Are you properly backing up your data?

It’s never really about backing up your data. It’s about the recovery of your data. The loss of your patient’s data not only opens you up to various liabilities, it cripples your practice, if not destroys it all together. Some practices put very little into a backup solution, and some go way out and put as much as they can into it. I often see problems with the small practices thinking they are too small to invest any money into their backup and disaster recovery plans. Think again. Data is data. If you see patients electronically, you need to protect that data. Not only that, you need to test it on a regular basis so that when you really do have some sort of disaster, you don’t find out you don’t have a good back up. Let’s take a look at some things you could do immediately to improve your backup systems. Whether you use tape, external hard drives, or off-site backup, you can still improve it.

1. Know what you are backing up. Backups are often set up by an IT person “way back when” and has been pretty successful in backing up and restoring files. You may want to check to see if the new server or system that you put in 6 months ago has been added to the backup. When you have something new, always make sure it has been added to the backup program.

2. Customize your backups – there is no one size fits all when it comes to backing up. Make sure there is planning and testing that goes into configuring your backup systems.

3. Do not back up EVERYTHING – This not only delays the backup, it is unnecessary. The more data you have to back up, the longer it takes, and the more errors can occur. You can prioritize and segment your backups if you really have that much data, but I find that when practices back up “everything” there is a load of redundancy.

4. Don’t take tapes and hard drives home with you – This is a HIPAA recipe for disaster. Especially if they are not encrypted. You want to make sure the backups are safe from hacker, thieves and natural disasters. Besides, employees do not want to be responsible for data that if lost, can cause thousands of dollars to your practice.

5. Lastly, consider the cost. consider the cost of downtime. Consider the cost of lost data. At Tier3MD, we encourage our clients to back up to the cloud. The prices have come far down, and the security is better than most have in their offices. Plus, the restoration is much easier.

Tier3MD has a private cloud and could provide off-site backups . Feel free to contact our office at 855-MYTIER3.