In a time where nearly every dental practice, regardless of size, runs on technology, it's no surprise that practice owners have partnered with outsourced dental IT service providers to help keep their offices up and running. Working with a team of experts whose sole focus is to manage and maintain your network means one less thing on your plate, giving you more time to focus on what's most important for your practice and patients.
Your dental IT company should be the one that is there when a staff member is having trouble with their email, or if a printer goes offline, and helping to identify potential opportunities to improve your technical programs and ultimately, grow your practice. Some dental IT providers aren't up to par with others, and while some might be great providers, just aren't the right fit for your practice. So how can you assess if your current dental IT provider is the right one for you? And what do you do if it's not? We break all of that down in this post.
How to Assess if Your Provider is Falling Short
1. Ask Your Staff
One easy first step to help determine if your current provider is rising to the level you need is to ask members of your staff. An IT provider should be working with everyone at your company when they are having technical issues such as x-ray imagery not uploading correctly or a frozen home screen. Not only that, but in addressing these issues, a true IT partner will be responsive, communicative, and move to resolve issues as quickly as possible. To get a gauge of how your team feels, start asking around the office or send out a brief survey for them to identify and rate any experiences they've had with your existing IT provider. A promising sign that your outsourced IT company is doing a good job is positive feedback. An even better sign is employees who haven't had many technical issues in the first place. This signals that your current dental IT provider is keeping up with routine maintenance and proactively seeking solutions to potential issues or vulnerabilities.
2. Review Communication
Great dental IT providers are effective communicators. While technology can have bugs or issues every now and again, but when those arise, a true partner will continually check in and update you on any fixes that are in progress. The same is true of any projects. So make sure that's the case with your current dental IT provider.
Also - do you know what your provider is working on? Or are they just kind of there? It's not just about how quickly they respond to outreach from you or your team (although it's definitely important!). It's also about their communication habits, even if you haven't reached out. The sign of a true collaboration is that your dental IT provider is continually working with your practice on ideas and projects to improve your overall business. If that's not happening, it may be time to rethink your current agreement.
3. Ask About Security
Cybersecurity is critical for any practice and with the number of cyberattacks on the rise, you need to know what exactly your dental IT provider is doing to keep your data safe and secure. If they can't provide you with specific details or tools being used, that could be a major red flag. Cybersecurity is complicated - it's more than just setting up a firewall or spam filtering for your email. When talking with your dental IT team, you should feel confident that they know what they are doing and that your data is being protected.
4. Look at Your Bill
Lastly, some IT providers will hide fees or surprise you with unexpected charges for work you were unaware they were doing. In some cases, you could be paying for services that you don't even know about or need! A trusted provider will help you understand the ongoing services you are receiving and your bill to a tee.
If it's time to reevaluate your dental IT provider, don't be scared or nervous - it's easier than it looks! And certainly don't let it hold you back from finding the perfect dental IT provider for your business. Having the right partner fit can really make or break your practice!
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The right technology can lead to a more productive, reliable, and competitive dental practice. With experience serving clients across the West and Southwest states since 2003, Pact-One holds the IT management and support solutions you need to upgrade your practice. Invest in quality IT today — get in touch with our experts.