It’s possible to conquer this data explosion with storage solutions that increase information retrieval speed, boost storage capacity, and foster resiliency. Trends among healthcare IT pros include reducing the overall size and number of files that clinicians need to save as well as finding more efficient storage methods.
Data compression, selective archiving, and smart storage appliances that support storage tiering and server consolidation present opportunities to reduce costs while improving performance. IT innovations such as storage area network (SAN) solutions and data deduplication help ensure that your organization can store information, access it when needed, and stay within budget.
Manage the Information Lifecycle
So how exactly does a healthcare organization store all this data and accommodate future growth? The answer lies in implementing Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) practices and tiered storage using your existing data storage and retrieval systems, new higher-capacity storage devices, or virtual storage.
ILM enables you to make the most efficient use of your resources by assigning different categories of data to types of storage media. As files age, they can automatically migrate away from disk-based tier-one storage, to tier-two and tier-three devices—like tape drives and libraries. Records needing constant accessibility will require larger online disk arrays and storage-specific network engineering.
Build a Backup Plan
While EHRs eliminate the days of misplaced paper files, it’s still possible for electronic files to be lost. For healthcare providers of all sizes, a backup is the first defense against the loss of patient data. HIPAA Security Regulations specify how electronic information should be stored, transferred, and used to ensure the privacy of individually identifiable data related to a patient’s healthcare. It’s extremely important to restrict access to your server and maintain a backup of all current files.