The aim of this paper is to provide a practical reference to help enterprise information technology (IT) and business (i.e., administrative, clinical, research and teaching) decision-makers of group practices in dentistry as they analyze and consider the implications of cloud computing for their organizations.
The paper initially discusses factors in the market that influence this decision-making process, and shares insight into industry trends and how the future is most likely to look. The second section goes on to explain how most legacy software systems operate and how well they keep up with current industry demands. This is contrasted with how the cloud-based systems operate and how well they fare against current demands. This is then followed by two short sections on what additional benefits cloud computing can bring and how to choose the best technology partner for the practice.
When considering whether to use cloud computing, practices and providers must have a clear understanding of the unique benefits and risks, relative to the purpose and scope of the business: optimizing outcomes while maximizing patient safety and the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of care and treatment. Then, they must establish appropriate contractual relationships with the cloud-based practice management service providers by means of service level agreements (SLAs).