“It’s all fun-and-games-until…” That phrase could adequately describe the reasons for making the transition from paper to the cloud.
No doubt, information technology is changing how you manage (and protect) your dental practice data. HIPAA compliance and data security protocols add additional layers to the choices you make.
Why paper-based information systems are being re-considered
Credit the rise of smartphones, personal device technology, e-commerce, and…cloud-computing. These advancements once seemed too distant to grasp the shifts they would make in our personal and business lives.
Now that they’re a commonplace reality, paperless, cloud-based systems are more in vogue.
Even so…some remain hesitant!
Old habits apparently die hard. We’ve been talking about the paperless office literally for decades, but the average office worker still uses some 10,000 sheets of paper a year. According to The Paperless Project (via Medium), American corporations “spend over $120 billion on printed forms, most of which become outdated within three months.”
Paper usage isn’t likely to disappear at the moment. But a substantial reduction in its utilization – including dental practices – is gaining ground.
Most industries (like dentistry) are taking systemic steps to move from paper to digital (cloud-based). And often leading that change is the issue of risk and cost.
”The transition from paper to paperless business processes is not a trivial undertaking. Depending on the complexity and scope of the change, there are business and process planning requirements, software engineering costs and employee change management needs. No technology-driven business change is devoid of some level of risk and cost.”
Transitional considerations are vital in making your decision to make a gradual or all-in switch from paper to cloud.
What the transition from a paper-based system to a cloud-based system looks like
Before we discuss going-paperless, let’s give paper some attention. Face it, there will continue to be a need for paper.
- The government relies on the credibility of paper
- The legal value of signed documentation remains
- The sense of timelessness and ease of access associated with paper
- The preferred feel of paper in your hands
- The cost and distribution value of paper
But the more comfortable you are with technology and innovation the better you’ll be at making the switch.
Here are a few starting points:
Focus on data and document security
Encryption is an essential step in securing your data in the cloud. Evaluate your chosen digital platform based on its encryption and security capabilities.
Keep in mind that your vulnerability for data loss (such as a HIPAA breach) involves the loss or theft of your physical media. Perhaps a thumb drive, hard drive, or an entire work station that stores your desktop practice management software could be compromised.
Cloud solutions, like Denticon, store your data remotely on secure servers (e.g. AT&T and Amazon Web Services). They provide layers of intrusion detection and other state-of-the-art security protocols.
For added security confidence, Denticon also backs up your data on a continual basis. Back-ups provide full redundancy and a disaster recovery plan…