Despite its mystical name, “the cloud” is actually quite simple. It is a way of storing information, such as data and apps, on the internet rather than on a physical hard drive. Cloud technology is a vital addition to any dental practice, yet relatively few dentists understand how to integrate. Here are some reasons why all dental practices should take advantage of the cloud.
Enhanced Data Protection
If your patient records and other data are stored on your office computer’s hard drive, what happens if that drive fails? Depending on the specific issue, expensive and time consuming data recovery may be possible. Or you may lose that data forever. Storing data in the cloud makes it impervious to system failures. Think of it as emailing a document to yourself. You can bring up that data on any system, with the proper authentication, rather than relying solely on one piece of hardware. Cloud storage follows HIPAA standards, so you can be sure that your files are secure.
Files that are stored in the cloud are easy for anyone with the proper credentials to access, and they are automatically saved and synced. That means if your receptionist changes a patient’s appointment time, you will be able to view that change on the computer in your office. Medication records, previous appointment history, and more can be entered once and changed as necessary without redundant conversations between you, your staff, and your patients.
The cloud also helps to minimize downtime. You don’t need to worry about running out of storage on your office computers. If one computer crashes, it is easy to log into another and carry on with the same task. Adopting cloud technology streamlines workflow and helps keep your office running smoothly.
Keeping Up with Technology
As you know, dental technology is evolving at lightning speed. Digital X-rays, 3-D CT scans, even CEREC same-day crowns are revolutionizing dental practices. Yet it is tough to argue that your office is cutting edge if you are still using yesterday’s data storage methods. Many cloud storage systems are extremely inexpensive, making this an easy and affordable way to ensure that your record-keeping technology is as advanced as your patient care technology.
It is fine to start small, testing the cloud with only limited parts of your work and gathering employee feedback. However, it is important to choose tools and features that are designed for medical and dental offices. These tools will ensure a more seamless transition from physical storage to cloud storage.
Anywhere, Anytime Connection
While it is not healthy for anyone to be constantly on call, the reality is that sometimes your staff will need something from you when you are away from the office. Whether you need to look at a patient’s file to determine whether to call in a prescription or you are planning topics to cover at your next team meeting, cloud technology lets you log in from home, the beach, or anywhere you have access to the internet. The only reason you will need to go to the office on your day off is to see a patient whose dental emergency cannot wait—not simply to wade through data files.
Adapting to any technology can be a bit frightening, but cloud technology is largely user friendly and easy to learn. Start small, choose the right tools for the job, and you will soon be taking advantage of the freedom and enhanced workflow that the cloud can provide.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.