The Importance of Having a Reliable Backup of your Practice Data

You never know when outside factors can affect your practice’s technology and data, which could be potentially devastating for your practice.

An office I’ve consulted with had an unfortunate situation happen recently. They have allowed me to share their experience with the hope that your practice can avoid something similar happening to you.

This office has a computer technician who set up the computer system in their office, including a backup system and a firewall. The office uses Dentrix, and everything generally runs very smoothly from an IT perspective. One Friday afternoon, a bad thunderstorm knocked out the power at the office. When the staff came into the office Monday morning, they found that the workstations couldn’t connect to the server. They immediately called their computer technician and they had to cancel the morning’s patients.

Once the problem was diagnosed, they realized that there was a power surge which had damaged their server. Fortunately, they had a backup computer they could use as a server, so they began the process of installing Dentrix on that computer and migrating their data. At this point they decided to cancel the patients scheduled in the afternoon as well, due to the length of time that process would take.

Once Dentrix had been installed and the data migrated, the office manager opened the Appointment Book. She was unpleasantly surprised to see that there were no appointments scheduled in their Appointment Book. Although both the office manager and the computer technician thought the backups were running regularly, the last successful backup had run six months earlier.

This was an extremely stressful situation for the office. Fortunately, they were able to reference their appointment reminder software to know which patients were scheduled over the next week so they could contact them. Because of this, they decided to cancel another day of patient appointments.
This story does have a happy ending. The practice was able to get their original server’s hard drive repaired and their data restored. However, the doctor estimates they lost about $25,000 in production for the days they weren’t able to see patients.

If the office had a reliable backup system and it was being monitored to ensure the backups were running successfully, this situation could have been easily avoided. I recommend that your backup is available both on-site and off, that way if something catastrophic does happen in your office, your data will be safe.

Henry Schein One TechCentral offers technology solutions and support including backups and has the added benefit of being able to work directly with Dentrix Customer Support when needed.

I strongly recommend all dental offices have a reliable backup system for your data and that it’s being monitored regularly. You never know when outside factors like thunderstorms can affect your practice’s technology, resulting in lost data which could be potentially devastating for your practice.

Learn More

To understand how to get the most out of your technology investment, consider a free technology assessment from TechCentral by Henry Schein One.

For additional information, read Why You Need a Hybrid Backup Solution.

By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at