Efficient Record Backup System

Group Members

Cameron Pennell

Caroline Goodrich

Anthony Alderiso

Damiyr Leonard

The need for Implementation of an effective backup system is crucial. Health Facilities need to successfully maintain and upkeep patient health or medical records to save time and information in healthcare settings.

With the federal investment in Health Information Technology, an electronic health record system was encouraged and implemented in many institutions. Many healthcare institutions, organizations, clinics, pharmacies, physicians began to store health data in increasing volumes and in shared resources on disks, tapes, or clouds. However, the problem of low quality of back up system of important stored data or none at all produces major safety concerns and costly outcomes. If there is not a readily available back up system, important patient and health data can be delayed and or lost. Theses large healthcare institutions do have a backup server but real time backup be costly. Constant maintenance is a big impact issue as well. Smaller health institutions may not have the funds to support a large backup server, such as those found in hospitals. They may not have any record back up protocols at all.

Supporting Evidence
Many people and institutions are affected by this problem: patients, comprehensive medical staff, hospitals, and surgical facilities. There could potentially be medication and prescribing errors, unnecessary procedures, medical mistakes, and excessive costs to health facilities. Patients would not be able to access personal health records, or the web portals. The medical staff would not have access to clinical decision support, medication administered or prescribing, medical databases or digital libraries. Also, the physician and patient web portals would not be able for use by the medical staff. Other support staff is would not have access to electronic appointments, coding, billing or patient home health monitoring.
The problem occurs when computers crashes, power outages, or faulty power supply, human error, and other causes. In order to accurately diagnose, recommend and apply treatment, the problem needs to be fixed immediately. A functional system of patient health data, pharmacy and medical staff order entry and various clinical decisions are necessary for complete patient care. It is of vital importance to solve this problem because it is imperative to restore lost or damaged medical records resulting from crashed computer systems. Patient safety, medication dispensing, treatment issues, laboratory tests and results, or any other necessary medical procedures need to be known immediately. If the problem is not fixed there could be medication errors, misdiagnosis, delay in treatments, lack of obtaining clinical support decisions and other patient safety concerns. The problem can occur at anytime, anywhere in the organization, since many departments depend on each other to carry out their tasks.

Potential Solutions
  • Use multiple APC backup units to keep computer equipment and accessories powered during events of power-loss.
  • Create a backup system that will require physicians, healthcare employees and clerical staff to login to an application that will record all changes made to the organization’s software.
    • The application will connect to the software to a server and will automate all incoming input and changes made to the organization’s software.

Existing Solutions
We will implement a backup system that requires physicians, and healthcare workers of the organization to login before recording data to the health organization's software. There is no significant added effort on the physicians' part.
This system will connect the software to a server that will automate (record) the changes made to the documents every time a change is made. A power outage or technical/human error would result in no lost data since the server continuously backs up all the health related data(from the software) instantaneously.

  • Solution Prototypes:
    • Each computer system will be plugged into an APC back-up unit.
    • An APC back-up unit keeps computers powered on the event of power-outage. It looks and acts as a dedicated power strip that can hold power for a certain (limited) period of time.
    • This along with the server back-up system will provide the most stability, in case there's a power outage and the server is malfunctioning (etc.), the computers will remained powered for a limited period of time.

Existing Research
Statistical evidence shows the critical status of this problem. Survey responses from 50 institutions show 96% reported at least one unplanned downtime (of any length) in the last 3 years and 70% had at least one unplanned downtime greater than 8 hours in the last 3 years (Collier 2014).
Many hospitals and other medical facilities are beginning implementation of some type of EMR. They are realizing the benefit of storing health data including lab result, x-ray, scan and 3D images and it is possible through EMR storage not paper records. The amount of this stored information continues to increase as well as necessity for a backup system with fast recovery time (Marken, 2012).
Healthcare is ever changing and in need of new technologies or collaborative ways to improve EMR or EMH. Health care institutions need fast, efficient clinical data recovery- an implementation of a fail-safe system to back up and restore immediately.
Multi-tiered storage, stackable storage, cloud storage for metadata and storage in a centralized remote portal are some solutions to organize and store critical files and data. Tiered storage based on hierarchy file by file decision-selecting most critical needed information can make recovery quicker not having to sort through less important or repetitive data.

The APC Back-Up Unit solution is feasible and less expensivethan the server-based backup system, although it provides only temporarily relief for keeping computer systems online.
  • How long the computer and accessory systems will run will all depend on the watt consumption of connected pieces.
  • Only provides temporary relief (about 30-40 minutes – on average) of runtime, and is not the most efficient solution to prevent data corruption/loss.
  • Primarily for quick usage and temporary storage/access of information.
An efficient backup system will be more costly to implement but will save facilities money over time. It also addresses the full problem adequately, accounts for power loss, technical/human error and automates data instantly. It will require a server and data connection, which we provide. The server will be physical, while maintaining a direct copy of the information on a cloud-based server.

This will require a small learning curve for employees. We will provide instructions to properly use the application. The instructions will include answers to “frequently asked questions: FAQ” concerning software usage and common interface usage difficulties.

This solution is more involving and costly, but the best solution to this growing industry problem. The application will be HIPAA compliant, as the others aforementioned will not be. The consumers will not have to pay a surcharge or added fee(s) for HIPAA compliance, as many other similar services do charge the consumer for their ongoing education and implementation of HIPAA compliance procedures/practices.

Timeline for Completion
Our team was working with a 12 week long production period. Our timeline was as follows:
  • September 15, 2014: Topic selected, research commenced.
  • October 6, 2014: Research compiled and in report format. Solution rough ideas due before class. Team Role assignments due before end of class.
  • November 8, 2014: Member prototype ideas due. Rough prototype due by end of day, 11:59pm.
  • November 10, 2014: First presentation in Class.
  • November 11, 2014: Group evaluation compilation assignment due. Updates for final presentation commence.
  • November 15, 2014: Final prototype due, final presentation due on Group GoogleDoc by 11:59pm.
  • November 16, 2014: Presentation outline due by 3pm. Final Presentation slide edits due by 11:59pm. All team members must review final presentation before class on November 17, 2014, 3:35pm.
  • November 17, 2014: Final Presentation in class, 3:35pm

Team Workload/Roles:
In the meeting on October 6th, roles were assigned but once working began the group found it more helpful if all members split the work evenly. A GoogleDoc was created, and all members edited and worked openly, sharing ideas and perfecting plans in order to design the best application to correct the problem of record back up discrepancies.
All group members created application prototypes and then collected the best features of each demo and merged them into one working application prototype. All group members created and edited final solution presentation. Cameron and Anthony presented final solution proposal to class on November 17, 2014.

Meeting Minutes
  • September 15, 2014:
    • Topic was selected
    • All members were required to do research on the topic and post to the wikispace by the end of the weekend.
  • October 6, 2014:
    • Proposed solution was created, group roles were assigned.
      • Cameron: Writer
      • Caroline: Editor
      • Damiyr: Prototype designer
      • Anthony: Writer/Presenter
    • Group reviewed critique on proposal and made updates to project as needed.
  • November 10, 2014:
    • Prototype was shared with group; PowerPoint presentation was created and edited.
    • Group Presented on topic, reviewed feedback, made adjustments accordingly.
  • November 17, 2014:
    • Group finalized Record Backup application and updated presentation based on feedback from classmates. Completed application presentation.

Solution Prototypes

Final Solutionfirstpage.png

Figure 1: Log in Page once user is already registered
Figure 2: User registration page once user has been referred by Health Facility Administrator

Figure 3 and 4: Examples of document retrieval portal

Next Steps

We will focus more on smaller healthcare institutions such as doctor offices, since larger healthcare facilities may have large back up databases and may not have a need for our services. Our group will focus on encrypting the software and making the sign up password process more secure to prevent security breaches.
Also, we will continue to develop our mobile site to address any concerns for accessing information via mobile devices.


Collier, R (2014 April,15). Electronic medical Records: Preparing for the inevitable crash. Canadian Medical Journal 186(7) 493 Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.fsu.edu/10.1503/cmj.109-4719

Marken, A. (2012). Boosting EMR Productivity with Optical Preservation. Document News 30(3) 2-5 Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.fsu.edu/docview/1462207845?accountid=4840