It’s an exciting time as you prepare to open your brand new practice. You know there are a lot of details to consider, and a strong IT partner will be an essential part of your setup success. In this post, we’ll discuss the critical IT setup components, their timeline, and what to look for in an IT partner as you embark on this journey.
Your IT partner should be someone that’s with you from the very beginning phases of your dental startup to make sure your IT needs are addressed exactly how you want them to be. Their expertise will be invaluable as you evaluate what you might need for your startup in regard to technology. You will want a partner that listens to your ideas and also gives advice based on their experience setting up other practices.
Once construction starts on your office, your IT partner should work directly with your contractors to make sure everything goes smoothly regarding the build-out, ensuring all IT components are considered. An experienced, well-connected IT partner will have many contacts they can refer you to for things like wiring, etc.
So let’s get started with the list of critical IT needs to consider before launching your dental startup, and the timeline.
Email, Website and Search Engine Optimization
(4-6 months before practice opening)
As soon as you identify a name for your practice, purchase a domain name and anything close to it. For example, if you’re going to open a Mint Dental in Florida, buy mintdental.com, mintdentalflorida.com, and so on. This is a brand protection move.
Secondly, set up your email accounts so you can communicate professionally with your new team. Before you open your practice, you’ll want to add email encryption to ensure that you keep all patient health information secure. Finally, secure a professional website designer to assist in your website/SEO efforts.
(2-4 months before opening)
In server-based offices, you’ll want to have a progressive IT company. They can even help with the legwork of getting your practice management software setup so that once you’re signed up, they can email you a link to your practice management software, already installed on your server.
They can also recommend additional services for your practice management software that will be invaluable in your modern practice. For example, an office running Open Dental may also utilize Open Dental’s eServices for online patient scheduling and online patient forms that can be imported back into the software.
Another idea is to use this time for training. If your practice management software is new to you, you may want to take this time to play around, watch videos or get training from the software vendor to help you maximize effectiveness. Once your office is built, your IT company will install the server and you won’t miss a beat!
(2 months before opening)
Phones are important, and having numbers secured early is critical. You will also need a phone number for:
- Insurance credentialing
- Marketing and website materials (a special number that’s easy to spell/remember that is used on your website and in your marketing materials)
With providers like MangoVoice, RingCentral, and Weave, you can pre-schedule patient visits before the construction of your office is complete. You can also install the app on your personal mobile phone and take calls through the app. You will also be able to dial out from that same app so it appears that you’re returning calls from your business number. This will prove beneficial after the office opens—you can use this same mechanism for emergency calls so patients can’t obtain your personal cell phone number.
(1-3 months before opening)
Most internet providers need 30–90 days to install lead time, so engage them early and often. Schedule your date as soon as you know where your IT closet is going to be located, and once the building has electrical.
Your IT Partner
Darkhorse Tech is a leader in the field of Managed Services for IT, with deep experience helping New Dental Startup Practices. If you are ready to build or open you start-up practice or new location, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk with you to help you evaluate your IT needs. Call us at 1-800-868-4504 or contact us here. We’re located all throughout the country serving clients in all 50 states.