This morning I received an email from Patterson Dental with their email of “Weekly Tips & Tricks.” In their email, they were discussing the importance of backing up the office Eaglesoft data. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.
How many times have I had a disc drive die on me? My biggest fear is starting up the computers on Monday morning and having the server down because of a dead disc drive. Our office is VERY dependent on our computers. Can you imagine a Monday morning, staff waiting to punch their time card, patients in the waiting room, and everybody looking around asking what to do because the computers are down? What a nightmare! I have never had my server disc drive go down, knock on wood, but I have had many disc drives fail through the years.
Therefore I take backups seriously.
We have been using Eaglesoft since 2004. Looking back through the years, I’m very appreciative of Eaglesoft. I am pleased that I went with them when we were deciding which dental office management system to go with. The single one thing I love most about Eaglesoft is how robust and stable the software has been. I also appreciate Eaglesoft tech support; they have a great team. I am told that they like recommendations from dentists and that they are incorporating as many suggestions as possible, and I am flattered when they ask for my recommendations.
But when it comes to the office Eaglesoft data I wish Patterson would provide better. The approach that Patterson has taken is that backups are not their responsibility. Backups are the responsibility of the dental office. Fair enough, but may I offer a suggestion?
We have eight computers in our office network. Seven of these computers are used exclusively for Eaglesoft software; our office data is kept on our server, on one machine, on one hard drive. Here is my suggestion.
I have plenty of Eaglesoft computers on my network with large empty hard-drives. Can you please duplicate my Eaglesoft data across to another hard-drive on the network?
I would sleep better at night knowing that if my server ever went down, I could flip a software switch and convert an Eaglesoft workstation to an Eaglesoft server, with minimal downtime. Since the data has already been transferred over, it would be easy to be up and running in no time.
As I read the Eaglesoft – Data Backup Recommendations, option #2, I can’t help but think, this is an easy computer science problem. A smart high school kid could provide an elegant solution. Why doesn’t Patterson Eaglesoft provide the software to do this? There are plenty of unused hard drives sitting around at their disposal.
Hard drives are cheap and plentiful. My office data is priceless.
From what I understand if I go to my Eaglesoft server I can specify the pathway where the Eaglesoft data is kept using the “Technical Reference” App. I would like to have the option of choosing where the Eaglesoft data is duplicated as well.
I have reached out to Eaglesoft many times with my suggestion, and I have been assured many times that my idea will be put into the suggestion box. I have also been informed numerous times about DDS Rescue and PattLock. I understand what these services provide. My suggestion doesn’t replace these other backup options, but I do believe that the more duplication that Eaglesoft can provide with my dental office data, the better.
In the meantime, I will continue to backup my data, and pray that my server never goes down.
It is my understanding that Google Apps for Business Account in now HIPPA compliant. Are there any other dental offices out there that backup their data on Google Drive?
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.