Backing Up Data
Backing up patient data is critical, as well as a requirement for HIPAA compliancy. You should establish a regular backup and recovery plan. This will ensure that patient data is protected, even if there is accidental data loss, database corruption, hardware failures, theft, or other disasters (floods, fires, etc).
Backups should be frequent, stored securely, and tested regularly to ensure quality. We suggest backing up data to a high quality encrypted USB flash drive, using an online backup service, or both. Then verify the quality by restoring backups to your home computer or another location.
There are several backup options to consider when making a backup plan.
What needs to be backed up?
Backup frequency: When making decisions on how often to backup data, ask yourself this question: If your server/computer goes down, and you have to restore your backup to a temporary server, how many days of data you do want to re-enter? Then plan a backup schedule accordingly.
Backup Devices and Encryption: Backed up data should be Encrypted so that patient data remains secure, for example in cases of theft or loss.
RAID is not a backup solution and should not be relied on for backups or disaster recovery plans.
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Note: To disable the monthly backup reminder, see Security.
A good use of archiving would be to use a file versioning systems which allow you to go back to a specific date and time and restore files that might have been accidentally deleted or modified. These programs can typically backup to multiple locations safely and securely.
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