If you’ve been a practice owner or manager for even a short time, you’ll have realised three important things about clinic life: computers crash, people make mistakes, and disasters happen when you least expect them.
They’re common enough that, unfortunately, it’s no excuse to say ‘I didn’t know’ if any of these three things happen and you lose critical business or patient data. The good news is that technology is on your side; there are quick, easy ways to make sure your information is stored reliably and securely if a data loss takes place, and you’ll be able to get it back – no matter who or what caused it.
Now that we’re doing some straight talking, it’s also a good time to explain some popular misconceptions that exist around data backup.
1. You only need one form of data backup
Your valuable client and patient data isn’t truly protected from loss unless you back it up regularly to more than one location. You may feel safe having a robust onsite backup, or you may believe that having a copy of your data stored remotely in the cloud is sufficient. However, best practice is to have both a secure offsite and onsite backup.
On top of this, another good practice is data redundancy. Data redundancy is where the same piece of data is held in two separate places. This could be two different fields within a single database, or two different spots in multiple software platforms. This helps to safeguard data and promote consistency. For vet practices, data redundancy can be built into practice management software as part of a robust infrastrcuture for your practice and clients.
2. It’s okay to miss the occasional data backup
In a busy vet practice, critical client and patient data is constantly being saved to your practice management software. This data includes financial transactions, inventory records, lab results and notes, and your calendar of future appoinemtns.
If you were to miss just one backup and lose an entire day’s data, what would the implications be for your business? What if the backup process failed for two days, or even a week? We never hope for these cases to happen but you never know what is around the corner and being prepared is key to avoiding finding out the answers to these tough questions.
It’s also imporant to note that veterinarians are legally obliged to retain all records and images as part of his/her original medical records and to produce them in the event of a subpoena or other call for production of the records. For some states and regions this could mean information dating back up to seven years. Read more about your state’s specific requirements via the Australian Veterinary Association or login to the New Zealand Veterinary Association to view the policies specific to you.
A recent report found that 60% of companies that lost their data shut down within six months of the disaster. A secure data backup solution can help ensure this does not happen to your business.
3. You can rely on your staff to take care of manual backups
Relying on your staff to run data backups at the end of each day is extremely risky. Just one missed backup due to illness, emergency patients, forgetfulness, or vacation could coincide with an unforeseen significant event at your practice, which could place your practice at risk of financial or reputational damage. An automated data backup solution takes care of your vital practice data securely and in the background.
By addressing these three common misconceptions about vet practice data backup your practice is immediately in a better position than 40% of small businesses around the world. Your business simply can’t afford the lethal combination of lost productivity, unrecoverable digital assets, and lost consumer confidence.