Sep 11, 2022

Why Your Dental Practice Needs Cloud Backup Services

Sarah Harris | Sep 11, 2022 | 7 min read

Like most modern practices, your dental office likely uses some form of practice management software (PMS) to track, store, manage, and access patient data. The data contained on your PMS and other forms of dental technology are critical to the day-to-day operations of your practice.


Now imagine that you walk into your office tomorrow and start prepping to see your first patient. You get out the requisite equipment, ensure that the treatment room is clean, and log into your computer so that you can review the patient’s records.


However, you quickly realize that all of your vital patient data is gone, not just for that individual but for your entire list of clients.


We know that the above scenario sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but the chances of a total data loss are much higher than you might expect, especially if you are not using dental IT support that include cloud backup services.


Rather than bury your head in the sand and hope that you never experience a catastrophic data loss, join us as we explore cloud backup solutions. Below, we recap what cloud backup services are, see how they stack up against on-premises alternatives, and outline the benefits of storing your data in the cloud. Let’s dive in.

What Are Cloud Backup Services?

Chances are that you are probably already using cloud backup services to protect the data on your smartphone. Whether you fall into the Apple or Android camp, you can admit that your device does not have enough storage to handle all of your photos, apps, and other data.


That is why both of these providers offer additional cloud-based data storage for a small monthly fee.


When you plug your phone in at night and connect it to WiFi, your files, text messages, photos, and other data are uploaded to your cloud account. Should you lose or break your phone, you can download all of your data onto your new device from the cloud.


If you are allowing your phone to update your cloud account nightly, then you will never lose more than 24 hours of data, even if your device is rendered totally inoperable.


The same basic premise applies to cloud backup services for dentistry businesses. At predetermined intervals (usually every 12 to 24 hours), a copy of all of your practice data will be uploaded to off-site servers.


The servers are typically managed by a third-party provider, such as a remote dental IT support company. This provider will charge a monthly fee based on the amount of storage that you require.

Cloud Backup vs. On-Premises Alternatives

You can backup your data files by sending copies to on-site servers. The benefit of this approach is that you maintain control over the physical devices that contain your data. You can even transmit the data via a hardline so that it does not have to be shared via the internet.


However, the downsides to this approach far outweigh any perceived benefits. For starters, purchasing and maintaining your own servers is incredibly costly. Additionally, once you use up all of your storage space, you will need to buy more equipment.


The most notable disadvantage to on-premises backups is that these servers will be exposed to the same conditions that your primary devices are. For instance, if your practice suffers a flood or fire, the backup servers will probably be destroyed alongside your other equipment.


When you use cloud backup services, your data is copied, encrypted, and transmitted to off-site servers. Even if your office is leveled by a natural disaster, the data stored on off-site servers will be safe and usable.


Another advantage is that cloud backup services are available for an affordable monthly fee — if you need more storage, simply up your subscription to the next tier.


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your data is copied, encrypted, and transmitted to off-site servers.

Benefits of Cloud Backup Services for the Dentistry Industry

There is no question that cloud backup services are a better option than on-site data storage. But in case you are not sold on the value of investing in cloud backup services, let’s outline a few more benefits of this strategy. When you take advantage of cloud backup services, you will experience benefits such as:


  • Increased Security

Many people suffer a misconception that cloud backup services are not as secure as on-premises options. Fortunately, this misconception has been largely debunked in the last few years. Business owners have finally realized that cloud backup services are as secure — if not more secure — than on-premises alternatives.


Before your practice data is routed to the cloud, it is copied and encrypted. Think of encryption as a means of jumbling data so that third parties cannot interpret or use it.


Only those with an encryption key can restore the data to its normal state and view it in a readable format. While this is an oversimplification, just know that encryption keeps your data from being intercepted and stolen by bad actors with ill intentions.


Once the data arrives in the cloud, it will be considered to be “at rest.” This designation simply means that no one is interacting with the data.


While the data is at rest, the cloud storage provider will actively monitor its network to ensure that no unauthorized parties can access your data. They will also routinely test your backups to ensure that the data was properly copied and transmitted.


  • Less Stress

Cloud backup services are meant to provide you with peace of mind. Think back to the scenario described in the opening section of this article. Should you arrive at your office and find that your servers have been wiped, all you will have to do is contact your cloud backup services provider and let them restore your data.


Instead of wasting weeks or months attempting to piece together bits of jumbled information, you can completely restore your files to their previous state in hours. If your files are backed up at the conclusion of each work day, you will not have lost even a single patient file.


  • Automatic Backups

One disadvantage of on-premises solutions that we did not mention is that you have to manually schedule file backups. What happens if you forget to perform a backup at your scheduled intervals?


Admittedly, you can set up automatic backups with on-premises solutions, but you will still need to manually test those files to verify that the backup was completed properly. Don’t you already have enough on your plate?


Fortunately, cloud backup services will prevent you from having to take on any new responsibilities. The services provider will use automation technology to manage backups. They will even test your backup files for you to ensure that all files are 100% usable.


If an issue occurs, your backup provider will notify you immediately and take the necessary steps to remedy the problem. This setup means that you can spend more time caring for your patients and less time worrying about data losses and other tech issues.


  • Decreased Costs

When you have purchased on-premises servers and data storage equipment before, you know firsthand how costly it all is. If you have not, we will give you a hint — it’s expensive. We are talking tens of thousands of dollars.


To make matters worse, buying this equipment is not a one-time expense. Once you use up all of your storage, you will need to purchase additional equipment. If you do not know how to install or maintain it, you will need to hire someone for that as well. As you can see, the costs quickly rack up when you decide to store backup files on-site.


Conversely, cloud backup services are incredibly cost-effective. Your dental IT support provider will assess your storage needs and give you a transparent quote on cloud data storage. When you use up all of the space you have been allotted, they will let you know that it is time to upgrade your subscription.


  • Compliance

Want to avoid any HIPAA compliance issues and the hefty fines that come with them? If so, then that is just one more reason to take advantage of cloud backup services.


A reputable dental IT support provider that offers cloud backup services will know how to store your data in a manner that is 100% HIPAA compliant. This approach will help you avoid incurring any violations while simultaneously protecting your patients’ confidential information in the process.

How to Start Using Cloud Backup Services

Are you ready to reap the benefits of cloud backup services? If so, then you need a great local dental IT support provider like Zenith Dental IT. As part of our comprehensive support model, we offer affordable cloud backup services. We can also assist with the implementation of leading-edge dental technology like Dentrix and Eaglesoft.


So stop wasting your valuable time and resources handling tedious information technology issues in-house. Instead, let Zenith Dental IT become your full-service remote IT support provider. We will take the headache out of information technology so that you can keep your focus where it should be — on your patients.


To get started, book a free consultation with one of our experts.


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