Dentists’ offices require unique tech support in order to maintain business continuity. Technology issues and problems, no matter how small, can decrease productivity or halt it altogether. When dentists are unable to see their patients due to things that could have been prevented, patient trust is lost, revenue is decreased, and excess costs are incurred. There’s not a dentist in the world that wants that.
In order to acquire IT support at their offices, dentist have two basic options: They can either hire a full time IT staff member or they can outsource their IT to a managed service provider (MSP). At catmandu, we support the networks of several dentists in the Amarillo and Canyon, Texas areas. In our experience, dentists have a much better time when they outsource their IT rather than hiring a staff member.
But first, what is a Managed Service Provider? Dentists (as well as other businesses) can hire a managed service provider to outsource their IT demands to a competent, professional IT company. The MSP becomes responsible for maintaining and monitoring the network and solving any problems should they arise. This fee covers anything that the dentist chooses to cover, everything from server maintenance to backup and workstation support to antivirus. A dentist office’s unique needs can be transformed into a customized plan.
Here’s why we think outsourcing IT to an MSP is more beneficial to dentists than hiring a full-time IT staff:
One of the most important tasks that we perform for dentists is to make sure they are fully HIPAA compliant. The rules are strict and the punishments are severe if any sort of health care provider isn’t properly storing and accessing private patient data. Everything used to be done on paper but now that everything is digital and connected to the internet, HIPAA compliance has become much more difficult to understand. It takes a team of knowledgeable, experienced IT professionals to ensure full compliance. If a full-time IT staff member has a lot of experience in the healthcare sector, he might know what to do but if he doesn’t have this experience under his belt, the entire dental practice could suffer.
We have experience dealing with specialized dental software and the companies that design the software. The only way one can gain this experience is through years of dealing with the software. We often act as a go-between for dentists and the software companies when things are not working properly. We have had to troubleshoot nearly every problem that a dentist can face when it comes to their software. We can even help a dentist choose the right pieces of software for their practice.
We often deal with dental equipment and connecting them to the network. Obviously, dentists use a lot of highly specialized equipment to work on patients and today, much of this equipment needs to be securely connected to the network. We can do that and when equipment stops working, we can get dentists in touch with the right specialists who can fix the machines. This all needs to happen quickly because when machines don’t work, it is more difficult to see patients. An in-house IT staff member may not have this experience.
We are highly experienced with networks and information technology in general. We have been providing IT support to West Texas businesses for over 12 years. In that amount of time, we have seen it all. Our highly trained technicians have an unbelievable amount of experience and knowledge. Also, we believe that a few heads are better than one. A dentist who has several techs in his corner, rather than one, can trust that problems will be solved quickly and correctly.
Dentists will save a lot of money if they outsource their IT. Think about this: an in-house IT employee will have to be provided with an hourly wage or salary and possibly benefits. A dentist will also have to pay federal income taxes, social security, and Medicare. This gets very expensive, very fast. With an MSP, clients only pay a flat monthly fee - no hidden fees, no income tax, nothing. It is a lot less expensive.
24/7 Support & Remote Support
Dentists will get 24/7 network monitoring and support. Health care providers store extremely sensitive patient data...information that is valuable to criminal hackers. We proactively monitor the networks of all of our managed service clients. This allows us to see problems before the client ever knows something went wrong. This completely prevents downtime, allowing dentists to keep helping patients. If there are problems that we detect, we can fix it remotely most of the time. We won’t even have to come in the office! Dentists certainly won’t have to give us an office, like they would with a staff member.
One of our biggest success stories is Houston, Vlosich, and Short, a dental office in Amarillo, Texas. We started working with them in 2013 when we took their old, inefficient network and completely replaced it. We installed a new server and 20 new workstations. Previously, they were running Windows XP, which was no longer being supported by Microsoft and therefore was not HIPAA compliant. Now they are fully compliant with HIPAA. They signed a managed service agreement and we have been providing them with IT support ever since.