When bad weather or other emergencies approach, your Partner practice and PCC EHR data may be the last thing on your mind. By taking a few simple precautions, you can protect your equipment as well as your patient database and accounts receivable records.
PCC’s Support Team recommends the following emergency preparation measures. If you have any questions or concerns, call us at 1-800-722-1082. Follow these steps whenever there is a risk of power failure or flooding in your region.
Perform a Backup
Run a System Image Backup of your server and take the backup tape off-site for safe storage. Although a backup is run automatically every night, you can perform one manually at any time.
First, ask all users to log off the system and put a tape in your server’s tape drive. Next, type backups at a command prompt or choose “Backup the System” from the System Administrator window. From the list of options in the backups program, choose “System Image Backup.”
No Tape Backups: If you do not use tape backups, please contact PCC support at least three hours before you plan to shut your system down so we can initiate a remote backup. A remote backup may take several hours to complete and the system should only be used for lookup purposes. Any changes you make once the remote backup is started could be lost if we need to restore your system. Once the remote backup is complete, you may shutdown your system.
Shut Down the Server
Shut your server(s) down and turn off the power. For most systems, simply run the Shutdown program in the System Administrator window, or log in as the root user and type shutdown -h now at a command prompt. Once you see the “Power Down” message on the console screen, your system may power down automatically. If not, press and hold the power button on the front of the server until the machine turns off.
Note: If your server is shut down overnight, normal nightly cleanup programs will not run. They will run the first night after the server is turned back on. Some complex financial aging reports, for example, may not be up-to-date after a night with no power.
Turn Off and Unplug Other Equipment
Turn off your printers, PCs, and all other electrical equipment. Even if you use surge protectors around your office, unplugging your PCs and printers will better prevent electrical damage.
Turn Off and Unplug the APC UPS
Your server and other PCC hardware should be plugged into an APC UPS battery backup device. The device provides some protection against unexpected surges and brown-outs.
If you know ahead of time that your power may fail or office may flood, you should turn off the APC and unplug it from the wall for added protection.
Unplug the Phone Cord from the Modem
Telephone cords carry a small electrical current, and a power surge on a line can damage your equipment. Unplug the phone cord from your modem if you are expecting a storm.
Consider Covering or Moving the Server and Other Equipment
If there is a possibility of flooding, you should raise the server and other equipment off of the floor and use plastic tarps to prevent water damage. Do not wrap your server in a plastic tarp while it is still running.
Move to a Safe Location
As always, remember that your safety and the safety of your patients is far more important than your equipment. Do not return to your office to perform the above steps unless it is safe to do so. Your office manager should keep a weekly backup tape off-site, and that tape is usually enough to restore all data when new equipment is available.
Stay In Touch
Please call PCC Support (800-722-1082) if you need assistance performing the above steps or if you have any questions. Remember that we are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week for emergency calls.