Disaster recovery an urgent problem for healthcare IT specialists

According to the results of a survey conducted by data management firm BridgeHead Software, business continuity and disaster recovery are two of the greatest challenges facing healthcare IT personnel.

The report indicates that increasing volumes of patient data are making it difficult for healthcare IT specialists to keep up. While 65 percent of individuals polled as part of the survey responded that the amount of data being handled had increased, only 25 percent said they had robust data recovery and disaster preparedness plans in place.

“In the face of unstoppable data growth, it is becoming a serious challenge for hospitals to store and protect patient data while also making it available for clinicians in a timely manner at the point of care,” said Jim Beagle, chief executive officer of BridgeHead. “Results from this year’s Healthcare Data Management survey indicate that hospitals are still grappling with many of the same IT challenges they faced last year, particularly with regards to business continuity and disaster recovery.”

While 64 percent of hospitals surveyed said they had some form of disaster recovery strategy in place, 38 percent had not yet been tested.

Despite the challenges presented by increasing volumes of data, many hospitals are proceeding with ambitious healthcare IT projects. Results of the survey indicate 90 percent of facilities intended to transition to a paperless practice environment in the near future by implementing medical informatics systems. An additional 32 percent indicated they planned to migrate to a new picture archiving and communication system (PACS) within the next five years.

Approximately 35 percent of facilities polled indicated they had no plans to reduce carbon emissions at their data centers, and almost half said they intended to expand the storage capacity of their information archiving facilities by at least one terabyte in the next 12 months.

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