Full, incremental, or differential: Three data backup types that help keep patient information safe

One glitch can easily wipe away years of patient records, accounting ledgers, financial accounts, inventory lists, and employee payroll information. Assured Tech Services has seen this many times. It can also put a dental or medical practice out of HIPAA compliance quite swiftly, bringing with it a series of legal ramifications.

Here are three main data backup types that can help you protect patient information and maintain HIPAA compliance. We provide each type of back up, and if you are interested in more specific information call us at 248-243-7160 or email support@assuredtechservices.com.

Full backup

A full backup duplicates all of your existing data, including patient files, programs, settings, and your operating system. While full backups offer the best protection, they require a lot of time and disk space, which is why most dental and medical practices use them periodically.

Incremental backup

Incremental backups only duplicate information that has changed since the last data backup. If, for example, you performed a full backup on Tuesday and relied on incremental backups for the rest of the week, Wednesday’s backup would only include data that changed since Tuesday and Thursday’s backup would only include data that changed since Wednesday. While incremental backups are efficient, they can be time-consuming to restore, and if any files are missing or damaged, full data recovery may not be possible.

Differential backup

Differential backups duplicate all of the data that changed since the last full backup. So Tuesday’s full backup, for instance, would be followed by daily backups that save all data that changed since then. Differential backups don’t require much time to restore, making them essential in situations where rapid restores are crucial.

To determine which data backup type best suits the needs of your dental or medical practice, start by considering what your recovery time is and where you should keep the backup data stored. If your medical practice experiences a disaster recovery situation, for example, you’ll likely need immediate access to your files, which would make differential backups stored on-site or on a co-located cloud server the preferred choice.

Selecting the right data backup type to secure patient records and other information will not only keep your data safe, but will also ensure that your practice maintains HIPAA compliance in any kind of emergency.

We can guide you through the backup process and put you on a plan making backups automatic and worry-free. Contact Assured Tech Services at
248-243-7160 or email support@assuredtechservices.com.