As trends begin to change in dentistry, so does the landscape of dental practice operations. The implementation of multi-location practices has rapidly developed and gained more exposure in recent years. However, operating multiple practice locations can pack on financial, administrative, and regulatory challenges. Whether your dental practice is opening its second location, or you’ve already established five or more, protecting your patients’ information is still critical. For multi-location practices, there may be a need to share information between that network. One of the best ways to create a seamless solution for data sharing is to incorporate cloud-based software for your locations.
One of the biggest assets of cloud-based software is the ability to access information at anytime, anywhere. “The Cloud” allows instant access to patient data, scheduling information, reports, and imaging results for all practices within your network. By only needing an internet connection, cloud-based software can provide you with all the file storage you need with secure protection and automatic backups. It’s no secret that cloud-based dental software is the future of dental operations. It provides a modern and simplified method to streamline everyday tasks while increasing efficiency. In fact, seventy-three percent of organizations have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure already in the cloud.[i] The scalability of cloud-based applications eliminates the need for purchasing new versions of software since it is automatically available to customers, in most cases.
Cloud-based solutions are not only convenient for practitioners, but it can save them from wipeouts or server malfunctions. In the case of Dr. Randall Ogata of University Orthodontics, he was faced with an emergency that changed transformed his outlook on cloud solutions for the better. Dr. Ogata opened his first practice in Seattle, Washington, and soon after opened a second satellite location in Mercer Island, WA. He became a Carestream Dental customer because of the software’s intuitiveness and integration with orthodontic imaging software. His decision for expansion brought about several technical issues with dataset accessibility, data sharing, and synching delays. On top of that, Dr. Ogata was relying on a server that was nearly seven years old. Knowing that he would need to replace his equipment and set up re-networking, he tried to delay the inevitable for as long as he could. After a powerful storm came through the area, Dr. Ogata’s worst nightmare was in full effect.
Dr. Ogata’s team attempted to reboot the server, but nothing was working. “That’s when the panic struck, and I contacted my sales representative for information about [the software’s] Cloud ‘emergency’ conversion process. Although we were already planning to upgrade to the Cloud in 2014, fate intervened, and it had now become priority #1 for Q4,” recalls Dr. Ogata. The support team immediately went to work to remove the hard drives from the server. Once the support team received the hard drives from Dr. Ogata’s team, they began to upload the data into the cloud. Within a two-day span, Dr. Ogata’s team could schedule appointments, access previously taken images, and integrate their imaging system and cameras with the Cloud. “The [support team] walked me through all of our options and helped me figure out what the best solution for the practice was—all in a very short period of time. Their efforts helped get me back up and running by the end of the week,” Dr. Ogata states. Dr. Ogata’s team was extremely lucky to have their information retrieved, but this type of emergency could have been easily prevented with an earlier integration of Cloud solutions.
It is important for practitioners to not only invest in top-of-the-line imaging technology but also efficient dental practice management software. Dental practice management software is an essential part of providing solutions for the administrative and clinical side of operations. Older practice management systems may not be as equipped with the technologies that can potentially make you non-compliant with HIPAA’s security controls. For this reason and many others, cloud-based technology is a useful resource for dental practitioners. The cloud experience is a solid solution for backing up information for more multiple locations and on-time synching. The software would remain HIPAA compliant due to automatic updates. Carestream Dental’s Care Management Platform (CMP) is the perfect candidate for any office’s practice management needs. It is the only-cloud based platform to combine imaging and workflow solutions with an intuitive design. Users can access patient data, financial information, and operational analytics anywhere, at any time. CMP can accommodate practices of all sizes from a one-office practice to a large enterprise.
With so many already using the Cloud, it’s never too late to make the switch. Most people already use the Cloud in their day-to-day lives, so why not integrate it for your practice? This modern solution will not only save you time and money but will help your dental practice software reach its full potential.
[i] International Data Group. (2018). 2018 Cloud computing survey. Retrieved from https://www.idg.com/tools-for-marketers/2018-cloud-computing-survey/