How to Build a Proper Backup System for your Patient's Data

This month we are talking about how to build a proper backup system for your patient's data. You may be wondering where to start and if your current backup is working properly?

This is probably the most common request we field here at Darkhorse Tech from prospects. There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace, so it is not surprising. Plus, companies wave the word HIPAA around like a magic wand, but don't actually address the root problem.

What is the Root Problem?

If your server or patient database were to have an issue here are the questions to ask:

  1. Is your patient health information/database recoverable (tested)?
  2. How long is your downtime (how much production lost)?
  3. Can you access it outside the office (major catastrophe)?

Virtual touch screen being accessed

So, in this article, you will learn where to start, some non-recommended methods, and the expert's preferred method for backup. As IT providers, we want our clients to focus on running their business, and not having an inch in the back of their head when they walk in the door about what is going to happen if your server crashes.

Bad Scenario 1: You or Your Staff are Swapping in Hard Drives Daily

You or they are then bringing those hard drives, which contain your entire patient database. PLEASE STOP DOING THIS. This is in fact the worst method. You are one fumble away from having to self-report a breach to the Office of Civil Rights. If this falls out of your purse, bag, or car, and you don't know where it is, you are legally required to self-report.

Bad Scenario 2: Online Backup Only

Ignoring the local backup, and its importance will at some point in your career costs you thousands of dollars in lost wages and production. In this scenario of a system down event, all your data is located on a remote server instead of being quickly accessible on a local system.

In order to get it all back, you will rely on how fast your internet speed is. The average dental data set is roughly 500GB, and the average dental internet speed is 200mb/s (shared broadband). This would take approximately 3 days to just download the data set, then there would be another 4-8 hours to get the data in place to serve as a temporary server.

virtual cloud of technology

Bad Scenario 3: Not Testing Your Backup System

I will lump the rest of the scenarios here. It goes like this, yes, my backups are being done, but they have never been tested. Time to stop reading here now and go check. A backup that is not tested is in fact not a backup at all.

Have you seen the quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald? "Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."

If you have tried options in the past and been burned or less than enthused. Now is not the time to give up.

You might have read up until this point and asked yourself, I think my backup strategy is either lacking, unknown, nonexistent, or failing. Where do I go from here?

The answer is Darkhorse Tech. We have designed a system where you don't have to think. Our system encompasses all the latest HIPAA, Cybersecurity, and Best Practice Standards out there. For one low monthly cost, we offer two things: Peace of mind, and a Plan in Place.

Get in touch with us here today for a consultation.

Darkhorse Dental IT Is Here For You

We understand that caring for your patients is your top priority. Dealing with a computer issue, slow IT response time or HIPAA compliance requirements just aren’t high on your list of to-do’s. That’s where Darkhorse Dental Tech comes in. Our team of Dental IT specialists are experts when it comes to running a great, secure and successful practice —and so much more. Whether you’re looking for IT services for startups, or existing support and security services for your practice, Darkhorse can do it all for you, so you can get back to your patients.

Have questions? Looking for ideas? Just want to talk teeth? Drop us a line at to get the conversation started! Or head to our Contact page to send us a message. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

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