When engaging an IT consulting firm in Los Angeles for your medical practice, there are multiple factors that you should consider. One of the most critical aspects is HIPAA compliance. The HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act refers to the important legislation which covers data security and privacy provisions in relation to medical information. Compliance is critical for your practice, and any violation is met with stiff penalties.
Numerous individuals who are not knowledgeable on HIPAA compliance assume that the act is only concerned with keeping medical information confidential. However, as a medical institution, you are also supposed to ensure that there is a contingency plan if the medical data is damaged. A contingency plan for a medical practice consists of multiple elements, including data backup, disaster recovery plans, and emergency mode operation strategy.
Consider this brief discussion on the importance of disaster recovery or contingency plans for medical practices in relation to HIPAA compliance.
Understanding the Significance of Disaster Recovery
The HIPAA legislation is designed to protect the integrity, confidentiality and the availability of medical information. In the modern setting, all medical practices are required to keep electronic health records. Therefore, your ability to fulfill the mandate of the HIPAA is tied to the reliability of your IT infrastructure and resources. Also, hospitals are not like other businesses. In simple terms, medical institutions are not only supposed to be able to access data during traditional business hours. It is imperative for the patient data to be available around the clock.
On the other hand, hospital networks are not exempt from the threats which have been plaguing commercial computer systems. Hackers have attacked medical institutions, limiting access to critical information. In addition, the network can be compromised by malware or the infrastructure damaged through a natural disaster. Therefore, to comply with the HIPAA standards on medical data accessibility, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan from an IT consulting firm in Los Angeles for your clinic or hospital. This contingency will ensure that you can view patient data and provide quality assistance, even when your network fails.
Developing a good contingency strategy for health records is not only about compliance. It is also important from a practical perspective. If you suffer a system setback, you want to ensure that there is minimal downtime before you can resume operations. Otherwise, your practice will be a mess if you have to deal with your IT problems in addition to medical emergencies. Simply speaking, a disaster recovery plan will prepare you for any setback.
Testing Your Contingency Plan
Often, medical facilities establish a backup and disaster recovery plan but do not perform sufficient testing. Therefore, when the actual disaster occurs, they cannot be certain whether the contingency data plan will work or not. Moreover, without sufficient testing, the recovery process will be a new procedure. Therefore, restoration will not be done quickly, which translates into extended downtime. For the best results, implement regular failover testing. If you have an experienced service provider, they can perform this task with ease.
If you are interested in disaster recovery solutions from an experienced IT consulting firm in Los Angeles, consult our experts at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc.