You may have heard about the cloud, or even have a basic understanding of what it is. However, why bother with it? How will it help you in your day-to-day dental practice management? Is this more technical jargon that uses a lot of big words to explain something that isn’t even relevant to you? Trust us, this time — it’s not.
Cloud computing takes all of your dental practice systems and software and stores them on the internet. You likely already use it via your phone by storing pictures and data in iCloud for example, so are possibly more familiar with it than you realize. So imagine your small iCloud, but for everything in your dental practice!
Think of the cloud as a wardrobe that you don’t need to see, or clean! You may currently run applications or programs from dental software you have downloaded on a physical computer or server in your practice. The cloud removes the need for these physical requirements.
Some of the efficiencies for your dental practice provided by the cloud include:
Cloud software vs service software (are you using right one for your needs?)
As with everything today, there are more options than we probably need (thanks internet!), cloud services have options too. It is essential to understand the difference between cloud computing and software as a Service (SaaS) to know which solution is right for your dental practice needs.
Software as a Service is when software is licensed to a user, in this case, your dental practice, via a subscription service. The software is accessed via the internet and requires no installation or maintenance. It runs via external servers, and your provider is responsible for their security, performance, and maintenance.
This is a cost-effective way to have real-time access to software from anywhere without needing to bother with server maintenance. Think about the annoying jobs you have, like cleaning the coffee machine, wouldn’t it be great if someone else just handled that so you could just enjoy fresh coffee all the time? SaaS clean your digital coffee machine (network).
While very similar to Saas, the cloud gives you a little more control. You can customize and manage an application as you have more access to your data via the external servers.
You are responsible for maintaining the software, but you have a little more customization of your applications allowing you to maintain, manage, and process data that is kept on remote servers. So let’s say you want to clean your coffee machine’s outer parts, but still, want someone changing your filters so your hand’s don’t get too dirty!
Both options supply easy-to-access, cost-effective software applications that will be of great benefit to your practice.
As with any technological advancements, there is an element of uncertainty that comes with making the change. Luckily for us, technology, and the internet, isn’t the big-bad terminator situation we’ve been warned about – yet!!
Let’s look at some of the three biggest things people are worried about when it comes to the cloud, and why they shouldn’t be.
It can be a little disconcerting to give your IT infrastructure to a third party. What happens if there is an issue? This is a fair concern but looks at it a different way; if there is an issue, you don’t need to worry about fixing it. You also have more control as your resource allocation is more flexible, you can use as much or as little as you need.
Access to your dental patient data is no doubt at the front of your mind. It certainly is at the front of your client’s minds!! The truth is, your cloud host probably has better firewalls and up-to-date patches than you and is more likely to update them when necessary – another task you don’t need to worry about.
Data centers, which hold all of your data are often very secure. Not only from a digital perspective but physically as well. There are regular backups (usually in more than one data center) ensuring that your data will always be safe.
Break-ins happen. So do lost laptops. A staff member could get a phishing email — pretending to be from their significant other — a click on a link gives the real author access to data it shouldn’t have. Or they could have their email account hacked and not know it. You could also experience a flood that destroys your server — and the PHI on it.
Hopefully we’ve put your mind at ease a little. If you feel like it may be time to stop working from multiple computers and multiple systems that don’t talk to each other, it’s time to switch to the cloud.
Talk to us today about migrating your practice management software to your own private managed cloud without disruption.
You will continue to use your familiar desktop, software, and applications while enjoying:
Remember the Care Bears? They lived in clouds and were happy all the time! That’s a good sign, right?! Call us today about possible dental cloud solutions to make your business as carefree as a Care Bear!