HIPAA Backup Requirements

HIPAA backup requirements provide health-related organizations with the necessary guidelines for storing patient health information. Based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1997, organizations must implement contingency plans for securing patient information at all times. Contingency planning objectives include disaster recovery, data storage and emergency operations procedures.

Contingency Plan

HIPAA backup requirements are designed to reinforce the privacy and security guidelines contained within the Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Contingency planning guidelines require health organizations to implement procedures that reduce the level of risk involved with handling patient health information, according to Training-HIPPA, a medical information reference site. These security measures are designed to ensure the availability of patient information to authorized personnel at all times. Operations identified as critical to business processes are a main focus of contingency planning. Contingency plans must provide a means for authorized personnel to access patient health information in the event of an emergency. Emergency situations include fires, natural disasters and system failures.

Disaster Recovery Plan

The security guidelines laid out by HIPAA require organizations to create a disaster recovery plan that's capable of restoring computer system records after an emergency situation. According to Training-HIPPA, recovery plans identify vulnerabilities within an organization's system network and define the steps needed to restore system function. Organizations are required to develop a checklist of areas containing critical data and vital systems. As data security is the primary objective, procedures must state what provisions are in place for restoring any data loss during an emergency event. A disaster recovery plan also indicates a time frame for how long it will take for system processes to meet the minimal requirements for essential or critical business operations.

Data Storage Plan

HIPAA guidelines for data backup require organizations to implement a data storage plan as a fail-safe measure for protecting patient health information. According to Training-HIPPA, data storage plans involve maintaining exact copies of patient information within an alternate computer system or storage facility. Any stored data must be accessible and retrievable at all times. These provisions also require organizations to maintain a system that's capable of backing up real-time data on a continuous basis. Data storage plans are designed to enforce the physical security guidelines contained within HIPAA law. Data storage plans work in conjunction with an organization's disaster recovery procedures and play an essential role in restoring business operations when an emergency event takes place.