What would happen if you lost all your data? All your patient information… gone. All you financial information… gone. Everything… gone!
It’s a scary thought, but it’s something every dental practice must be prepared for. As more and more dental offices are becoming totally paperless, this becomes a bigger issue. If your dental practice is currently paperless or if you’re thinking about making the switch, you need to prepare now for a potential loss of data.
Moving to a Paperless Dental Practice
Contract with an IT company before you go paperless. They will be instrumental in both your hardware and software setup. While your IT company will be a great resource, you should keep in mind the following items that will need to be addressed when working with them to set up your paperless office:
- Network Evaluation. Verify that your network is adequate for the number of computers in your office.
- Software Integration. Ensure your IT company is aware of all the software you use and how it works together.
- Real-Time Troubleshooting. Confirm that your IT company can monitor your computers in real-time so problems can be identified before they become too costly.
- System Security. Develop a process that ensures your anti-virus software is always up to date and your firewall is protecting all the computers on your network.
- Email Encryption. Educate yourself and your office staff on proper encryption of e-mails or files. Put a process in place and make sure everyone follows proper procedures.
- Back-up. Implement a process to ensure that you back-up data and store it off-site. Without a back-up procedure, your data will probably be lost for good.
- Disaster Recovery. Create a procedure for disaster recovery with your IT company so you can recover the information you need to continue your operation with as little disruption as possible.
Selecting an IT Company
Most important is finding an IT company that you know you can rely on for support. Most IT company’s charge a monthly fee for support. Make sure you understand what you are getting for that fee and if it properly reflects the support you need for your dental practice. During the selection process, be sure to read their contracts, talk to your representatives about the safety of your data and, above all else, make sure that you will be able to continue your business operations in a timely manner if disaster strikes.
CONTACT OUR DENTAL PRACTICE PROFESSIONALS
Whether you have questions about becoming a paperless dental practice or have made the switch and not sure how secure your data is, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of bright Dental CPAs can work with on what you need to make the switch or make sure your data is being stored securely.