Protecting Patient Data: Do you have a plan?

I attended the Patterson sponsored webinar, Avoid Practice Interruption, with Paul Hinman of DDS Rescue this week. In watching this webinar, I was reminded of a time as an Eaglesoft trainer when I had the task of working with an office to recover their patient information after the relative of the office manager, their computer resource, wiped out all their patient data. Unfortunately, they then learned that their regular backups were not actually backing up anything. It was so devastating for this office as we spent hours reentering months of appointments and transactions.

So, today, I am asking you to reevaluate how you are protecting your patient data. Paul suggested having an office “fire drill.”  Pretend your server computer is down. How would you handle patients?  What would it take to get your computers back up and running? How long would it take you to restore your patient information?

Here are some points to cover in your office “fire drill”:

  • How often do you restore one of your backups to really be sure your backup is restorable?
  • Where is your backup data stored? On a tape or hard drive in the back of your car? Is that HIPAA compliant?
  • What will it take to restore your data? Will you need to buy a new server and get access to all your program disks to reinstall your software? Do you even still have them?
  • How long would it take to get a new server computer and what will you do with your patients while this is happening?

My intent is not to scare you, but to inspire you to get a plan in place. Solutions are available that store your patient data in multiple locations and allow for quick access to your patient data to get your office running quickly. At Patterson, we offer two different solutions – PattLock and DDS Rescue. By taking the right steps now you will never have to worry about losing your patient data. Please contact your Patterson representative or call 800.294.8504 if you would like more details.

You can enroll for future webinars or review past recorded webinars at There is a great one coming up with Linda Miles on May 22.