The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world very quickly. In the US, where our headquarters is located, many of our MacPractice clients find themselves currently postponing elective procedures due to the recent advice from the American Dental Association. Other healthcare practices are busy launching plans to prepare their workplaces for COVID-19 following guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Practices must develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can help guide protective actions against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
As practices are preparing for the worst, they are often hoping to keep running as smoothly as possible in the event of a catastrophe. They are also asking themselves whether they will stay up and running in the event of a network outage, and how they can best prepare their team in this crisis.
A detailed disaster recovery plan will include an organized backup scheme and a method for preserving data in the event of computer loss or destruction. In cases of computer failure, theft, natural disaster, or fire, it is highly recommended to have a Recovery Plan in place for re-establishing your database and getting MacPractice up and running. A Recovery Plan should be reviewed and practiced at least once a quarter to ensure that MacPractice can be downloaded and installed, that a valid backup can be accessed and restored, and that other computers and users can log in and access patient data.
For backups, MacPractice recommends creating a daily backup of MacPractice to the local hard drive or an external device. It is imperative always to have a working backup to revert to if there is an emergency. Always store external backups in a secure location, such as a fireproof safe. Select a site that can be accessed if a backup is needed.
Retain the backups on an external device. Retain at least one backup from the following periods.
- The last two business weeks or ten business days
- The end of every month
- The end of every quarter
- The end of the fiscal year