You can never be too carefull….
With the recent fires in California destroying many homes and businesses, I think this would be a good time to review recommended computer backup procedures for your orthodontic practice. Mother Nature can be very cruel and you never know when she may strike next.
For over 20 years, I have been a backup freak with practice management software. It was drilled into my head by our computer tech, from day one, when our first system was installed in 1982. However, as more tasks were computerized over the years, I tended to be a little lax with other files, which I backed up about every 7-10 days.
That all ended when I lost the data on my palm pilot, when it succumbed to a sudden death. I didn’t panic because the information was backed up on my laptop… or so I thought! Unfortunately, the hard drive on my laptop decided to crash on the same day and I went into panic mode!
• All computer files, including orthodontic management software, marketing files, front office correspondence, email, TC documentation, accounting software and word documents should be backed up daily and taken off site every night. If these files are not networked to the main server for storage, each individual computer will require backup on a daily basis.
• Backup disks and tapes have been known to go bad and you never know when it has occurred, until it is too late. Make sure you have a set of 5 backups to rotate each day of the week for your practice management software and a least minimum of two backups to rotate for all other computers or a USB Flash drive.
• Replace all reusable backup tapes and disks frequently, at least, quarterly. Even though tapes are expensive to replace, it is cheap insurance to make sure your backups are working properly. I have heard many a horror story from practices that had to recreate up to a months worth of data because the backups were old and no longer working properly. Orthotrac recommends a new tape be used for each end month procedure, to assure accuracy.
• Train all staff on all backup procedures and designate one employee to be responsible for the backups, with an additional designated employee to cover during vacation and sick leave.
• Only two sets of backups are to remain on site at the same time and they should be the two oldest backups. This way, in the event of the unthinkable, you would have the 3 most current backups to restore the system, in case one was corrupt.
• Never leave the backups in a car, especially if the outside temperature is below 60 degrees or above 80 degrees.