PennWell Dental Community
Dental practice loses 2 years of patient information due to severe lightning storm last night. Sodium Systems says, “Incident could have been avoided if the practice had a good backup running on a daily basis.” Doctor says, “I never knew the importance of verifying my data backups until now!”
Data backup integrity is one of the most crucial pieces of the dental technology puzzle and shouldn’t be taken lightly. For practices that have been paperless for years and practices that are just beginning to become paperless I heed this warning; check and verify your backup daily.
It is amazing how many high tech dental practices our technology specialists go into to do a system evaluation and find out that the doctor’s data hasn’t been backed up in days, sometimes months! Some of these instances we can blame on the original technology company not configuring the backup correctly, or a corrupt backup schedule preventing the backup from being run but no matter what the scenario it is always the doctor’s fault for not just simply verifying whether or not his backups have run successfully. It only takes a few seconds to verify a backup and it can be done during the daily rotation (hopefully your office is on a daily backup rotation. If not, check out our article on how to have a successful backup). If your office is utilizing a file server with Windows Server 2008 than it’s as easy as double clicking an icon and looking to see whether there’s a green check or a red x next to the day’s backup.
Being paperless creates a quick and efficient practice, no more giant filing cabinets with paper files for every patient or fumbling with paper charts however being paperless also brings the quirks of technology. Having all of your patient information in a single hard drive on a single file server creates a vulnerable situation for your precious data but by instituting some simple procedures you can assure that your patient data is safe and recoverable.
The goal in having a good daily backup is to be able to recover not only your patient information but also your entire file server if your file server ever were to crash. If your office is struck by lightning and your server hard drive gets fried than you need to confidently know that you can plug in your backup drive to a brand new server and be up and running immediately. By implementing a simple backup process and appointing a staff member responsible for verifying your backup data on a daily basis you will always have the assurance that your practice will never be taken down by a lightning storm, power outage, office fire, careless employees, or any other unpredictable natural event.
Let’s say that your dental practice is the one that was headlined in this article and you lost your data because, during a lightning storm, your practice was struck by lightning and strong electrical surges were sent throughout your practice’s electrical system frying your server’s hard drive.
Which Scenario would you fall under?
I rely solely on an online backup and a single external hard drive that is always connected to my server. The technology company that set my network up told me that the backup runs every night and I don’t have to worry about it. I never disconnect my external hard drive from my file server because the backup won’t run if I disconnect the external drive. If my file server was to crash I have no idea what steps I would take to recover data and bring my practice back to a functioning status.
I backup my file server with an online backup that runs every night. I also have 3 external backup drives. One of the external backup drives is a 2TB external hard drive that always stays connected to my file server and a backup is written to it on a nightly basis keeping the daily backups on the external hard drive for 7 days. I also have two smaller external hard drives that also have a daily backup run to them and these drives get rotated out by my office manager every evening. My office manager then takes the backup drive from the night prior home with her for safe keeping in case of an office fire or any other disaster. Finally I have an online backup that runs every night just in case something was to happen to all 3 physical hard drives.
My technology company, Sodium Systems LLC, provided my office with a clear plan of action upon our initial backup configuration on what would happen in the event of a file server failure and how quickly they would be able to have my practice back up and running.
Which scenario are you? Which scenario do you want to be? How is your backup configured? How do you check your backup? Do you know what steps to take if you had to recover you data from your backup?
If even one of these questions is making you nervous and you want some answers to these questions please contact Sodium Systems LLC, our staff of certified technology specialists will assist you right away.