By Susan Saldibar
The devastating effects of recent fires, hurricanes and earthquakes remind us how vulnerable we are when Mother Nature takes control. And, given the huge emotional toll, it’s not surprising that other things affected tend to be overlooked. For example, the loss of data.
Your data is more vulnerable today than ever.
The push towards electronic document management has been going on for some time now. Companies that provide document management as part of their property management systems, such as RealPage® (a Senior Housing Forum™ partner), have invested a lot of time and resources developing new technologies that provide secure document storage, transmission and near real-time disaster recovery.
In a recent article, RealPage uncovers three key data vulnerabilities:
Hacking and stealing HIPAA and other key information
The bottom line is that all this valuable data has never been more vulnerable. So what are property managers of senior living communities doing to mitigate the risk of potential data loss and data theft?
Here is what RealPage recommends:
The reward outweighs the risk—continue migrating to paperless. While most have made the transition to electronic document management, there are still some communities that persist in using paper. Based on RealPage’s research, storing and managing documents electronically saves an average of $5,500 per site, per year. In other words, as RealPage puts it, “paper is wildly inefficient for office staff in terms of filing, storage, retrieval and mailing.” Talk about an understatement.
Just because your documents are stored electronically, doesn’t mean they are safe. RealPage points out that some document management providers put too much emphasis on core features and not enough on security. Documents need to be secure both where they are stored and when they are in transit.
Make sure you can quickly recover stored data when you need to. Have a protocol in place that will kick into action in minutes, not hours or days. RealPage maintains two separate data centers connected by redundant fiber optic links to mirror your data. That means your data is always backed up and ready to go, in two geographic locations!
Make sure your provider meets the highest regulatory standards. Ask if they are both ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 certified. If so, the provider is keeping ahead of the curve and using best practices to safeguard your data against known hacker tactics and viruses.
And, for those of you still clinging to those manila file folders, here’s something else you might want to know. According to a recent Gartner Group™ report, nearly half of companies that lose their data do not survive.
Given the world we live in, how could they?
You can find out more information on the things RealPage is doing to help assisted living communities manage more effectively.
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