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Across our country thousands of practices, including GP’s, specialist and allied health, own and maintain a practice server. The practice server is the powerhouse of the clinic, the primary function of which is to host the clinical and practice management software. Other critical functions include the hosting of a myriad of add-ons and plugins that connect to, and extract from the practice management software. As a secondary function, the practice server often operates as a file server to store business documents or often as a file repository for incoming faxes. It can also have accounting software installed or be used as an email service for programs such as Microsoft Exchange. There is no doubt that the practice server is a critical piece of infrastructure and central to the successful operations of a clinic. Wow that’s a lot of importance on what can be a single point of failure. If the practice server goes down, what does that mean for my business? As a practice owner, you need to ask these questions:
- Have I invested sufficiently in maintaining the security and backups of my practice IT systems given how important they are to my business operations?
- Is the hardware that I purchased still in warranty?
- Is my aging hardware performing as well as it should. Are the outages and system crashes my doctors are experiencing avoidable?
- Is my information being backed up and taken offline each day and can it be restored?
- How many different applications are actually running on my servers and what data is being accessed or extracted?
- When was the last time the practice IT systems were audited for vulnerabilities?
- How much is all this costing!
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