Every day, we hear of companies—Netflix, Adobe, Intuit—switching over to “the cloud.” In fact, according to Forrester Research, the business of cloud storage is growing by 30 percent a year. However, the advantages of the cloud are not reserved for only an elite few; it is an affordable and efficient technology that can be harnessed by any dental practice.
If you’re unfamiliar with the cloud, then it’s likely that you’re storing data on a computer hard drive or even in physical paper files. However, with the cloud, patient data, practice information, applications and digital images are stored on a remote online server and can be accessed via the Internet. In fact, if you have an internet connection, then you have access to your data. No matter where you are, your user experience remains the same.
When you add new computers to your practice, you also need to consider the cost of purchasing new software licenses for each machine. However, the centralized platform of cloud computing means that offices enjoy the same product experience under the same virtual roof, regardless of log-in location. Practices can simply add locations rather than purchase additional software licenses for multiple offices, and there’s no need to establish multiple IT infrastructures.
In fact, taking advantage of the cloud can save your practice money in more ways than one. Switching to the cloud can also eliminate numerous financial concerns such as maintaining aging equipment or retaining an IT company to configure networks. Also, front desk, imaging and chairside units can be replaced with reasonably priced workstations. Additionally, point to point data connections between practices with multiple locations can often be eliminated.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the cloud is the peace of mind that it brings. The cloud offers layers of security that most practices can’t provide. Servers are protected by security specialists and firewalls. This is especially important when dealing with sensitive patient information. Even if your practice is affected by a natural disaster, your files are stored miles away from the chaos. Additionally, you can be assured that your data is backed-up and that your practice is always utilizing the most up-to-date version of your practice management software because back-ups and upgrades are handled offsite.
If you’ve made the switch from paper files to digital, then you know first-hand how it has modernized your practice, streamlined your workflow and even cleared up space in your office. Storing those digital files on the cloud, or utilizing cloud-based practice management software, is the next step in creating a modern, digital practice. The economical convenience of the cloud is for everyone.
Are you on the Cloud yet? If not, are you considering making the move?