Practice Data Loss – how to keep up to date yet stay protected!
Downtime can be detrimental to your ability to do your job as an independent optician. Nowadays downtime threats are not only weather related. Entire systems can fall victim to ransomware. As a healthcare professional you are custodian of your patients’ personal and health related data and your patients turn to you for reassurance. Being able to deliver that reassurance is crucial to your reputation and livelihood.
A study by the department for digital, culture, media and sport in 2018 found that almost 50% of UK businesses have been the victim of cyber attacks or security beaches in the past year costing them thousands of pounds.
Many small businesses are now starting to move towards cloud based and paperless operations and independent opticians are no exception. While going paperless is an absolute must for opticians if they want to stay competitive now and into the future, in a highly regulated profession, there are significant challenges around compliance and data security.
So how can you avoid costly downtime and data breach?
- Consider outsourcing your IT to a specialist firm that understands the data security needs of the small business. SightCare can advise you on who to use.
- When it comes to purchasing hardware don’t sacrifice quality in order to save money. Having strong technology will carry long term benefits.
- Establish, review and maintain system security of all practice technology.
- Perform timely hardware and software updates, maintenance and backups.
- Regularly review business continuity and disaster plans ensuring industry standard best practices are met.
- Set recovery time objectives and work towards achieving them.
- Ensure practice staff and partners are fully briefed in what to do in the event of a disaster.
- Understand that data can extend much further than just documents and patient details. Documents and data are obvious, but what about databases? From document creation, to patient files storage, to scheduling, to accounting, to billing, opticians need protection against all threats.
- Independent opticians have an obligation, both legally and ethically, to protect confidential information in their computer systems. Practices may want to consider using the SightCare Group Data Protection Officer to avoid costly employee training and business owner conflict of interest issues.
For more information about data security and compliance advice and support contact SightCare on 01256 781522 or firstname.lastname@example.org