Virtualized Disaster Recovery Model for Large Scale Hospital and Healthcare Systems

Virtualized Disaster Recovery Model for Large Scale Hospital and Healthcare Systems

Olivia F. Lee (St. Cloud State University, USA) and Dennis Guster (St. Cloud State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1755-1.ch022
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Healthcare organizations face rising costs in effective management of hospital information systems. Adding to this burden is the Joint Commission’s mandate for disaster preparedness, which demands restoring access to information after unexpected catastrophes. Disaster recovery within healthcare organizations is essential because of its inherent critical nature and the possible losses’ impact on patients’ lives. This paper presents a virtualized disaster recovery model and presents steps for setting up the recovery environment and implementing the virtualized plan across multiple network systems. A large scale hospital and healthcare system in Minnesota participated in this study, and results indicate that the virtual model can provide acceptable performance when a limited number of client workstations are functioning. However, its performance is not as good as the traditional physical model, and its workload performance decays much quicker. Future research is suggested that tests more sophisticated models and incorporates finer granularity in the tabular distribution methodology.
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2. Hospital Information System

Hospital information systems (HIS), also referred to as clinical information systems (CIS), are comprehensive and integrated information systems designed to manage the clinical aspects and business administrative functions of healthcare organizations. The scope of HIS varies, but essentially these systems comprise one or more software applications with clinical specialty extensions, administrative functions and ancillary support, or a large variety of sub-systems in medical specialties such as the laboratory information and radiology information systems. Historically, HIS were used as remote data processing applications to handle routine operations such as accounting, billing, payroll, drug inventory, computer-assisted diagnostics and clinical instrumentation. Available to internal users only, these applications were designed based on ad-hoc demands and were often unable to interact with existing legacy systems. Frequently, users printed out the results generated by one system, and manually entered them into another system. Since most HIS were used to perform only specific operating tasks, users relied on paper trails for documentation and records for backup information.

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