There is more to healthcare cloud technology than merely sharing electronic health data or running applications on thin clients. We should also consider DRaaS or Disaster Recovery as a Service as one of the principal aspects of healthcare cloud technology. 

DRaaS in Healthcare Industry

DRaaS facilitates data resiliency even if there are potentially harmful events such as malicious attacks, natural disasters, or network outages to name just a few. Protection of healthcare records even if there is damage to or loss of hardware that was supposed to access the same is a very significant benefit of automated systems. 

Accessing and updating of information is executed during data recovery process in the cloud by implementation of DRaaS solution. Since the entire process is designed to be automated following initial IT deployment, there is no need to constantly monitor the process. 

In case of backup automation and setting up of disaster protocol, it is essential to analyze routine interaction with data that is accessed on daily basis by employees who are using healthcare cloud hosting solution, in addition to rate of new data entry. 

It is worth mentioning that according to Department of Health and Human Services, a Disaster Recovery Plan or DRP needs to be subjected to risk analysis by considering three vital parameters including:

• Organization standards
• Safeguards related to technical, physical and administrative aspects
• Procedures and policies

Role of regulations in healthcare DRP

The most notable aspect of DRaaS adoption can be witnessed in healthcare sector and other regulated industries. Thanks to government regulations that are put in place for protection of healthcare data of patients, DRaaS is extensively implemented in this sector. 

In addition to pressures from government regulatory authorities, Disaster Recovery as a Service has also proven its usefulness owing to viability of cloud based solutions in managing intricacies of Disaster Recovery Plan. It must be understood that no Disaster Recovery Plan can be effectively implemented in the absence of a solution that is dedicated as well as automated. 

Disaster recovery plans that are based on healthcare cloud technology have been extremely useful as well as practical. It is found that cloud DRP is more important than legacy storage solutions due to the complexities involved in implementation of DRaaS. Disaster Recovery providers need to ensure perpetual availability of electronically Protected Health Information according to the regulations governing healthcare sector such as HIPAA. 

Multiple models of DRaaS

DRaaS is designed to protect cloud service solutions by offering multiple ways of combating disruptive events that can present themselves in diverse forms. The process of combating events that have potential to disrupt a cloud service solution is an automated one and it can successfully handle recovery of a single user as well as that of the whole IT infrastructure of healthcare service provider. 

Organizations can make a beginning by implementation of any standard cloud solution such as IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS to manage routine services of infrastructure. These basic models have inbuilt data backup functionalities and IaaS can even provide components of disaster recovery. 

DRaaS solutions can be implemented by using any one of the following models:

• In-cloud DRaaS is ideal for storage of data in one cloud for recovering it to another cloud. 
• If you need to recover data off to the cloud and on a physical server, then From-cloud DRaaS is used. 
• To-cloud DRaaS is commonly implemented by data centers or by onsite servers for backing up data from applications that are not placed in cloud. It involves copying of data from a physical server over the cloud. It is especially suitable for enterprises that have not adopted cloud but need to use cloud as a backup. 

There are many factors that influence selection of a particular model of DRaaS. It primarily depends on whether a cloud service has already been implemented in an organization. You also need to consider if there are any future objectives for either adopting or scaling up cloud solutions in response to data restrictions.

It is possible that some enterprises may need presence of an on premise backup server. In essence, it is not necessary for organizations to restrict themselves to a single model if there is requirement of physical as well as cloud backup solutions. 

Healthcare cloud data protection- new horizons

Thanks to the consistent adoption of cloud solutions, the paradigm of accessing healthcare information from within the organization is shifting outwards. The services as well as data needs to be easily accessible at any given time and from any possible location due to incorporation of a digital work environment. 

This has also prompted movement of disaster recovery to cloud. It is easy to understand that implementation of cloud DRP is an essential aspect of managing data resiliency in healthcare organizations due to digitalization, need for accessibility, and pressure from regulatory authorities. 

It can be safely predicted that DRaaS will be replacing physical servers to handle availability and integrity of patients’ health information. Knowledge about security of the data and ease of accessibility is a great respite to patients as well as healthcare professionals.