Medical practices should invest in data loss protection

To start the year off on the right foot, small medical facilities and private physicians should be sure to back up their essential data. While data breaches caused by hackers and thieves can put a patient's medical information at risk at larger facilities, small medical providers may need to worry more about a data loss that could inhibit their ability to provide their clients with top-quality care. After all, since doctors gain business through referrals, even a few days of poor service could come to reflect on a facility for years to come.

Even though data loss has been a risk medical facilities have faced for some time, this danger has gotten even more pronounced over the last decade. For example, in 1998, around 6 percent of all personal computers experienced some sort of data loss. This was estimated to cost businesses in every industry nearly $11.8 billion, even at a time when computers were not nearly as integral to the daily operations of most U.S. businesses as they are today.

By 2003, research indicated that 50 percent of the companies that experienced a data loss would be out of business within the next five years, meaning that medical facilities have a real incentive to protect this information both in the long- and short-term.

When this type of disaster occurs, computers could take one to two days to regain operation. In the aftermath, the staff of the facility may lose access to the applications they rely on for their day-to-day operations such as EMR software, medical billing solutions and eprescribing technology.

However, by speaking with an expert consulting agency, doctors can gain the tools they need to fight against the loss of medical data. For example, consultants may advise doctors to invest in ShadowProtect, a service that can restore Windows operating systems after a data loss in as little as 15 minutes.