The Working Group 11.1 on Standard Clinical Data Architecture, chaired by Dr. Mark Diehl, met on Tuesday, February 23, at ADA headquarters in Chicago to review comments for the Technical Report No. 1091 Cloud Computing and Data Storage: Implications and Recommendations for Dental Practice. The purpose of this document is to describe cloud computing and data storage, its use in dental practice, its benefits and risks, and recommendations for use by dental practitioners. The scope of the document is four areas of cloud computing applied to dentistry: 1. What cloud computing entails, 2. How it benefits the dental practice, 3. The risks and issues associated with cloud computing and cloud storage, and 4. The business aspects of cloud computing and data storage. The intended audience is the private practitioner who may be considering using cloud computing and data storage.
XLDent spent considerable time reviewing the draft document and brought as primary concerns to the group, the oversimplification of cloud computing requirements for the private dental practitioner and lack of use cases for the private cloud computing model. A dental office’s requirements are quite a bit different from an accounting or law office, for example, and therefore more complex. The group agreed that these complexities needed to be given attention in the document or the oversimplification removed.
A dental office requires imaging acquisition software in addition to its business and XLDent Dental Practice Management Software to run its operations. The document originally minimized the need for computer hardware/network infrastructure, which is still required for the local acquisition of digital x-ray images, and suggested that certain fixed costs and operating costs would not be necessary in a cloud computing environment. The draft document also failed to give an adequate representation of private cloud offerings. Security was also brought up for comment.
The group was taxed with the project of producing more use cases of practical utilization of cloud computing by the private dental practitioner. We hope to have these complete within the next few weeks so the document can be approved. Dr. Diehl thanked XLDent for initially getting the comments on the table for this very productive meeting. It was an intense afternoon of discussion and editing! The result will be a technical report on the basics of cloud computing and suggests that any practitioner considering a move to the cloud consult with trusted partners (i.e. accountant, local IT professional, dental practice management software vendor and others) for a full needs/cost assessment.