I’ve identified four key areas that any healthcare IT leader should be concerned about. You can never be too careful or too concerned. You are tasked with managing this data and these four concepts should be high on your list of key concerns for the data you handling on a daily basis…
Data availability. Think disaster recover. Think frequent backups. Think 24/7 recovery and availability. Can you provide it? Healthcare is important to everyone and to individuals, employers, insurance companies, and medical providers all at the same time. The healthcare IT department must workable plans in place for disaster recovery and quick up time if an event should occur. Many contracts with outside organizations require proof of your capability to be back up and running productively fast and accurately.
Scalability. Can you handle it? It’s not like the information you manage is going to shrink. It will only grow in size. Think about it. The data you handle today is the data you’ll handle 20 years from now – times 100,000. It grows almost exponentially. Are you ready? Thankfully, data storage gets smaller, less expensive and easier every few years. But the data still grows and you need to be certain that you have the hardware and software resources to keep up with it. And the financial resources. Storage and data handling costs money – and as time goes by this cost of storage will become an ever-increasing percentage of your annual budget. Figuring out appropriate and economical ways to pass this on to your customers and various providers who require this information requires creativity that may be best left to your CFO.
Scared? Don’t be. Concerned? Yes, you should be concerned. Always. Someone else’s health data is important stuff and your IT group is responsible for it’s safety, privacy, well-being, and availability. No small task. And yes, it falls into the Big Data category with the potential for scalability of biblical proportions. More and more healthcare information is being captured all the time in increasingly detailed formats. Be prepared.