Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Health Train Express Resumes Publishing

Things seem to be working again. I spent the greater part of the past two days getting things back up and running.

After my blog platform disappeared from my menus and a number of dead desktop icons, several freezes, virus scans, and other disconnected events, and after removing several programs, re-installing several programs, which failed to load, defragmentations, etc I did a restore to several weeks ago and all is fine. It interrupted my writing schedule and diverted my attention, worrying all the while if it could be fixed, how much data I would lose, etc and  even the fear of having to replace it with  a new system.  '

 

Fortunately for me I had a disaster plan....I had an external drive with backup and also an online backup.  My onsite backup runs automatically twice a week, and my online backup is continuous as needed. Onsite backup has it's own dangers, and at times fails. An online insurance backup is not expensive, (about $ 100/annum)

It is a great sense of comfort, and I lost no data.

I bring this up because it really relates to developing total dependence on electronics.  Sooner or later it will go 'south'

If  you are in a significant size group  you probably already have expert IT support, if you are solo or a small group it can be a challenge to keep backups and disaster plans implemented and more important used on a regular schedule.  It might even be worthwhile to have disaster drills, just like fire drills.

An EMR disaster abruptly changes the focus of the practice for the manager and the doctor.

I have had it happen to me, despite  best intentions.  My staff was not performing regular backups, my vendor was unreliable, and often unavailable.  I learned a lot about computers, software as a matter of necessity. Besides losing income and losing time, it created havoc in my mind. Having a system in place is the first step, testing and using it is also vital. In todays' much harsher reimbursement environment a small blip can rapidly unravel into disaster financially.

Many of us are being diverted by all the talk about 'incentives' and meaningful use for EMR.   Another important issue is  whether your system works for 'your practice' and if it is designed to be reliable,have fail safes and totally reliable tech support from your vendor or a reliable local source.

Remember, the introduction of EMR and HIE will mean more complication...eventually.

However I think the horse (or is it cow) has left the barn.

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