For more than a century, Butler Health System has been committed to providing compassionate, patientcentered care to the residents of western Pennsylvania. Founded in 1898 as a community hospital, today Butler Health System operates 60 medical facilities, employs more than 2,000 people and serves numerous patients each year.
Legacy backup was incapable of backing up all of the data in patients’ electronic medical records, putting their health care at risk and Butler Health System at risk for HIPAA violations forcing us to choose between impacting system performance or meeting recovery objectives. HIPAA violations incur fines ranging from $100 to $1.5 million.
Electronic medical record (EMR) software has revolutionized the way health care is delivered. The ability to digitize patients’ medical records and transfer them quickly between facilities lets health care professionals diagnose and treat patients faster and more efficiently than ever before.
“It’s important to remember that EMR data is only as good as its last backup,” said Jonathon Eichner, Manager of Information Technology at BHS. “If health care providers can’t back up all of their EMR data each day and verify the recoverability of their backups, they’re at risk for data loss. That was our challenge.”
BHS faced that challenge head on and took a proactive step to avoid becoming a statistic. Nearly 90 percent of health care organizations surveyed by the Ponemon Institute said they experienced at least one loss or theft of patient data between 2014 and 2016. Nearly half of them experienced more than five losses or thefts.
“Avoiding data loss and theft is at the top of every health care provider’s priority list,” Eichner said. “No one wants to put patient data at risk.”
According to the American Medical Association, violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can lead to fines ranging from $100 to $1.5 million per year.
“Losing EMR data is unacceptable,” Eichner said. “That’s why we replaced legacy backup with Veeam.”
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ delivers 24.7.365 Availability of data, enabling BHS to accomplish three goals that weren’t possible with legacy backup.
“Veeam helps us guarantee all EMR data is backed up and can be recovered quickly,” Eichner said. “Veeam also helps us avoid the risk of data loss and HIPAA fines of up to $1.5 million per year. Veeam saves us time so we can focus on other projects, including additional security measures to protect the business.”
Eichner said BHS has extra time to focus on cyber security because Veeam is “shockingly” fast and easy to use, saving eight hours each week.
“Our IT department runs very lean, so saving eight hours is a huge benefit to the business,” he explained. “Peace of mind is hard to come by, but Veeam certainly gives us a comfort level with our backups that we didn’t get in our legacy system. The Veeam restoration process is so fast and easy, it really instills tremendous confidence.”
Eichner is referring to two capabilities unique to Veeam. SureBackup® lets the IT team verify the recoverability of backups, and Instant VM Recovery® recovers from a backup in minutes.
Veeam does something else legacy backup could not. Veeam integrates with BHS’s primary storage, Dell EMC Data Domain, which increased backup speed by 75 percent.
“Speed and reliability are crucial when you’re backing up and replicating 500 virtual machines with 200 terabytes of data,” Eichner said. “We deal with a lot of complex IT systems, so backup must be fast and consistent. Veeam checks those boxes for us.”
BHS treats thousands of patients in 60 facilities each day, so speed and reliability are important across the board.
“Our job is to make sure our medical professionals have access to all the patient data they need to deliver the best-possible care 24.7.365,” Eichner said. “Veeam helps us ensure data is available 24.7.365.”