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    6 reasons it's critical to have an IT emergency plan in place


    Don’t settle for an 800 number

    When an emergency occurs, practices don’t want to spend time trying to reach a call center. Get multiple contacts and multiple numbers for assistance.


    Be redundant


    Back up everything. That includes the practice’s emergency IT point person, who should have a stand-in who also knows the ins and outs—or simply just the location—of a plan. Explore backups to the practice’s internet connectivity just in case. A practice won’t be able to access its cloud-based record without a stable connection. And if practices make physical copies of vital data, it’s a good idea to store them somewhere safe, perhaps away from the practice’s physical location. 


    Revisit emergency plans

    A binder that sits on a shelf collecting dust won’t help anyone, says Capko. At least twice a year, have the practice point person revisit the plan, ensure contact names and numbers are still accurate, and update if needed. It’s also a good time for practices to review the plan in a setting like a staff meeting, so everyone knows what’s expected of them when the time comes.


    Bonus tips

    Secure your passwords

    Recent cyberattacks have proven that even the smallest medical practice can be a target for thieves seeking personal data. Make a schedule to change practice passwords (perhaps every six months) and make them complex. 

    Don’t bypass updates

    Capko says hackers seek out vulnerabilities in software. Patch your system as soon as you are able to protect patient data. 


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