Weather-related production decreases get a boost from the cloud

Even though weather may physically prevent you from getting to your practice, the cloud provides unfettered access to your patient data.

By Andy Jensen

The great winter of 2014 will take a page or two in the history books considering how it affected the Southern states. Extreme temperatures wreaked havoc on businesses throughout the South, causing many practices to lose one or even two days of production. If you and your patients are unable to get to the practice, there's no other choice than to cancel appointments.

The best way to preserve your booked production is to reschedule these cancelled appointments as quickly as possible. Among all the patients who were on your schedule will be some who will leverage the weather-related cancellations to cancel their appointments altogether, for a number of different reasons. However, the sooner you can reach out to your affected patients and move their appointments forward, the more production you'll save. Time is money.

The hallmark advantage of the cloud over traditional client-server technology is accessibility. Even though weather may physically prevent you from getting to your practice, the cloud provides unfettered access to your patient data. Utilizing your entire team, working from home, it is quite possible to contact all of your scheduled patients for the day and have them rescheduled in an hour, perhaps. You'd have the rest of the day to shovel snow or sit by a warm fire and read a book.

On the flip side, older client-server technology does not provide the same level of unfettered access. The doctor may have access to patient data from home, but the rest of the team would not. Additional work would be required to provide the rest of the team with a call list. Attention would have to be made to assure that distribution of patient data to your team is within bounds of the HIPAA Security Rule. You see my point: The cloud is a much easier and more convenient platform.

Accessibility can benefit the doctor beyond inclement weather. Job satisfaction is tied directly to work style and lifestyle; when you are able to work where and when you may, that has a positive effect on how much you enjoy practicing dentistry. Obviously, it would be difficult to safely complete dental procedures outside your practice. But the administrative portions of practicing dentistry can be completed at a time or place more conducive to your own personal style. You may prefer to contemplate the financial health of your practice by the pool over the weekend. Or you may find peace reviewing the day's schedule while enjoying your favorite brew at the coffee shop. The cloud and personal work style are a match made in heaven.

Work style and flexibility have become increasingly more important to mothers who are also full-time practicing dentists. With the cloud, doctors can review progress notes, schedules, financial reports, X-rays, and proposed treatment at home after the kids have been tucked in. The cloud allows the doctor to trade that administrative time at the office for quality time at home when the kids are still up.

Anytime and anywhere accessibility is a key part to any practice's disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Curve Dental has written a white paper, Disaster Planning for the Dental Office, which is available at www.curvedental.com/badweather or by calling (888) 910-4376.

Andy Jensen is the chief marketing officer for Curve Dental, Inc., a developer of cloud-based dental software based in Orem, Utah. Mr. Jensen has 20 years of experience in the dental software market. You can reach him at andy.jensen@curvedental.com.

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