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News

Databarracks provides secure back up for cancer clinic records.

Databarracks : 24 October, 2007  (Application Story)
Patient records compressed and backed up off site in simple routine process that provides the London Oncology Clinic with security and peace of mind.
The London Oncology Clinic (LOC) offers outstanding services in the field of cancer treatment, using the latest technology as a key tool in treating, supporting and caring for its patients. Established in 2005 and based in London's Harley Street, the clinic operates at the cutting-edge of medical treatment, with internationally acclaimed doctors aiming to deliver the highest standards of healthcare to each individual patient.


One of the biggest challenges for any healthcare organisations is the retrieval and fast access of patient notes and related information in a secure and timely fashion. Without full records and up-to-date treatment information, a doctor is unable to make an informed decision on the best possible treatment and care for a patient.

Keeping all patient records and information online means that secure backup, storage, retrieval and fast access of the clinic's information is of major importance.

The LOC's medical records are completely electronic. It stores a large amount of structured data, as well as unstructured data in the form of JPEG and TIFF files, such as letters and reports from other hospitals. This central system means that data can be retrieved quickly as soon as it is needed, making it as painless as possible for both staff and patients.

With such a high reliance on electronic data and up-to-date information, a highly secure and reliable system was needed that enabled staff to access backup data in case of an emergency. The Data Protection Act, first enforced in 2000 and updated on 24th October 2007, makes it more crucial than ever for healthcare organisations to keep patient data safe and prevent unauthorised access or data leakages. A medical identity theft or non-compliance with the act could cost an organisation millions, in addition to lasting damage to its reputation.


Having had some bad experience with tape backup from previous positions, LOC IT Manager, Steve Rumbles, brought in Databarracks to deliver the backup of all its data systems in January 2006.

With the advantage of a Greenfield site and no legacy systems, the LOC was able to implement state of the art technology from scratch. Tape backup alone was not deemed an option by Steve, as it relies too heavily on human intervention, and inevitably makes it vulnerable to human error. The clinic contracted Databarracks to move its backup online, and currently has 1.5 Terabytes of data stored across its 11 HP servers backed up with Databarracks. As the data is compressed for transport, this is shrunk to 325 gigabytes stored in Databarracks' facility, introducing significant cost and time savings..

"I believe that online backup is more secure than tape backup as information is not being moved from one premise to another. With large organisational growth, tape backup really becomes unmanageable," said Steve Rumbles. "Our biggest advantage with Databarracks is the peace of mind - if anything on the backup side goes wrong, a Databarracks representative will call me and sort out the problem as soon as it occurs.

The system automatically backs up seven days a week between 11pm and 7am and when complete, the IT department receives an email from every backup set. What's great is that only the files that have been created or changed by staff that day are backed up overnight to the Databarracks system, freeing up system resources. The backup procedure does not require my input and does not affect our doctors' and nurses' from working, as all applications can still be accessed during the backup process, and no downtime occurs.

Rumbles concludes, "The Databarracks solution is easy to use and runs very much by itself.

This means we save considerable IT staff time and therefore money and enables our IT Department to focus our efforts on other critical processes that need the human touch."
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