The healthcare IT landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Having technology and critical data at their fingertips has altered the way providers approach patient care. It has also changed the way patients access, participate in and pay for the services they receive. IT has transformed the entire healthcare industry from top to bottom. Access, uptime and availability have become essential to providing excellent patient care and services.
If you’re considering additional healthcare IT solutions for your organization, there will be no shortage of options to review. Creating the right solution is different for every organization – from entire health systems down to small departments, there is no cookie cutter IT solution that works for everyone. Opportunities to customize and tailor apps and programs to suit very specific needs are essential, and perfectly crafted solutions may need to change and grow after a period of time. That’s part of the beauty and challenge of healthcare IT. As the industry needs to shift, technology solutions adapt and grow to support whatever is on the horizon.
Regardless, there are a few considerations that hold true across the industry:
- Privacy and Security
Privacy and security go hand in hand when it comes to healthcare IT, though they must be addressed separately. In a recent blog post, we discussed the difference between privacy and security in healthcare IT environments, and the importance of protecting the private data that must be collected in the healthcare industry.
Read more about privacy, security and how to protect your data.
Private health data has become very valuable, and hackers with bad intentions are willing to go to lengths to obtain it by whatever means possible. Health systems are often targets for cybersecurity breaches that threaten both the privacy and security of private health data. Ensure your organization is protected by partnering with an IT solutions provider who understands the healthcare industry from top to bottom.
Nearly every aspect of healthcare involves some level of data collection. The sheer amount of data that healthcare organizations need to store in a secure data center adds up fast. For example, a routine ultrasound can result in hundreds of images. Patient records can require gigabytes of storage space, and as cases become more complex, the size of the health record continues to grow.
As healthcare organizations take on more patients, their need for a reliable storage solution increases. If growth outpaces the space available, all that data will have to be transferred to a new solution. This presents a level of risk that could have been avoided easily with a scalable storage solution. Start with what you need today, but make sure your data storage solution is private, secure and scalable to grow right alongside your organization.
- Backup and Recovery
Another consideration is your backup plan. What happens if your service is interrupted? In the event of a natural disaster or a man-made error, is your organization prepared to bounce back? Can you afford the cost of downtime? When you plan for some of the worst-case scenarios, you’ll be better able to respond when (not if) a small disaster occurs. Most industries have very little tolerance for downtime, but in the healthcare industry, downtime puts lives at risk.
Disaster recovery and business continuity are essential considerations for any healthcare organization. Market research firm IDC estimates that the average cost of a single hour of downtime can cost large organizations (with 1,000-4,999 employees) approximately $225,000. Can your organization afford downtime? Rather than risking downtime and unexpected overhead costs, invest in a disaster recovery and backup solution that will protect your organization.
While privacy, scalability and backup are critical factors to any healthcare IT solution, there is one element that is absolutely essential throughout the industry: Availability. Patients, providers, payers and more all need access to data 24/7/365. This is non-negotiable in the healthcare industry. If a server goes down, the backup needs to become available immediately. Gaps in access to data mean healthcare professionals cannot provide the level of care that the industry demands.
Involta partnered with Veeam and IDC to explore the impact of technology in the healthcare industry. We’ve outlined six critical factors to consider when evaluating healthcare technology solutions in our new white paper Transforming Healthcare: Saving Lives with Zero Downtime: 6 Guidelines for Availability.
Protecting Your Data Across the Multi-Cloud Webinar
Protecting Your Data Across the Multi-Cloud Webinar, presented by Involta and Veeam Thursday, April 19. Click here to watch the recording to learn more about multi-cloud availability best practices.