Recently, I have been asked for some of the pros and cons to our SoftDent Cloud service. The top reasons to go to the cloud are very straight forward. Some have specifically to do with SoftDent and some have to do with security.
Connect from anywhere, anytime. Your SoftDent software is now available to you no matter where you are, and no longer requires SoftDent to be installed on the workstation or laptop you are working from. Whether you are at home or on vacation in the Bahamas, if you have an internet connection you can access your SoftDent software.
For multi-location sites, this is an ideal way to share a single database. You do not need to maintain expensive VPN or T1 lines between your offices to review patient information and see images that were taken in a different office.
SoftDent Cloud should reduce your IT headache by taking care of all SoftDent software updates and backups. If you are not an Imaging customer, you are no longer required to own and maintain a business class server in your practice either.
By storing your data in our storage facilities, you will significantly improve your security and lower your HIPAA-related risk. Moving the Patient Health Information and Personally Identifiable Information out of the practice is a huge step to reducing our risk of breach. Your data will be stored in our Tier 3 and 4 data centers where it is monitored and protected 24/7 by electronic and physical security that cannot be matched by you in your own office.
Consider what would happen if your current server went down? How long would it take for your to get back up and running? In some instances, it could take up to a week to get that new server ordered, installed and loaded with all the require software. With our SoftDent Cloud service, you no longer need to worry about the time and cost to replace that server.
There are a few reasons you might want to not consider moving to the Cloud:
If you have a slow internet connection that cannot be improved because of your location or exorbitant costs, the Cloud may not be a good choice. A good, reliable service is dependent upon fast, reliable internet. Customers with multiple offices, each in different states will sometimes run into problems finding reliable internet to connect their offices -- this is not the same thing. Each office is only required to have their own connection to the internet, not to another office.
If you use (and depend upon) third-party software to run your business, the Cloud might not be for you. We are able to integrate our software in the cloud with a few of the major third-party software companies, but not all of them. You should speak with your sales representative to see if you have any of these software products in your practice and whether they will work in our Cloud.
If you like the control of having your own data in your hands, you probably won't like the Cloud. While the data is 100% owned by you, we manage the day-to-day operation and availability of that data in the software. So if you want to use it to allow a third-party to access it, or if you like to make your own back-ups, you won't be able to do that. That said, if you ever need a copy of your data, you are fully entitled to it and we will make haste to get it to you as quickly as possible.
If you are looking to move to the Cloud only to save money, this might not be the answer. Depending on the size and configuration of your practice, your fees may decrease or increase, but on average your overall IT costs will likely stay about the same. Again, talk to your sales representative to find out what the costs would be like for your practice.
Lastly, there are a few Carestream services that do not function at this time in the Cloud. If you are a using the Fingerprint, eForms services, or Voice-Activated Perio services, you may not be satisfied with the Cloud, as these are not currently approved for use.