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Doctor Offices Need Disaster Management Plan

Kent Bottles

Doctor offices are becoming more and more dependent on their computer systems. With electronic medical records and scheduling on computers, down time can bring everything in a doctor's office to a screeching halt.

 Disasters can be due to:

1. Fires

2. Floods

3. Burglaries

4. Computer malfunctions

5. Virus infections

 A Gallup poll of small business owners found that 30% had been shut down for 24 hours or longer in a a three year period and 10% reported problems with civil disorder or arson.

What kind of planning should be done?

1. Make sure back up disks work by testing them periodically.

 2. Firewall protection

3. Antivirus software

4. Off-site data backup service

 5. Read NFPA 1600, a preparedness standard from the National Fire Protection Association (

 6. Consider a spam, virus filtering service that can cost up to $500 a year.

 7. Consider hiring a consultant to help your office develop a plan to cope with such disasters.

 Reference: Eve Tahmincioglu, Trying to stay a step ahead of Murphy's Law. The New York Times, August 11, 2005, C5.

Greenbranch Publishing