Witnessing the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, businesses are reminded that disaster can strike at any time. Being prepared is critical. For healthcare organizations, the rigors of contingency planning are on-going. Whether a catastrophic event or a localized outage, an interruption in your organization’s operations can be costly, compromising performance, productivity, and cash flow.
Achieving a state of preparedness, business continuity planning considers contingencies to create the options and ensure their reliable availability during and after an event. Effective healthcare IT business continuity planning protects against the inability to access critical data, an interruption in communications, or technology downtime due to an infrastructure failure. Consider all possible risks—natural disaster, power outage, hardware or network failure—analyzing the likelihood of occurrence and its impact on your operations. Determine, document, and regularly test your mitigation strategy and recovery procedures.
To help you get started, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has published the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) guide complete with self-assessment contingency planning checklists, recommended practice worksheets, and additional resources and references.
Business continuity planning in healthcare is more than just good business, it’s the law. Mandatory under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires that organizations have a “comprehensive testing and monitoring strategy in place to prevent and manage downtime events.” This mandate, as part of HIPAA’s Security Rule, requires technology and protocols to back up data, be able to rapidly restore data and continue operating in “emergency mode” after an event. For more information, visit Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule and Guidance on Risk Analysis on the HHS website.
When developing and testing your business continuity plan, be sure to assess the preparedness of your service and software vendors, including RCM systems and support in your assessment. Your cash flow is critical to your organization and should not be overlooked.
At Quadax, we are committed to security, privacy and compliance; investing heavily to protect our clients’ data as well as our own, with infrastructure designed for optimal business continuity, risk mitigation, disaster recovery, and HIPAA and HITECH compliance. With robust data centers, we have the redundancy to supply our clients a high level of uptime. To further enhance our effectiveness, Quadax recently installed a 500-kilowatt, 850-gallon diesel-powered generator at our main office. The generator, capable of supplying full power to maintain 100% of our operations at Quadax’s main office, provides our staff with reliable uptime so they can deliver dependable service and support to our clients. Learn more about RCM solutions powered by Quadax.