Think about how you used to store the names and addresses of family and friends 20 years ago. Unless you were one of the early adopters of cellphones, you most likely had an address book, where you wrote their details. Businesses also had manual recording systems, like a Rolodex or similar storage device, for keeping customer and supplier details on hand.
Fast-forward to today and we all keep personal contact details stored on our mobile devices. They’re always there, instantly available for when we need to send an SMS, fire off an email or make a phone call. Modern businesses, like your veterinary practice, have also migrated to storing data digitally – either on a local server, in the cloud, or both.
Now, recall the last time you broke or lost your mobile phone. Remember how frustrating it was trying to get in touch with people whose details you had stored on your device? And remember your relief when you got a replacement phone and were able to restore the information from either your Android or Apple backup? Or, perhaps you forgot to choose this option and had to suffer the frustration of building up your contact list from scratch again.
Lost data can grind your practice to a halt
While it’s relatively common these days to lose or damage a mobile device, it doesn’t have quite the same impact in the business world. That’s because the equipment we use isn’t portable and it usually stays securely locked away in business premises. Nevertheless, private or business, the principles are the same: if your data isn’t backed up and you lose your device, your information goes with it.
For example, consider what would happen if lightning, a flood, or a fire hit your practice, damaging your computers, diagnostic equipment, and building. With all your data storage equipment destroyed, how would continue doing essential tasks like treating patients, paying staff, and communicating with clients and suppliers?
In today’s fast-paced digital world, backing up your data is essential. Losing important practice information as a result of natural disaster, human error, theft or another scenario can cripple your business, or even force you to close.
Having all of your data in one place is a dangerous risk; the only way to recover from a disaster is to make sure you have a good backup strategy in place. There are several key elements to successful data backup and using these will minimize the chances of you losing valuable information permanently.
How often you run a backup depends on how often your data is updated. Most veterinary clinics have new customer and patient coming in every day, so this means you should do a backup each day.
Onsite and offsite backups
It is highly recommended you have two copies of your data backed up, one on-premise and another offsite. This means that if your practice is affected by a natural disaster, or your equipment is lost or stolen, you still have a second copy stored securely elsewhere. Using an online cloud solution as part of your backup plan is a good option.
Automatic, scheduled backups
Technology is more efficient at running scheduled backups than humans. Your staff are vulnerable to forgetfulness, illness, or error. Take the responsibility out of their hands by running backups invisibly in the background so you and your team can focus on clients and patients in the clinic.
If you don’t have a backup strategy and now realize you need to act to eliminate this risk to your business, check if your potential supplier offers these features as part of their backup service:
- Offsite backup files are encrypted to protect client information
- Backups run in the background while your practice is operating
- Flexibility to scale and grow with your business
- Data verification reports confirm successful backups
- Full round trip for your client data, including backup, storage, retrieval and reinstalling back into your practice management software.
Choose a reputable provider
Like most things in life, there are good and bad data backup solutions. Disreputable companies aren’t always upfront about what their service covers, they offer complicated pricing options, they don’t guarantee the accuracy of data verification, and they’re often hard to get hold of for support.
Covetrus can offer you an automated backup solution that works seamlessly with your practice software and gives you a single point of contact to call if the worst happens.