The Importance of Data Backup for Medical Practices

For any kind of business that stores a substantial amount of client data, it’s an absolute necessity to have a complete and comprehensive data backup plan in the event of a system failure, or tech disaster. Medical practices in particular need to ensure this as their high volumes of patient information, its sensitive nature and the need for staff to continue on with accurate information during a system failure demand continuity.

What Should You Include In A Data Backup Plan?

Medical practices need to, as a minimum, include the following when it comes to creating, managing and implementing an effective business continuity and information recovery plan:

1. Assign a key focus for the plan – what is the main priority?
2. Detail how your practice will be managed in the event of a tech failure
3. Ensure the information recovery plan is fully documented in your policies
4. Make sure any new technology or system brought into the practice are reflected and updated into your data recovery plan
5. Train and educate all required staff members of the data recovery plan and their role and responsibility in the event of a tech disaster.
6. Consult an experienced professional to assist in your data recovery plan’s creation, management and maintenance each year.

When it comes to efficient medical practice management, your data backup and recovery plan should identify and prioritise how your business will continue to operate with minimal resources and with no functional computers or equipment, as well as education and training on managing the practice on a ‘manual’ and paper based system in the event of a disaster.

It’s A Global Issue For Medical Practices

Unfortunately, it’s not just a system failure or natural disaster that may result in your need for a data backup and recovery plan. Did you know that a recent industry survey revealed that in the U.S, 1 in 4 people had their healthcare data stolen and of those breaches, 50% of them resulted in identity theft? A frightening statistic! It’s fair to say that if industry-wide, up-to-date data recovery solutions were in place, many of those patients’ data would have been secure and resulted in minimal identity theft.

Thankfully, cloud based tools are better facilitating medical practice’s ability to successfully back up and store data. They offer excellent flexibility and have the ability to be tailored to the storage needs of individual medical practices based on their volume of data. They also boast the ability to be portable, and are easily accessible from a variety of devices – anywhere, anytime.

Globally, the healthcare industry, especially that of medical practices, are seen as continuing to struggle with adequate backup strategies for their delicate data, which is why they continue to be a vulnerable target for cyber criminals. In the 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, CISCO estimated a large growth of 350% in one year of ransomware attacks.

And unfortunately, applications like SAS and Office 365 (commonly used in medical practice management) are not immune to these attacks.

Consulting A Professional Team Can Help

As safe keeping of medical practice data, and it’s retention overtime are increasingly becoming a key concern in medical practice management, it’s in a practice owner’s best interest to consult a third party, professional team to overlook and manage their data recovery plans and system backup on a regular basis.

The team at Mint IT have been assisting Medical Practices secure their data since 2003. If you are after more information on how to secure your data, contact us today to see how we can help you.