First, the Coronavirus threatened the livelihood of your practice. Now, on top of that, NOAA predicts an abnormally-active Atlantic hurricane season through November 30. You can act now to protect yourself from unnecessary storm-related financial losses simply by taking a fresh look at your practice management software (PMS). There are key differences between server-based and cloud platforms when it comes to disaster resiliency and long-term financial benefit.
Your Server-Based System is High Risk in a Storm
A server-based system relies on a physical server located in your office. It also relies on some type of backup for your records. Many dentists keep the backup hard drive stored near the server or take it back and forth from office to home.
Fema reports 40-60 percent of small businesses never reopen after a natural disaster . Why is that? Once records are lost, business stops immediately regardless of physical damage. The process to get traditional computer systems fully back online often takes weeks, if it’s even possible. A couple factors include:
- Backup drive issues. Backup drives are not completely reliable. Sometimes they don’t start up. Sometimes they start, but the data is not functional. Other times, older data is intact but the last several weeks or months is lost. Remember, backup data is only as good as the last time it was backed up.
- New hardware is needed. You may need to replace your server and computers. While computers can be replaced pretty quickly, servers are specialized machines, expensive to replace and require technicians to install and set up. After a crisis, demand is often high, which can extend the time it takes to get the hardware to your practice.
Cloud Technology is Your Ally
“The cloud” may sound mystical but it’s not. It simply means all your records are stored and continually backed up on servers located in an offsite facility. Did you know:
- You’re already using the cloud every day. Gmail, Yahoo! and others are examples of consumer services in the cloud. It just takes an internet connection, your phone or other hotspot to access everything you need.
- You need less tech support. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you may actually need less IT support when using the cloud. With cloud-based software, you don’t rely on in-office installation or troubleshooting.
- Your system can be integrated. With a service built specifically in the cloud, all business modules can be easily accessible in one place, from scheduling to patient reminders and digital imaging.
Cloud-Based, HIPAA-Compliant Service is your Security
In contrast to legacy server systems, getting cloud-based software up and running after a physical disaster is often as simple as logging in with tablets or laptops from home or purchased locally or online. You can begin accessing patient records and files immediately because they are stored in secure, offsite data centers far away from the effects of the disaster.
- Safe record storage. Your practice records are stored on multiple servers, across multiple locations. With your records backed up across these highly-secure, remote locations, data integrity is preserved.
- Ability to work anywhere. In a crisis, you may need to access patient insurance information, records or write prescriptions. When you work within a cloud-based system, your location doesn’t matter. You can access anything in your PMS. Keep the business of your practice on track, even working on financials or taking care of administrative tasks.
- Easy restart. It’s easy to replace a few computers if they are damaged in a disaster. Then, all you really need to do is log in via an internet connection. Your records are still there. Business can resume as soon as your physical location is again fit to begin seeing patients. This saves you critical days and months in time, as well as thousands or hundreds of thousands in lost revenue.
The 2020 hurricane season holds the potential for each storm to have a compounding effect on dental practices due to the losses already sustained as a result of COVID-19. Forward-looking Florida dentists should use the arrival of hurricane season as a reason to explore moving to the cloud. The many productivity and profitability benefits of cloud-based practice management provide a sense of security that allows you to keep your focus on patient care.
iCoreConnect is an FDA Crown Savings Endorsed Partner with expertise in cloud-based technologies to improve and protect your practice. FDA members receive special discount pricing on iCoreConnect’s services, including iCoreDental cloud-based practice management software. Visit iCoreConnect.com/FDA, or call 888.810.7706.