One area in need of much more visibility by Clinic Managers is the medical practice data back-up process.

Data loss is a truly crippling issues for every company, and much more common than people may think. According to The Pulse 2015, a digital focused publication for small to medium businesses, 43 per cent of business hit by major interruption and data damage don’t reopen and 73 per cent are out of business within a year.

It’s incredibly frustrating from an IT perspective when we see this happen to medical centres under the impression that their data was secure or untouchable. To be frank, no data is untouchable, however comprehensive back-up systems, test restores of this system and regular health checks can ensure that your clinic is not the part of the 73 per cent.

Below is a three step audit that you can undertake in your clinic today to ensure that you are maintaining the highest possible procedures if you were to suffer data loss

1. A good clinical backup

Ensure that you currently have a clean, reoccurring backup of all data stored across different applications of your devices. This process can be completed with a ‘sever image backup’ that your IT service provider can schedule at the very least, once per day. This is a highly technical and sensitive process, and should not be managed in-house due to its complexity and value to the business.

This seems to be a rarely known fact however a software vendor backup should also be a part of the process of a good clinical back up, this can also be scheduled within the clinical software (i.e. MD, Best Practice etc.). These backups produce logs and should be monitored and troubleshooted by your assigned IT provider each day.

2. Hard drive rotation

It is vital that you rotate backup drives daily, if your hard drive is plugged in it is susceptible to viruses.

3. Test restores

It’s all well and good to have these processes in place for backing up software however, if you are unable to actually run a restore with this data it is essentially useless.

It is important that your IT provider regularly checks and restores your data back-ups detailed above to ensure that in times of crisis these files are not corrupted or unusable and can quickly and easily be restored. Just because the backup software isn’t

4. Regular server health checks

The central hub of data, perhaps best thought of as the main frame, is your server. The main frame is what keeps your practice turning each day and also the main target for enemies if they were to attack.

A large part of your IT providers work at your practice will go towards maintaining this main frame. If designed well, your server can withstand some small attacks from the outside however, its essential that each of these hits are monitored, translated and fixed to ensure the server is always at full strength. It is important that all of these attacks are documented and your server is regularly strengthened accordingly.

We hope this has helped you in understanding how to prevent or minimise the impact of data loss on your clinic. We welcome your input about issues that you experience at your clinics so please feel free to comment below on things we might be able to assist with.

To speak to anyone of our specialised medical IT support practitioners feel free to give us a call at 1300 859 926 or send me a message on LinkedIn and we can touch base.

We are looking forward to speaking soon,

Ash

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