Disruptions and disasters occur more often than many dentists may think. Even though many dental practices may not consider power outages to be serious concerns, a recent survey by power management firm Eaton Electrical revealed that 37% of IT professionals “have suffered unplanned downtime due to power-related issues in the last 24 months,” with 32% of outages lasting longer than four hours. The downtime caused by these kinds of disasters can have a financial impact on a dental practice; a May 2013 study by the Aberdeen Group reported that the average cost to a business per hour of downtime is a whopping $8,580.2
Dentists that have a backup and disaster recovery solution in place are able to respond to disruptions within minutes or hours of an outage or disaster taking place. These practices have a number of quick recovery options available to them to guard against the risks and costs associated with periods of downtime. However, beyond giving dental practice owners a solution to outages and disasters, backup and disaster recovery services provide many more benefits to organizations.
Backup and Disaster Recovery Benefits
When downtime occurs, the effects can be severe as companies lose access to important data, such as patient information, financial data, and emails, for an extended period of time. With a backup and disaster recovery solution deployed, dentists can ensure they remain productive, maintain their patients’ trust, keep their commitments to patients, and stay compliant with important regulations. Here are the key benefits that businesses gain from adopting a backup and disaster recovery solution:
Maintain employee productivity and the ability to generate revenue: Simply put, when dental practices cannot conduct business as usual, they lose money. Taking xrays, receiving and replying to important emails, and accessing patient charts are all activities that downtime can disrupt, leading to a financial drain on the practice. Backup and disaster recovery lets dentists remain productive by ensuring they can serve their customers and generate revenue, even after a major disruption or disaster.
Preserve reputation with patients: Downtime can also have a severe effect on organizations when it comes to their reputation in the eyes of their patients. These reputational costs vary among different practices, but in all cases they could be significant. For example, a critical hardware failure that leads to a day of downtime at a dentist’s office could lead to a loss of patients’ trust. Backup and disaster recovery ensures a patient base does not lose faith in the practice due to long periods of downtime.
Meet obligations with patients: Downtime could lead to the inability for dentists to meet certain agreements or deadlines. For instance, if tax time is nearing, an outage during tax season could lead to missed deadlines resulting in fines. Backup and disaster recovery lets any business meet critical deadlines even if disaster strikes, so nothing is disrupted.
Prevent losing business to competition: Dental practices that jeopardize their reputation due to downtime are likely to see patients take flight to competitors. As an example, if a patient comes in for xrays or treatment that can not be performed, they may be unlikely to revisit the practice in the future. The costs of acquiring new patients are astronomically high compared to the cost of merely retaining existing customers, so it is important that organizations do everything they can to reduce customer churn. Backup and disaster recovery ensures dental practices do not lose business to a competitor due to downtime.
Ensure compliance with industry regulations: Aside from the longterm cost advantages of adopting a business continuity solution, backup and disaster recovery also helps SMBs remain compliant with important industry regulations and other legal requirements. Three of the most important laws governing the protection of digital data are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX), and the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA). Though these laws apply to different industries, all of them require businesses to closely safeguard and retain sensitive digital information, a requirement that backup and disaster recovery is designed for. Backup and disaster recovery ensures organizations do not have to worry about compliance violations and legal issues related to data preservation, so businesses can focus on generating revenue and making clients happy.