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The Importance of Data Backup in Pharmacy Management Software

data backup system for pharmacy

Your data in your pharmacy computer system is your lifeline.  Not only do you need to have historical data available in case of an audit from PBM’s, DOH, or board of pharmacy, but you need it in order to be able to serve your patients with accuracy and efficiency.  The risk of losing everything could have a huge impact on your business—this is your financial history, inventory, and patient history.  Proper safety measures need to be taken to backup your data in your pharmacy software and prevent a potential catastrophic loss.

There are many things you can do to help prevent a loss of data in your pharmacy system.  First and foremost, setting up multiple backups is a must.  Most pharmacy computer systems will have a local backup that runs automatically, every day, and saves your information either on your server or an external flash drive.  In addition to saving your local backup, you should be creating a redundant backup that copies your data from your pharmacy software to an offsite cloud server.  The best pharmacy software vendors will offer a remote offsite backup option and maintain this for you.

In the unfortunate instance of an audit, you need to ensure you have access to historical data in your pharmacy management software.  This ranges from patient and prescription data to drug inventory and so much more!  In the event you have a hardware failure and are unable to restore your server or main workstation, your backup can save you from potentially huge claw backs and fines.  Most pharmacies are required to maintain data for 10 years, so this means if you are not backing up, you are putting yourself at a huge risk.  Your pharmacy software vendor makes it easy and Datascan makes it affordable to set up an offsite cloud-based backup.  The peace of mind this offers you is worth every penny.

Your pharmacy software houses so much more than just your patient history and dispensing history.  It contains financial data.  It carries prescription images, future refills for your patients that they rely on, all of your drug inventory and purchasing history, the prior fills that allow you to properly reconcile what you are owed.  The list is endless.  That pharmacy system is the life of your pharmacy – so why not treat it like a life and protect it as best you can?

pharmacy software data storage system

Pharmacy software systems literally run the day to day operations of your independent community pharmacy.  Imagine walking into your pharmacy one morning and you realize your server will not boot up. There are so many factors that can cause data loss.  Computer hardware is more reliable than it was in the past, but still, you can have hardware failures.  Beyond this, you have to worry about blackouts, power failures from storms, and catastrophic damage from storms, fires etc are always a possibility — no matter how remote, they still happen every day around the world.  On top of all of that, its not just the traditional computer virus that could plague your pharmacy software data, but now we have malware and ransomware to be concerned about!  If you cannot access your pharmacy system, how can you serve your patients?  Run your business?  Or, get through an audit of any kind?  Imagine you call your pharmacy software vendor for assistance and they ask you if you have access to your backup—you do not.  You realize you did not want to pay for an offsite back up, now what?  If you cannot restore that server you’ve just lost potentially years worth of information.  Over the years, we have seen so many customers rely on a single backup source.  Murphy’s law – when you need the backup, something likely happened that stopped it from running or fully backing up all of your data.  That is why we say do not rely just on your local pharmacy system backup, and do not even rely on backing up with your pharmacy management systems vendor – because remember, that data needs to properly upload to their servers with no interruption for the backup restore properly.  This is why we recommend 3 pharmacy system backups.  One local.  One with your vendor.  And one offsite to a cloud backup company.  A backup of your pharmacy software is easily one of the most important things you can invest in.  The best pharmacy software systems will help you not only set up backups, but make sure to monitor them and alert you of any potential issue before you have a catastrophe.