If we could personally visit your office and back you up we would! There’s nothing more important than a daily back up. OK – nothing apart from healing the sick. And this is why ….
Losing important data – especially losing your patient’s charts – is heartsinkingly dreadful. All the more so because it’s entirely preventable. You only have to spend a few minutes a day attending to it. It’s kind of like brushing your teeth. It’s a drag but in the end it’s worth it.
After all, one of the joys of ‘electronic’ data – of having everything in your computer – is that you can back it up. And then if your hard drive dies or your computer is stolen you are OK. Hard drive failures are remarkably common – they happen to everyone sooner or later. OK, OK – you will not be exactly OK if it does happen … for sure it will be a hassle but it won’t be a nightmare. If you backed up recently.
Here are some back up options and the pros and cons of each plus a brief summary.
Back up to Your Computer
Pros: It’s easy, convenient and cheap.
Cons: Your back up is on your computer – in the event of loss or theft you will unfortunately still lose everything.
Summary: Why bother?
Back up to a CDRom/DVD
Pros: Low-ish cost (although over time the costs, especially of DVDs) mount up.
Cons: You have to ‘do it’. Most people don’t – or they leave gaps between back ups – typically of a week. This isn’t good enough and it defeats the purpose of the exercise – it means you are vulnerable to luck (good luck is only if you backed up recently).
Most people have too much data on their computer to easily back up to one CDRom or DVD these days.
DVDs and CDRoms pile up over time (unless you use re-writable ones) and almost nobody remembers to password protect them so confidentiality is always an issue.
Many laptops now don’t have CD/DVD drives.
Summary: Good for emergencies only. If you have a CD/DVD drive.
Back up to an External Hard Drive or Flash Drive
Pros: It’s easy.
Cons: You have to do it although it’s definitely easier/faster than CD-Roms/DVDs
External Hard Drives can malfunction or die.
You may lose your computer and the hard drive in a single fire or a conscientious theft.
Summary: Pretty good solution but not the best.
Back up On Line
Pros: It’s easy and fast after the initial backup.
For as little as nothing a month (i.e. for free) you can back up five whole gigabytes! That’s COMPASS plus thousands of word docs and a bunch of other stuff besides. If you want to back up ALL your documents (we strongly recommended this) then for $50 a year you can get up to 150 gigabytes of storage (a huge amount!). Or more.
In the event of a fire or theft or computer failure you will not lose any of your most precious assets: your office files and records.
There’s no wasted resources (CD Roms or DVDs).
You don’t need to spending time backing up – you can set the software to back up continuously in the background (as long as you have enough memory). Or you can set it to back up at the end of your day. iDrive * is one of the best and it’s the one we love and use. It will even helpfully shut down your computer after it has finished backing up last thing at night.
Your data is fully ‘encrypted’.
Restoring data is a pretty straightforward – for either individual files or for ALL you documents.
Cons: You need high speed internet access.
The first back up is slow – it can take days or longer depending on how much data you are backing up.
Summary: You cannot go wrong with this back up option. You just need time at the outset.
* iDrive is our Favorite Online Service
Pros: It’s a great price.
It’s more or less intuitive to use.
It works seamlessly.
It works for Windows and Macintosh users.
Cons: They offer minimal tech support. Their on line support works great for straightforward questions.
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