Small hospitals, clinics, and group practices are in late-stage implementations and even early-stage upgrades to their EHR system and availing the impact on efficiencies and the quality of care. But in case your system goes down, your clinical and administrative staff be idle and unproductive while you look for an in-house IT member to resolve it.
System downtime for small and medium-sized businesses SMBs costs a significant tune of $137 to $427 per minute. Small hospitals, clinics, and practices can add up to thousands of dollars each day. Extended system downtime can likewise impact patient care. When your working staff does not have access to patient health records, they may need to reschedule tests and appointments, may consider manual physician notes, or even may refer patients to other nearby healthcare organizations for treatment. Your staff will be helpless to schedule patient visits, submit claims, issue invoices, or make payments.
Causes for Downtime
Data breaches, ransomware, and cyberattacks acquired mega social attraction these past several years and are justifiable. As time evolves with new technologies, cyberpunks get more creative as they look for gaps in hardware, operating systems, software, and applications, including your network framework. Perhaps, if one of your staff members clicks a suspicious link in an email – your data can be breached easily.
Some of the Main Reasons
Human Err: Whether unintentionally or due to negligence, human error is the most widely recognized reason for IT downtime. An employee accidentally deleting data or not following standard protocols can also lead to downtime. Human error is unavoidable. But security awareness training and having a well-documented IT checklist can reduce reoccurrence.
Software/Hardware Failure: Software or hardware increases the possibilities of application failure and system outages. Outdated software and hardware likewise result in inefficient performance, which can harm productivity. Assuming patches are applied without testing protocols, it can corrupt the whole application.
Misconfiguration: Device misconfiguration is one more significant reason for downtime. Configuration errors can create security gaps in your network framework, making it vulnerable to online attacks. To avoid configuration errors, you can automate the whole process instead of setting the parameters physically. Test the configurations in a lab setting before implementing the progression to your system.
Bugs: Bugs in a server’s operating framework can negatively impact its performance and lead to security issues. Assuming patches are not applied on time or applied without testing, it can corrupt existing applications and may lead to server failure.
Natural Disasters: Disasters like storms, floods, and quakes can cause power outages and disrupt communication, or even damage the hardware. These events can have devastating consequences on your business if downtime extends for a prolonged period.
Data breach: Breaches among ransomware and phishing assaults are the most hazardous reasons of IT downtime and can bring your business to a standstill. Cyberpunks can easily exploit vulnerabilities in your system or network, infiltrate systems and gain access to sensitive data.
As threatening as a data breach attack sounds, it is not often that most IT systems go down. An Uptime survey data cited that the well-known single reason for failure is an on-site power outage – about 33% of respondents suffered at least one incident – tailored by network failure at 30% and IT-related errors at 28%. Hardware failure, human-err, and natural disasters likewise cause your IT systems to fail.
When you consider the insights of the variables that can lead to system downtime, it is only a matter of time until it happens to your business. Therefore, any business needs to have a proper backup and disaster recovery plan setup.
IT Outages are Increasing
If there is anything you can be so sure of in the coming years, it is that IT outages will continue to occur. They are an unfortunate but unavoidable part of the present interconnected digital landscape and the online services we all rely on. But what happens when IT goes dark?
Downtime means damaged revenue, reputation, and wasted resources when responding to incidents. But minimizing the impact of these incidents is possible. Learning from the encounters and experiences of other businesses brings us to our rundown of the outages that can be of any loss.
Why do IT outages occur more frequently? While clarifications are not satisfactory, industry specialists cite increased IT complexity and system-required interdependencies. Nowadays, healthcare organizations are deploying new and more complex networks that can increase the possibilities of an IT outage if not maintained accurately and executed. Security requirements should be embedded – into each layer of the infrastructure.
How to Minimize IT Downtime
While you can never eliminate IT downtime completely; you can take proactive steps to limit how often a system goes down or may minimize the time a system is down:
- Monitor Servers and Networks: Take a vigil approach to monitor your systems and network to ensure they perform at the top limit. Early detection of performance issues can eliminate a system failure.
- Backup Your Data – You must always have three consecutive copies of your data across two safe storage media with one backup off-site. In many cases, a well-implemented backup plan will have your systems restored, and the business returns to normal operations rapidly.
- System Upgrades and Fixes: Upgrades regularly contain bug fixes and performance enhancements, which is the cause you want to always stay up-to-date with system software and hardware upgrades.
- Employ IT Security Best Practices: Ensure your network is secured and that your anti-virus software is up-to-date across all the systems.
- Educate Employees: Employees should be upskilled in security awareness concerning social media risks, email scams, ransomware, and malware.
- Test and Schedule Upgrades and Implementations: Latest system upgrades must be carefully-planned. It is likewise great to always have an implementation backup plan in place whether you need it or not.
Whether you are a small hospital or a group practice with no in-house IT expertise or if you have a limited IT staff, consider hiring a managed service provider (MSP) to manage your IT systems. If you are a healthcare organization with a larger IT team, you can look to a dedicated MSP to augment your team with the required specific IT expertise. Leading MSPs are customized with the need and will tailor their expert services to meet your diverse needs, making sure you pay for only what you need.
Regardless of your approach to IT system management, ensure you have access to IT expertise, either in-house or outsourced – to keep your systems operating at high performance and minimize IT downtime.
Minimize Downtime with PMTT
Downtime is unpredictable and poses a real threat to small and growing businesses. Downtime disrupts business operations and might cripple your business if you are not well-prepared. Having a BCDR solution in place – can benefit your business and help you stay ahead of your competitors when unexpected disastrous incidents like downtime occur.
PMTT robust BCDR solution minimizes downtime and boosts productivity while simplifying data backup and recovery. PMTT’s all-in-one backup and recovery solution help protect your confidential data and business anytime. Our platform provides enhanced protection for your data regardless of where it resides – Physical, Virtual, or Cloud environments. With state-of-the-art features, such as threat assessments, pro backups, and network monitoring. PMTT takes a comprehensive approach to data protection by leveraging key security integrations. With PMTT, you can relax knowing that your data and business are safe.
If you have any queries related to IT downtime or would like to avail our free threat assessment, contact us here.