It’s the middle of the night, and your practice has just been hacked. Your stolen data has now been encrypted by the hackers and is being held for ransom. To make matters worse, your practice, like so many others, does not have a current backup of this data to fall back on. As shocking as this scenario sounds, it is a fate which could befall many practices today. All too frequently, medical practices have either sub-optimal security and backup systems in place, which can easily be compromised hackers, or they decide to “risk it,” believing it can’t happen to them and leaving themselves vulnerable to an attack like the one above.
This story above is not an imaginary scenario to highlight the importance of securing your data and having routine backups, but rather, the actual experience of a doctor’s practice located not far from PatientNOW’s office. Upon learning of this disastrous security breach, a nearby practice — unrelated to the one whose data was stolen — took action to prevent such an occurrence from happening to them. The practice, who already used PatientNOW to manage their flow of data, now called us to learn what else they should do to ensure the safety and integrity of their practice information. This is the story of what happened next.
An EMR Is the First But Not the Only Step Towards Adequately Managing Your Patient Data
The practice that called us had already taken the first step towards adequately controlling their data rather than letting their data control them. After consulting with us initially, it quickly became clear that the practice could store crucial patient data in a PatientNOW EMR, guaranteeing them access to the right data at the right time, maximizing their practice’s efficiency and allowing them to focus on what they do best — treating patients.
However, even an “in-house” EMR — while an effective data management tool — does not go far enough to protect your data from every eventuality, including the possibility of having your computer systems compromised by people who want to steal your data. This is why PatientNOW offers more than EMRs as part of its comprehensive suite of data management tools for doctors. PatientNOW also gives its customers the option to house their entire PatientNOW EMR system in the cloud.
For those new to the term, “the cloud” is a network of servers housed in a highly-secure data center. In addition to physical security, a data center provides the highest assurances of your data’s safety from unwanted intrusions from third parties. Housing your data in the cloud also has other advantages. For example, cloud facilities guarantee “up-time” so that your computers aren’t down when you need them most, ensuring you continuous access to your data. Daily data backups performed on-site provide customers with additional safeguards; backups, which can preserve data for 30 days or more, can reduce your risk in the unlikely event of hardware failure.
After discussing all these advantages at length with us, our client decided that housing their data in the cloud gave their patient information the best possible protection while still ensuring 24x7x365 access to everything they’d need to run their practice, from any device. Crucially, patients could also interface with the practice from their own devices securely. Now, the only question that remained would be how to migrate their data from their in-house servers to the cloud quickly before they, too, became the victim of the next doctor’s office security breach.
The Right Solution Will Also Include the Right People
Your primary area of expertise is the health and wellbeing of your patients. So who do you go to when you suspect that your information systems might not be in the best of health? Whether or not your practice is already using a PatientNOW EMR, PatientNOW can be an invaluable resource on the side of your practice and information security. Once the decision was made and the agreements signed, it was time to shift the focus to action quickly.
PatientNOW clearly and thoroughly explained all the steps that would be necessary to transfer the practice’s patient data to a system in the cloud that would preserve all of their existing functionality and also add the security, and ultimately peace of mind, that the practice sought. The practice communicated a key deadline to the PatientNOW team — the transfer of data would need to occur in the span of 48 hours; the doctor would be out of the office during this time, so completing within this window was the only way to ensure that the practice experienced no downtime.
PatientNOW immediately began work on preparing the data for transfer and then migrating data to a waiting PatientNOW cloud-based EMR solution housed in the data center. The data was loaded and verified for integrity before new login credentials were generated for all the practice’s team. Once the doctor’s staff logged into the new cloud version of their EMR the next morning, they were all able to breathe a huge sigh of relief — the cloud version of their software exactly matched the interface they were all used to, and all their data was there, accessible and secure.
What made this turnaround for the practice successful was a combination of critical elements, essential to any business which relies on data — best-in-class software, which the practice was already using, state-of-the-art computer architecture, that provided the necessary security layer against data intrusions, and capable and experienced technology experts who could quickly craft a plan to achieve their clients goals and put it into place flawlessly, overnight. This is the value that PatientNOW can offer doctors who demand nothing but the most stringent protections for their practice and patient data along with top-tier customer service.
We, at PatientNOW, would like to remind you that this is not a hypothetical case study but a real client experience. In fact, our client wrote to us to thank us for helping them implement a solution that worked “flawlessly” for them — their descriptor, not ours — on very short notice:
“The point of this letter is to let you know how pleased we are with your employees. It is not every day a small organization like ours makes a major change like this without much trepidation. Thank you for allaying our fears and hiring excellent and capable employees.
Renaissance Plastic Surgery”
At PatientNOW, we are very proud to say that this is but one of many examples of how we have helped doctor’s office across the nation protect their data and provide the highest level of service to their patients, whether by providing them with outstanding medical advice or treating the protection of their personal data as an equally critical concern.
Protecting your data can seem like a complex problem, but the solution can be quite simple
A PatientNOW EMR allows doctors to leverage their patient data to the fullest extent. Our software enables our customers to automate the most time-consuming aspects of their business, making their data storage and retrieval work for not against them. When you can instantly call-up a patient file, review and add notes, assign prescriptions, schedule follow-ups and even manage your inventory easily, you can then focus on what matters most — your patients. By allowing doctors to give their patients their full attention, without having to worry about patient records, we enable them to provide their clients with the highest level of service and value, all but guaranteeing the positive experiences that will lead to patient retention and recurring revenue.
When you add industry-leading data security to your PatientNOW EMR through a cloud-based solution, you can extend these benefits even further. Both you and your patients can enjoy significant peace of mind, knowing that their and your data are both easily accessible when needed and continually protected. This is the PatientNOW advantage. Call now to speak with one of our friendly, knowledgable customer service representatives to learn more about a PatientNOW EMR with cloud support to take your practice management to the next level. Managing your data and your practice can be a simple and effective process when you work with professionals who understand your concerns and can create a solution based around the needs of your practice.
Call PatientNOW today at 800-436-3150 to get the conversation started. We look forward to working with you and helping your practice function at its very best. Here, we’ve shared with you two very different practice experiences — one about a practice which prepared for the worst and another about a practice which “risked it.” The most important question to consider now is which practice do you want to be.
PatientNOW — ensuring the right outcomes for our clients every day.