DISASTER – Averted!

Your clinic is under water… no literally, underwater, as in bubbles, mud, destroyed!  Where are your off-site backups? Sometime back I was sitting in a community health center (CHC) somewhere along the Gulf of Mexico Coast.  You know the place, the land of Hurricane Ike, Katrina, & many more to come.  I was discussing disaster recovery planning with the Director of Information Technology when suddenly the fire alarm was all you could hear.  This was a new, multi-story, well planned facility and as such the designated fire captains made sure the facility evacuation went smoothly with little or no confusion.  Once outside we found ourselves in a group of patients, faculty, staff a safe distance from the facility and we were all wondering is the building on fire, was there a bomb… no – just a fire drill to insure all went as planned in the event of a disaster.

While standing on the grass lawn well behind the facility I whispered to the IT Director “where are your patient record backups?”  He turned a brilliant shade of RED and said “in my briefcase… in my office…”.  That’s right, the office we just evacuated!  The truth is effective disaster recovery goes way beyond “where are my offsite backups”.

A well designed application service provider (ASP) EHR not only takes the worry of backups off your shoulders but should also, provide a turn-key solution to “now my clinic is gone… where is patient xyz’s chart?”  We pay a professional to care for our health… critical health care information deserves no less!  Effective, timely disaster recovery is no accident – make sure you KNOW what will happen with your patient records when the next hurricane comes along.

Mark Holliday