Are Your Marketing Files Backed Up? Part 2

How much time does it really take to backup all your computer files?computer.jpg

The size of your practice, your choice of orthodontic management software and your added programs such as digital imaging and digital radiography directly effects the amount of time it takes to backup your computer files. 

Have you ever noticed how your computer system slows down when the backups are running?  The amount of time required to backup larger systems can take as long as 2-3 hours on a highspeed backup drive.  This will effect the overall speed of your software, depending upon what hour of the day you are running the backups.

Many larger offices opt to run backups during lunch, which extends backup time into early afternoon rather than slow down performance during the busiest time of day, late afternoon. This allows them to take the backup off site that night. Other offices will run the backup at the end of the day, leave while the backup is running and then take the backup home the following night.  Niether scenario is a good one.

Also consider that if your software programs are not integrated with one another, separate backup programs are required for each system and requires double the effort and double the staff time. 

Even in the most well run practices, on a really busy patient day, backups are sometimes forgotten. This is when “Murphy’s Law” comes into play… If the system goes down, it usually happens when the backups weren’t run or they weren’t taken home, if disaster strikes.  This happened to an orthodontist in Longmeadow, MA 10 years ago.  His staff was great about backing up, but no one ever took the backups home. There was a gas leak and the entire building was leveled in the middle of the night. 

Consider also the personal time and added stress placed upon the staff member that is responsible for the most important system in the office. Many a time I have turned back towards the office on my way home, tired after a long day, because I forgot to grab the backup.   There is an easier solution to this problem….

Subscribed to an Internet computer backup service
With all the advances in computer technology and the reduction in cost to provide online data storage, online computer backup services are the answer. Once the backup is setup properly, it runs by itself, day after day. You will receive a confirmation email verifying the daily backup was completed and if there is a problem, just contact the service and they will help you troubleshoot.

Some options to look for when considering an online service are:

  • Scheduling online backup for any future date/time
  • Drag-n-drop feature to easily set up data for backup
  • Encryption to secure your data
  • Mirroring data if it applies to your computer setup
  • Syncing data so you don’t have to run an entire backup each day and reduce upload time to the internet.
  • Ability to upload data from more than one server, to one account. This would apply if your digital imaging and x-ray server is different from your practice management server.
Many of the orthodontic software management providers support Internet backup for their programs. However, I found their services are more expensive than the major online backup services and some don’t have the capability of backing up files outside your management software, such as My Documents file, Outlook, Palm software, QuickBooks, etc.  If you are already using one of these services, check to make sure all your practice files are being backed up, not just your orthodontic software.
One service that I recommend since I personally use it for my home network and was used by Get-It-Straight Orthodontics, which is a fully integrated paperless office with digital imaging and digital radiography, is ibackup. This backup service not only provides total “peace of mind”, but costs as little as $50 to $100/month, depending upon the size of your data. Their backup and storage service will accommodate the requirements of the majority of orthodontic practices, at an affordable price.  This is less than it costs to pay a member of the team to perform the backups, let alone cover the cost of replacing backup tapes on a regular basis.

When setting up the online backup, I also recommend that you contact your network computer tech to make sure all files and programs are added properly and scheduled correctly. Make a list of every program and file that requires backup, before he/she gets there to reduce time required for the service call or an additional trip to add more data. Setting up the program is simple for a knowledgeable computer tech and can easily be done in less than an hour.

Make life easier and Work Smarter, Faster and With Less Team Effort by implementing Internet backup services for all your computer programs and files.