Making it easy by using the cloud

Cloud computing is ubiquitous in most business, yet it is so easy to use that we often forget that it is cloud computing. That’s for good reason–usability is a mantra for cloud software. The good news is that dental software can also take advantage of the high usability, decreased capital costs and collaborative nature of cloud computing. More and more cloud-based dental companies are emerging, such as Brightsquid (for collaboration and referrals) and Curve Hero.

Why consider cloud software? As Dr. Colonna says,

Traditional software is not necessarily out-of-date. Not yet, anyway. But I think every doctor needs to ask themselves if they’re comfortable investing in traditional software today when tomorrow it will probably be outdated. It will still work, but they’ll be faced with making a switch to the cloud soon thereafter. So the decision is whether to switch to the cloud now and avoid the pain of switching again in the future. (Thais, 2012)

Cloud-based dental software follows the same design principles as online banking, music storage, document management and other enterprise software. But it usually runs on any browser, has few hardware requirements and has 24-7 services and off-site, secure backup. In addition, cloud software is usually intuitive and familiar to many users of online programs. As a result, training is reduced.

One key consideration dentists will need to think about, however, is that any cloud-based software they choose to use must be HIPAA-compliant.

Lessons Learned:

  • Cloud-based software has lower capital expenses, hardware and maintenance costs than traditional software, in addition to be accessible from off-site.
  • Cloud-based programs tend to be intuitive and easy to use, and most cloud companies offer 24-7 support and services.
  • Data stored in the cloud must meet HIPAA regulations.

Berd, Josh. (2013) Forecasting the future of dental software–it’s in the cloud! The Pro Dentist, Nov 12. Last Accessed Jan 31, 2013: http://theprodentist.com/2012/11/forecasting-the-future-of-dental-software-its-in-the-cloud/

Carter, Thais (2012) Curve Dental’s cloud-based alternative to practice management software excites patients with time savings and efficiency. Dental Products Report, May 22. Last Accessed 1/31/2013: http://www.dentalproductsreport.com/dental/article/curve-dentals-cloud-based-alternative-practice-management-software-excites-patients-t