Disaster recovery services

Should My Medical Practice Have a Disaster Recovery Services Plan?

August 23, 2017

From Mother Nature to a server glitch, computer hacking to theft, is your practice prepared for the unexpected? Traditionally, the answer is probably not, according to Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), the nation’s leading authority on the independent medical practice. While disasters can feel like they’re looming just around the corner, up until five years ago many practices had not instituted a disaster recovery services plan.

All that changed with HITECH’s requirement for electronic medical records (EMRs). Suddenly practices of all sizes were dumping paper charts and increasing their reliance on a network of interconnected electronic devices.

But disaster recovery plans in today’s medical practice encompass more than just electronic records. There are also equipment or other physical assets that must be seen to. So, how should today’s modern medical practice prepare for the unexpected?

Disaster Planning in the Medical Practice

As part of HIPAA security rule 164.308(a)(7)(i), medical practices are required to create a disaster recovery services plan with a data backup process. The rule states that these businesses must have a plan to continue services in the event of any sort of man-made or natural disaster. The goal is to have a procedure in place to ensure that electronic health information is secured regularly on an off-premise server. We recommend a three-step process for securing your assets:

  • Secure your data including patient records and accounting.
  • Secure your practice assets like the building, computers, and medical equipment.
  • Develop an emergency communication plan, with printed copies that are easily accessible and mobile for your team.

As you’re developing the disaster recovery plan, it’s a good time to reach out to your insurance agent to confirm your coverage. What are the events that your insurance will (or will not) cover? Are there waiting periods before any of these services kick in? Are there any unusual clauses in the policy that you need to be aware of?

Understanding your options before disaster strikes will help you resume operations more quickly, protect your precious patient and financial data, and get you back on your feet in no time.

Contact TOSS C3 to get a free assessment of your practice’s readiness for a disaster.

Managed Service Providers – Disaster Recovery Services

Given today’s emphasis on the digital practice, a managed service provider can help you develop a technology security and business continuity plan. This outsourced IT resource can help you create a data backup and recovery plan that could include migrating crucial data to the cloud or creating a virtual machine in place of on-premise hardware that has been stolen or destroyed. Getting your technology back up and functioning is a crucial part of resuming normal practice operations. A managed service provider offering disaster recovery services can handle this crucial function, freeing you up to implement the rest of your business continuity plan.

A disaster recovery plan should be a living document that is continuously updated, instead of being created and shelved. All staff should be aware of the steps necessary to implement the plan, and everyone should have a role in its success. With a managed service provider in your corner, you can rest easy knowing your critical business data is safely tucked away.

Request a quote for disaster recovery services.

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