How Can Dental Practices Use Cloud Computing?
Technology is changing the way dental practices are managed and marketed. More and more practices are using cloud-based solutions to improve practice operations and communications while maintaining patient privacy and compliance.
Cloud solutions offer dental practices many advantages while allowing employees to focus on patient care, not IT issues.
Technology is rapidly changing the way dental practices are run. Electronic medical records, for example, allow for more transparency, information sharing and communication between patients and their medical providers. Practice management software applications allow for seamless integration of scheduling, billing, insurance management, referrals, patient records and general management.
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“Whether they are improving clinical outcomes, enhancing the patient experience, adding capabilities or improving productivity and profitability, new technologies continue driving dentistry to higher levels of performance,” writes Dr. Roger Levin in a recent https://newdentistblog.ada.org/10-point-checklist-for-investing-in-technology/American Dental Association post.
What role can the cloud play in improving the operations and efficiency of your dental practice? It should be an essential component of a practice technology plan.
What Is Cloud Computing for Dental Practices?
Cloud computing provides general dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons and other dental professionals with flexible options to store and access data and applications. Cloud computing means no longer having to pay to purchase, maintain, cool and power servers and other equipment. Cloud solutions, in tandem with managed IT services, allow you and your employees access to help-desk services, upgrades and patches automatically downloaded to devices and secure monitoring of your data and systems.
Cloud computing is designed to provide your dental practice with much-needed peace of mind, reliability and security.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?
With cloud computing solutions in place, your practice gains multiple advantages that allow you to provide better service and care to your patients and to differentiate your business from other dental professionals. Among the benefits are:
- Data access. With cloud-based storage, you can easily access medical records, patient data and other information that’s stored virtually. Cloud computing gives you and your employees access to information and apps from any device — desktop computers, home offices, smartphones, tablets or laptops — that are connected to the internet.
- Scalability. As your practice grows, you need a technology solution that grows with it. Cloud computing offers scalable solutions that allow you to store more data and applications and allow more users, all without having to purchase and install additional servers. Consider on-premises computing. You can end up being stuck with too much computing capability, which is a waste of money. Not having enough capability means having to buy new equipment, wait for it to be shipped, find the space to house it, configure it, and pay more for the utility costs to manage it.
- Regulatory compliance. Dental practices need to comply with HIPAA guidelines that protect medical records and patient confidentiality. With cloud computing solutions, you can be confident that data is protected, monitored and secure, with the safeguards in place to prevent the theft or exposure of sensitive information. The costs of noncompliance or a data breach can be severe. Cloud solutions reduce risk and can demonstrate compliance.
- Cost containment. If your practice is paying for IT support on an as-needed basis, you never know what costs you’ll incur in a given month. Break-fix support models are far more expensive than managed services that include cloud computing. Instead of paying a technician every time a software patch needs to be applied or a server malfunctions, choose a managed IT solution that offers a predictable monthly rate.
How Does Cloud Computing Keep Our Data Secured?
When paired with a managed services solution, cloud computing offers the best option to keep data safe. With a managed IT provider, your practice will be protected by a comprehensive security solution that includes:
- Security analyses to assess vulnerabilities and recommend solutions.
- Next-generation firewalls that monitor your network’s perimeter, identifying, containing and eradicating threats or suspicious activity before serious harm can be done.
- Automated anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-phishing tools and email filtering to keep unwanted attackers at bay and solutions upgraded automatically to respond to emerging and evolving threats.
- Server and email encryption to keep information safe while in transit or at rest.
- Automated data backups to ensure that in the event of a natural or manmade disaster, you can access information quickly.
NOVA Computer Solutions specializes in cloud computing for dental practices. To learn more about our services to help your practice be more secure and efficient, contact us today for a free initial consultation.