In case you missed it: Dentalcompare from November 2013.
Sometimes the power fails—therefore electric lights cannot be trusted and we should all stick to kerosene lanterns.
Of course that is foolish, but it is the approach some people take to using computer technology. They are so afraid of a computer crash they use it as an excuse not to use technology at all.
Sometimes the power does go out and sometimes computers do fail. What do you do? You deal with it. In the modern world we rely on technology such as the power grid which on occasion can and does fail. When it fails we cannot do everything we can do with the power on. We cannot treat patients, so we will need to reschedule. It is an annoyance it is not a catastrophe.
In dentistry we rely on a number of mission critical systems. If these critical systems fail we cannot do dentistry. This includes the air compressor, the central vac and maybe even the curing light. Most dentists have an emergency plan to backup a failure in a mission critical system. You may have a small emergency compressor or have an arrangement with Henry Schein to bring you a loaner.
You need to have exactly the same type of arrangement with your IT provider. An emergency plan should be in place to get the office up and running within a few hours or a day at most in the unlikely event of a major computer system failure. In fact, you don’t have a choice over whether or not to have such a plan. A disaster recovery plan is not only good policy, it is part of the updated HIPAA omnibus rule.
Two additional components a dental office should have in place to protect data integrity are a firewall and a good up to date anti-malware application.
Both of these items are available as low or no cost consumer items. However for your practice get fully functional professional enterprise versions which can be installed at the server level to protect the whole office.
This is a critical item not a do it yourself project. Hire a qualified IT expert to set up your data protections systems.