If you aren’t a horse racing fan, betting on the Kentucky Derby is arbitrary — you go with your gut and bet on the horse with an appealing name, or close your eyes and pick. But what if your entire business and livelihood were the minimum bet? You would probably want to know as much as you can about the horse and jockey. When you are hiring an IT vendor for your practice, it shouldn’t feel like a gamble.
At Renaissance, we value security and have decades of experience in the IT world. Here are a few things to consider when you are choosing an IT company to handle your dental practice with care.
Where to start
While you can have an IT vendor service your office remotely, having one with a physical location in your city (or at least able to send a technician out) may be what is best for your practice. When looking for a vendor, always look at their standing with the Better Business Bureau and read their reviews. Of course, make sure they are experienced with dental offices and are HIPAA compliant.
Things to ask
Your dental practice isn’t like any other business. Yes, you and neighboring businesses have credit card numbers on file, but health information is significantly more valuable to hackers — making your office a prime target. The IT company you choose should work to understand how your practice management system works, the way you process insurance claims, and how you want to grow.
When you bring on any new vendor, treat them like a business partner; part of that means interviewing them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like:
- How will you keep our data secure? What systems do you plan to install?
- Do you support cloud services?
- What is your triage plan if there is a data breach?
- Are you HIPAA compliant?
- How does your tech support work?
- Do you train our new employees on IT during on boarding or provide us with the materials to do so ourselves?
Asking direct questions like these can pull back the proverbial curtain in Oz. Don’t be shy to question anything you don’t understand. After all, they work for you.
Things to look for
You are hiring an IT company to be the experts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t arm up with your research. Before buying your first house, you do your research on how home loans work and which warning signs are indicative of a serious issue in the house itself. Similarly, knowing a few things to look for and familiarizing yourself with the process of hiring an IT company can help you make a wise choice for the future of your practice.
It's also essential to look for things that keep them accountable to you. For example, do they have a service level agreement (SLA) for when they provide onsite service? An SLA should ensure their timely arrival in the event of service outages and what happens if they do not respond in an appropriate amount of time.
If something catastrophic goes wrong, you need to know that your IT vendor did everything they could to prevent it and helped fix it. Ask if your new IT vendor will perform a yearly HIPAA risk assessment for your office to help prevent data breaches. If they do not perform HIPAA assessments, factor that into your cost. You will likely have to take time out of your schedule to do it yourself or hire someone to do it.
Finding the right vendor is difficult. We partner with dental offices every day to help make dental claims processing easier and cheaper. Our software, Remote Lite powered by rPractice, works alongside your practice management system to provide a flat-rate fee for claims processing — making it a perfect fit for many offices, especially high volume dental practices. Contact us today to see if we are the right fit for you.