At the recent 2018 AACI-CRI Conference, research professionals discussed the challenges associated with developing a solid technology foundation, and how their infrastructure and processes are put to the test in the case of a disaster. Representatives from the Moffit Cancer Center and Hollings Cancer Center shared how their centers responded to recent natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. These disasters, combined with increasing common cyber-attacks, provide a constant threat to research institutions and other healthcare organizations.
One key issue that came up during the session was the lack of research-specific processes for continuity (i.e. how to respond during a disaster) as well as disaster recovery (i.e. how to reconstitute your systems after a disaster). The needs of research institutions are unique and disruption to clinical, patient-centric systems and operational systems can be devastating. While no business continuity or disaster recovery plan is infallible, there are safeguards your institution can take to be prepared.