Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coast on Oct. 29, 2012 and devastated the coastal areas of New Jersey and New York. I remember city streets, tunnels and buildings being flooded, including the lobby of the building where I was recently hired to work in my first editorial role.
For many New Jerseyans, seeing images of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in Texas brought back memories of Hurricane Sandy. Just like in the aftermath of Sandy, dental offices in areas surrounding Houston will be assessing damage and retrieving what they can from the floodwaters. Let’s hope for their sake—and the sake of their patients—that patient records are not among the losses.
The damage was a serious setback for the trade magazine office in which I worked, but for dental practices in the area with valuable patient data, it could have been potentially devastating if they didn’t have a proper backup strategy.
Fortunately, Wired has reported that more have been moving to electronic records since the devastation from hurricane Katrina in 2005. At the time of Katrina it is estimated that only about a quarter of doctors in the U.S. reported using electronic medical records (EMRs) while at the time of Sandy, nearly half of the country’s healthcare systems had adopted EMRs. Now, amid the devastation from hurricane Harvey it is estimated that approximately three-quarters of providers have EMRs.
While having EMRs is important, it is crucial in time of disaster that your data should be stored both at your office, such as on an external hard drive, as well as at a protected offsite location, such as in the cloud. Also it is important to keep in mind that in a time of crisis, the true value of any backup strategy is being able to restore your data when you need it for business continuance—not just having your data stored on a device or in the cloud. That’s why it is so important to have your data backed up with a partner you can trust to help you recover quickly.
Water damage is only one event, among many, that can lead to loss of patient data. Human error, theft, fire or cybercrime (including ransomware) are just a few others. The risks are real, and the importance of data backup and quick recovery cannot be stressed enough.
Don’t be fooled in thinking that all cloud (or local) backup and restoration solutions are equal. The Henry Schein TechCentral Hybrid Backup Services are designed specifically with the dental market in mind, to provide multiple points of recovery in any of the aforementioned scenarios. It’s a single solution that takes a coordinated approach to managing backup copies of your critical data by using AES-256 bit encryption while the data is stored locally and in the cloud. In addition, the TechCentral team will monitor your daily backup and assist your practice in performing restoration of files and data as needed.
When used as part of a comprehensive data security program you can help protect your practice with the TechCentral Hybrid Backup Services. Learn more and request a free network assessment by visiting http://www.hstechcentral.com/dps/blog/hurricane.
Certain components of the Hybrid Backup Services are provided by third parties. HSI is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third party products or services.
About the Author
Samantha Negraval joined Integrated Media Solutions' Dental Product Shopper in July 2015. She began her career in online news and moved to business-to-business publishing in 2012. Her experience includes coordinating a print and digital new products showcase for a B2B magazine and writing marketing materials for various organizations on a freelance basis. Samantha graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2009 with a degree in Political Science.