Do's and don'ts for practice management: Plan for disaster recovery

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When it comes to events that can completely disrupt the work of your practice, you should hope for the best and plan for the worst. Whether flood or fire, extended power outage or doctor incapacitation, bad things can happen to good practices. Like buying insurance, the time and effort you invest in recovery planning may seem wasted if disaster doesn't strike -- but with so much at stake, it's better to be safe than sorry.


Think through each scenario and draw up detailed plans. Review a series of "what ifs" and figure out practical responses. Line up needed resources in advance, write out step-by-step procedures (including who's responsible for each step), and store backups of the plan in various places.


Don't think it can't happen to you. Landlocked practices have flooded when a water main broke. Busy practices have been stopped cold by a total computer meltdown. Dentists have been laid up with a serious injury or illness. Years of success could be completely undermined by an unplanned-for disaster, so having recovery plans makes sense.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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