Downtime, whether planned or unplanned, puts an incredible amount of stress on healthcare organizations. It’s a balancing act to provide the best patient care while systems are being restored, all while keeping patient information secure. Unfortunately, with the increase of ransomware in the healthcare industry, unplanned downtime is becoming a more common threat and adds even more complexity to the mix.
Here are 5 reasons to consider having an effective plan for downtime:
- Better Patient Care
With healthcare becoming increasingly paperless, access to digital information is essential to patient care. But, when a downtime event occurs, even simple tasks like locating which bed a patient is in can become challenging and time-consuming. With an effective downtime plan, hospitals can ensure clinicians have the information they need to provide the best possible care for patients and minimize disruption.
- Remain Compliant
While most organizations can “get by” with pen and paper during downtime, it not only opens the door for more clinical errors but puts protected patient information at risk if not stored or destroyed properly. Although we understand pen and paper are sometimes impossible to avoid during downtime, with sufficient employee training and a downtime solution for your patient privacy monitoring software, healthcare organizations may limit the potential for breaching HIPAA compliance.
- Reduce Complexity
Managing Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) is challenging enough without having to factor in downtime. An effective downtime plan focused on automating critical applications and data can help reduce the workload from IT staff already dealing with complex systems and constrained budgets. Strategies such as replicating virtualized private cloud environments, automating backups, or working with a third-party vendor who provides a downtime solution, removes much of the complexity that comes with trying to go it alone.
- Avoid Reputation Damage
Hospitals spend years building a reputation for providing excellent care and protecting patient data, but a single major downtime event can erase all that hard work. Minimizing the effect of unplanned downtime helps hospitals avoid poor patient care, the loss of patient records, and damage to overall patient trust. With the threat of unplanned downtime increasing due to ransomware, finding an effective solution for downtime is vital to maintaining patient trust.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Having an effective downtime solution comes with the benefit of being able to prepare for planned and unplanned events. Regularly testing the network, systems, and critical data will reveal any potential pitfalls and help improve recovery time objectives. In addition to testing systems, consistent employee training keeps staff up to date on their roles and creates best practices for when a downtime event occurs.
iatricSystems™ Can Help
iatricSystems™ is pleased to offer CareContinuity™, a solution designed to provide your users with access to critical patient information during planned and unplanned EHR or LAN downtime from any web-enabled device. We understand providing excellent care to your patients is your top priority, and CareContinuity helps your caregivers continue to provide the level of care needed, even during system downtime.
For a demonstration or more information on CareContinuity, or any other iatricSystems products or services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.