In the medical and dental fields, losing confidential patient data is the stuff of nightmares. The Old Mill Dental Clinic in Sioux Lookout, Ontario found this out the hard way when it suffered a critical loss of data.

On an otherwise ordinary autumn day, Old Mill’s Office Manager and Dental Assistant, Debbie Foster, went into work and tried to boot up her computer, which hosted the clinic’s electronic medical records (EMR) database. To her dismay, the system would not allow her to sign in and load the usual patient information.

“I was horrified. I didn’t know quite what to do,” she recalls. “I called my boss, who contacted an independent computer technician we’d used in the United States when we had IT issues in the past. After completing his diagnostics remotely, the technician said the data was irretrievable and a lost cause.”

“There’s no way that we could tolerate that happening. There was way too much information on the system’s hard drives. I was pretty stressed, to say the least.”

Adds Foster, “There’s no way that we could tolerate that happening. There was way too much information on the system’s hard drives. I was pretty stressed, to say the least.”

Foster then called a contact in Thunder Bay who recommended that she reach out to CBL Data Recovery Technologies. “I called CBL at the toll-free number, and they assured me that they would look at the system and report back as soon as possible. Since we didn’t have much to lose, we decided to try them. They told me how to pack the computer tower for shipping and I sent it off with fingers crossed.

Getting Smiles Back

“It was very stressful waiting to hear back,” she continues, “but within a couple of days, they called with good news. CBL said that it could retrieve most, if not all, the information. I felt a little better and could sleep that night. After two more days, they called again and explained that the computer and the retrieved data were good to go and they were shipping it that day. That was the best feeling.”

CBL service during the data recovery process was great and they were very easy to work with, says Foster. “They telephoned and emailed me several times just to give me status updates and provide reassurance that all was not lost. They even called my boss! I have nothing but praise for the CBL team.”

Once the data was returned to the clinic, the Old Mills’ EMR vendor remotely replaced the data in the system’s correct file structure and, once again, it was business as usual.

Foster says her dental clinic learned two vital lessons from this hair-raising experience. “First, I would tell all dental practices to ensure that they back up their clinical and patient data daily. And second, leave the data recovery process to the data recovery experts—such as CBL.”