You could say an IT system isn’t nearly as fundamental to dentists as a dental chair is. And yet without a functional IT infrastructure, your dental practice’s ability to serve your patients becomes severely impaired. Lacking an IT system not only limits your staff’s productivity, but it also compromises the security of your patients’ data. Before you begin your practice, setting up an IT infrastructure must, therefore, be one of your major concerns. But what IT solutions do you need?
A server is vital even when you have a small office. The server houses your software and applications, and some of your files, especially those that are not available in the cloud. These programs and files are all accessible through any computer connected to the server.
You may be wondering: why not just install the software and save your data on the office computer? That’s because a server’s operating system tends to be more stable than that of a conventional computer. Additionally, as long as you have access to the server, you can obtain any data you need even without your staff’s assistance.
#2 Cloud storage
Cloud storage is one of the most secure and convenient ways to store data today. Users who have the right credentials can access the information you store on the cloud using any internet-capable device.
In case you want to finish a report or two even when you’re not in the office, you can do so if your data is stored on the cloud. Your staff can do the same, which means you can collaborate and stay on top of your tasks even when one or all of you are away.
Even if your office is small, you may have to invest in several workstations. Procure the minimum number of machines you need and then just add more as needed.
Computers, however, don’t come cheap. To save money, you can ask your IT or managed services provider (MSP) about hardware as a service (HaaS). In this procurement model, your provider leases computers and other hardware to you for a fixed monthly fee. This spares you from having to spend on computer units you may not need and allows you to scale up or down according to your practice’s changing demands.
With wireless access, you and your staff can connect online anywhere in your dental office. You need to ensure that coverage is uniform across the entire vicinity without any dead spot. If you’re giving your patients Wi-Fi access, their connection must not interfere with your office network.
Needless to say, your office Wi-Fi will be configured differently from what you have at home. It’s best to consult experts about factors like hardware, integration, and layout of the wireless network to ensure the best outcomes and avoid costly errors.
A cloud-based backup system is a necessary investment to prevent the loss of crucial information. In the event of fires, natural disasters, and other calamities that may destroy your office, workstations, and servers, the backup ensures that you can readily access your data and resume business as soon as possible. Your IT team or MSP can help you set up a system that automatically replicates and backs up your data for easy recovery in the future.
#6 Network security
Just because yours is a dental office doesn’t mean crooks are not interested in your data. Your patients leave to your care sensitive information that hackers may use for identity theft, credit card fraud, and other types of wrongdoing. And no, installing a firewall is not enough.
Network security is best left to the pros. Ask your IT professional for a HIPAA-compliant network security solution. Ideally, this should come with remote management and monitoring (RMM) that detects and blocks intrusions and irregularities in your network. This system also fixes issues automatically. To minimize internal security risks, you can ask your provider to train your staff in the latest network security protocols.
For dentists, setting up a working IT infrastructure means ensuring the efficiency and productivity in the office and protecting patients from online wrongdoers. Start building your IT system by reaching out to us today!