Post-Hurricane Irma: How Lighthouse Pediatrics Weathered the Storm

Hurricanes have hit hard down south this fall, and many PCC clients have been affected by the storms. Lighthouse Pediatrics of Naples, a client and friend of PCC, is located in Naples, Florida. Naples was attacked with the full force of Hurricane Irma in September. We talked to Diane Worman, Office Manager of Lighthouse Pediatrics, to hear about her experience with PCC through the hardship, and heard an amazing story.

Hurricane Preparations Begin

Diane started  preparing the practice for the hurricane on September 7and in the lead up to the storm she received emails from PCC making sure she had a plan in place for the server. Originally it had been predicted that the hurricane would hit the other coast, so when the news changed they had to act fast. Diane shared that PCC's team was “very supporting and would do anything they could to help prepare for the disaster.” Since their server was three feet off the ground and had an extra firewall in the ceiling, they decided to keep it running instead of backing it up. Still, PCC recommended a manual backup in case the building was destroyed, and was happy to do this for her.

Things were good after that until Sunday around noon, when they lost power. The storm hit shortly thereafter. The next day, Diane decided to drive to work to check things out. She described driving down a "path" that had previously been a four lane highway. But when she got to the office, she was astounded. The building was not damaged at all. Trees had fallen every which way around the building, but no part of the building itself had been touched. Everything was safe and secure.

Irma Leaves Lighthouse Unharmed But Without Power

Diane came back into the office on Tuesday. Due to the power outage, the doctors did not have any access to electronic records, and that made it very hard to have appointments. They were told that the power would most likely be out for three weeks. This would have made running the practice very difficult. Diane decided to reach out to PCC to make a plan for the potential of a long term power outage. Technical support assured Lighthouse that they would remain in close contact, checking in every day to stay on top of the situation. Diane stated that it was “so nice that the people at PCC were willing to talk every day" and that she "really felt like they were family." Despite predictions, the power came back on Thursday morning and PCC's Technical Support Team helped them get the whole system up and running. Patients even started coming in that afternoon.

Without Internet Access, PCC Helps Lighthouse Restore Software Functionality

On Friday morning, Diane realized there was a problem: the Practice Management Software and EHR would not sync. She called PCC and told them what was going on. Right away they got to work explaining the procedures that might help get the two programs to sync. Nirav Shah, a member of PCC's Software Support Team, was one of the people who talked Diane through the process. He said, “We walked Diane through finding the problematic processes and restoring their sync process. It was the first time I had to support a client blind and teach them the commands we use for troubleshooting since we couldn't remotely connect to their system.” Finally it started syncing and things began running smoothly again. Diane was incredibly impressed with PCC's patience and commitment to helping her practice.

That week, despite not having internet access, Lighthouse Pediatrics was able to see 268 patients. When the internet did come back up about a week later, all the billing was forwarded without a problem. Diane felt “very blessed for the support of PCC and grateful that nothing was damaged.” As a result of this experience, Lighthouse Pediatrics realized the importance of working with a software vendor who is well-equipped to handle natural disasters.

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Tags: PCC Blog, disaster preparation, disaster recovery, EHR, pediatric practice management, technical support