SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

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Disaster Preparedness Advice for Hospitals to Protect Both Patients and Data During Hurricane Florence and Future Storms

As hospitals and healthcare providers prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Florence, ClearDATA®, the leading security and compliance expert in the healthcare cloud, shares guidance to help hospitals and healthcare providers minimize the negative impacts of Hurricane Florence and future storms this season.

Surveys suggest that some healthcare IT executives still do not have a disaster recovery plan in place. Traditionally, for providers that tend to rely more heavily upon on-site data centers, the only strategy in place for recovery is to remain dark until the issues are fixed. While some cite stagnant budgets and a lack of manpower, many more believe that implementing disaster recovery plans are simply too challenging to complete.

“Having a well-designed, thoroughly-tested disaster recovery plan is not optional. It is essential for today’s data-driven healthcare organizations,” explained Matt Ferrari, ClearDATA’s Chief Technology Officer. “Implementing Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery services through a healthcare-focused cloud services provider helps make disaster recovery more accessible and affordable to organizations of all sizes.”

ClearDATA’s top three disaster recovery tips for hospitals bracing for the impact of hurricanes this season include:

1) Two Availability Zones

Healthcare providers should strive to have two public cloud data centers, or availability zones, which replicate data over a secure and encrypted connection such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) DirectConnect. The moment a disaster is declared, the data is already encrypted and replicated at the second facility. Only the instances, or Virtual Machines, need to be stood up at that time. This can be accomplished by automated scripting, which many service providers can help configure and test. One of the key reasons that healthcare organizations should consider this approach is so they don’t have to pay for the running environment, save ongoing networking configuration and storage, in two locations.

2) “Pilot Light” and “Hot Standby” Options

“Pilot light” and “hot standby” solutions are often used to describe a disaster response scenario where a minimal version of an environment is always running in the cloud. In one example, a hospital’s on-premise database server mirrors data to data volumes on the cloud. With frequent or continuous incremental backups, the cloud-based database server is consistently activated. If the hospital’s onsite system fails, then the application and caching servers are activated. Users are then rerouted using elastic IP addresses to the ad hoc environment on the cloud. Data recovery occurs in moments.

3) When Traditional Disaster Response Works

Many hospitals want to use the public cloud for the disaster recovery side and not production since they have significant personnel expertise and CapEx investment in their data centers already that are in production. In this instance, a more traditional disaster response service is appropriate. This service “bursts” into public cloud at the time of a declared disaster, and runs recovery procedures, oftentimes via automated scripting, to do clinical application by application recovery.

ClearDATA aims to stand by and protect healthcare providers during natural disasters for continual patient care and treatment in an effort to make healthcare better every single day. As the first multi-cloud healthcare-exclusive cloud provider to achieve HITRUST 9.1 certification, ClearDATA is leading the way with extensive expertise in the security and compliance needed to protect sensitive healthcare data. ClearDATA also offers Security Risk Assessments, a comprehensive process that provides hospitals and healthcare providers with a concise and unbiased analysis of compliance and security with all 20 Security Standards and more than 60 Safeguard Criteria.

To learn more about how ClearDATA is protecting providers in the healthcare cloud visit https://www.cleardata.com/solutions/.

About ClearDATA

Healthcare professionals across the globe trust the ClearDATA HITRUST- certified cloud to safeguard their sensitive data and power their critical applications available across major public cloud platforms. For healthcare organizations, customers receive the most comprehensive Business Associate Agreements (BAA) in the industry, combined with market-leading healthcare-exclusive security and compliance solutions. ClearDATA’s innovative solutions protect customers from data privacy risks, improve their data management, and scale their healthcare IT infrastructure, enabling the industry to focus on making healthcare better by improving healthcare delivery.

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