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Protect Your Patient List As If Your Dental Practice Depends Upon It... Beacuse It Does!

Jun 2, 2008
I read posts from Crown Council members, and occasionally I'll visit DentalTown, to see what topics are hot. I do this to get the pulse of the industry and find out what issues are at the forefront.

You should be doing this as well, but be looking in different media. In other words, you should be looking in the local newspaper, watching the local news and so on. There are opportunities for you to "fold into" your marketing plan on an almost weekly basis that will take your "pitch" or "ad message" and turn it into more "news," thus making it more readable and even more palatable!

The Crown Council network is an interesting media. There is a lot of interaction and a lot of opinionated folks out there (which is why it is interesting!).

Recently, there were some posts about storing digital files - specifically photos - on the computer networks of the office. This reminded me of a recent problem that crept up in my office.

Let me preface this by saying: "Your patient list is ALL you've really got and ALL you really need." If your building burns down, your staff all leave, your dog gets hit by a car (or all of these in the same week!) and so on, as long as you have your patient list, you have a business. You are still IN business. In fact, all that sounds like a bushel of sour lemons, but I know of several business people, dentists included, that have had those or similar things happen and have recovered, coming back stronger than ever!

Now, the point of this posting: What redundant (back-ups of back-ups) do you have in place to protect your patient database and their dental files?

My suggestion is this (after having been through hell and back about a year ago): Have at least three redundant back-ups. I had two because I was paranoid, but guess what, when the back-up saves over the back-up (dumb amateur mistake!) and the new back-up is infected with a virus and you lose all of your data... your still out of business.

Have a UPS battery backup. They are $100 at most. Then, have an online service back-up your computer data. Then, have an off site storage that is updated weekly or sooner that contains your patient data. Also, keep a locked safe somewhere with the same info in it. This is all cheap to do and can save you so much in pain, agony, labor and lost sleep. I know. Take it from me. RE-creating a full month's worth of data was all it took to make me a believer in overly redundant computer back-ups.

If you don't want to do it, hire a computer geek (here in Salem, they have a "Rent-A-Geek" company) and put them on a $150 a month retainer to come in and make sure it's set-up, done properly and will save you if necessary!

Action-To-Take Tip: See above and DO NOT WAIT. Do it today!
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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