For Your Protection: Confirm Your Dental Practice Data Backup Strategy

Oct 12, 2022





Whatever the term, each are realities that make your dental practice data backup protocols all the more essential:

”About 43 percent of cyberattacks hit small businesses — just like your dental practice. However, just 14 percent of small businesses feel their IT service provider is highly effective at protecting them against lost data and other consequences of cyberattacks.” 1

The potential for “lost data” is motivation to take responsibility for your data backup strategy.

Backup strategy, you say…?

The data you store and access as a dental practice is unique. Keep in mind that HIPAA requirements are a baseline for assuring that your data is secure and backed up on a regular basis.

Aside from compliance, there are additional reasons why your dental practice should have a data backup strategy in place:

  • A natural disaster
  • Human error
  • Theft
  • A ransomware attack
  • Minimize system downtime

As you evaluate your current backup strategy it’s also a good idea to diversify. Like two-factor authentication for your personal or corporate logins, a diversified backup strategy helps strengthen the protective barriers around your data.

Redundancy is another consideration. Having redundant copies of your data stored in more than one location adds another layer of data protection:

  • A local (in-house) copy
  • A cloud copy
  • A remote copy of what you have stored on the cloud

In a sense, the two (or more)-factor authentication process applies here.

1-Security: your data is secured in multiple locations

2-Integrity: your data meets HIPAA compliance and is prepared for an audit if/when necessary

And here’s a stark reminder about the importance of data backups for your dental practice:

”The healthcare industry consistently holds the highest data breach costs of any industry. (In 2021) the price reached $9.23 million, a 29% increase from the data in 2020.” 2

For your protection: a dental practice data backup “checklist” 

Evaluate the security of your backup strategy

The first point of evaluation is making sure that your data and backup don’t reside on the same server. This defeats the point if you’re hacked, experience human error or a natural disaster, or encounter other issues that directly impact your technology. To improve the security of your backup strategy:

  • Confirm that your backup is off-site. Again, off-site could mean a physical location that provides secure backups, the cloud or a remote copy.
  • Confirm that your backup provides fast, efficient recovery should you lose your data or experience a breach.

Automate your backups to assure consistency

A human error risk could involve forgetting or not investing the time to do a data backup. Automation could solve that problem.

Regardless of your storage protocol, it’s essential to know the time and date of your last backup. Having an automated backup procedure in place is added assurance that your data is current and stored. Strategies that help assure backup consistency include:

  • Logging the newest and latest data addition.
  • A set-it, confirm-it, and check-it routine helps assure your data is backed up on schedule.
  • A narrower timeframe for your automated backups (such as every 15 minutes) helps preserve the ongoing integrity of the latest data.
  • An automated backup is one less (though vital) task to distract your team from patient-focused workflows.

Assure the recoverability of your data

Downtime due to data access can be costly. You could lose production time, delay insurance input or payment processing and pause a high percentage of your daily operations.

Redundant backups that store your data in more than one location can reduce or potentially eliminate downtime. For example, an adequately equipped cloud-based backup could have you up and running within a shorter timeframe than a hardware-stored backup.

Again, time is of the essence when you need access to stored or backed up data. To assure timely recoverability of data:

  • Evaluate your backup protocols based on recovery timing.
  • Equip your staff and personal workstations for data recovery when necessary.

Being aware, prepared and secured are data essentials in a technology-driven environment. The following resources provide additional insight into managing and protecting your valuable patient and practice data:

A secure data analytics platform supports the integrity of your data backups

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re securely tracking the important metrics and staying on track with your goals as your dental practice and/or DSO grows and expands.

Jarvis Analytics…

  • Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
  • Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups and DSOs

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


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