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Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

What does DRP stand for in healthcare compliance?

In healthcare compliance, DRP is an abbreviation that stands for Disaster Recovery Plan. 


What is a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

A disaster recovery plan is a document full of details regarding the processes to be followed when dealing with and mitigating the effects of an unplanned catastrophe. Depending on your organization, these unplanned incidents can include natural or physical disasters and technological disasters. Examples of natural or physical disasters could be wind storms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, or fires while examples of technological disasters might include cyber-attacks, system failures, or data loss. 

It’s important that organizations create disaster recovery plans in the case of an emergency. Why? There are a number of reasons, including:

    • Minimizing the amount of damage and disruption

    • Minimizing disaster-related costs 

    • Creating secondary means of operation in the case of emergency

    • Training employees on emergency procedures

    • Promoting a rapid recovery

    • Increasing productivity

    • Increased customer satisfaction

Creating disaster recovery plans for electronic health records is mandatory for healthcare organizations to maintain compliance with the Health Insurance and Portability Act’s Privacy and Security Rule, to ensure the organization can still function if there’s electronic data loss, to recover all patient health information lost during the unexpected disaster, and to resume normal operations as soon as possible. In this case, and in most cases, it is extremely beneficial to have disaster recovery plans which minimize the amount of time it takes to recover so that negative impacts are reduced. 

It is recommended by the International Business Machines (IBM) corporation that organizations include a few key steps in the disaster recovery plan. These steps include goals, personnel, disaster recovery plans located on hot sites and mobile sites, backup procedures, disaster recovery instructions, measures for restoring the system, processes for rebuilding the system, application and inventory profiles, testing procedures for the disaster recovery plan, rebuilding of disaster sites, and a record of any and all changes to the disaster plan. Returning to the healthcare organization example, some important factors to consider when creating a disaster recovery plan for electronic health records might include Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance, mission-critical data, and data backup plans. 

Always review and test your disaster recovery plans. By doing this, your organization will be prepared for any and all possible disasters that might come your way. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

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