Have you ever wanted to throw your computer out of an open window? We’ve all been there: the frozen screen, lost files, or worse—the crashed hard drive.

When these unfortunate moments happen with your practice computer or network—either because your system is outdated or damaged—they present a real threat to your workflow.

While many dentists have a paper file for their patients, electronic files have become common. Always backup your patient information in a secure location and make certain that it's HIPPA compliant. Only authorized employees should have access.

It’s essential to have redundancy with your patient files. Because of advancements in technology your files can now include case presentation materials, photos and videos. At the very least, you should backup these items on an external hard drive. The last thing you need is to lose a patient treatment plan you’ve created or worse, their digital radiographs!

In addition to external hard drives, you may want to look into storing files on secure web-based platforms; however, again, it’s important to always ensure that the platform you choose is HIPPA compliant.

If your practice management software fails and causes you to lose patient scheduling data, your entire workflow is impacted. Even minor scheduling conflicts can erode patient trust in your office. Even though this is uncommon, by backing up your scheduling data you can prevent an office meltdown. Simple techniques such as adding the data once a month to a separate spreadsheet or even another calendar program independent from your practice management software will provide peace of mind and ensure that your practice remains efficient.

When it comes to regular instruments and supplies, your vendors most likely have an online record of your order history. Even if they do, you should always input this information in your practice management platform and in a separate spreadsheet.

Having backup data on spreadsheets or additional software platforms will provide extra security to the information that allows your practice to function.