Client Story: What Managed IT Services Means to This St. Louis Dental Office

Nearly every small business can benefit from managed IT services, but for dental offices, IT support is particularly important. Dental practices, like all companies entrusted with private client information, are prime targets for cyber criminals, and no small business can afford a data breach. Discover how managed IT services helps this St. Louis dental office keep running smoothly and securely.

Jo Ann Emery, business manager at Smile Station Dental, a dental office in St. Louis, Missouri, understands that cybercrime is a real and growing threat for small businesses. “We know friends that have been victims of ransomware. They run small dental offices, too. Why would cyber criminals go after them and not us? It is because we are better protected,” she says.

Smile Station Dental’s peace of mind is thanks to a long-term partnership with Anderson Technologies, a managed IT services provider based in St. Louis. The Anderson Technologies team understands dental IT support and the unique needs of this space. Earlier this year, it even provided free cybersecurity training for dentists, in partnership with the Greater St. Louis Dental Society.

Emery is right to recognize the explosion of data breaches. Cyber criminals see the growing adoption of healthcare IT as an opportunity, particularly since healthcare organizations typically spend less of their IT budgets on cybersecurity than other high-risk industries, like finance and the federal government. In the fourth quarter of 2016, there were more than 700,000 hacking attempts per minute against healthcare organizations.

“A security breach has such financial repercussions. Dental firms aren’t just handling financial information—they have healthcare information, too, which means if we are hacked, we could also face HIPAA violations,” explains Emery.

Anderson Technologies makes sure the dental office takes all possible steps to protect itself from ransomware, cybercrime, and other forms of data loss. It also implemented a process for backing up business-critical data, providing the office with a quick and easy way to get up and running again should disaster strike.

Emery appreciates having a managed IT services partner for troubleshooting IT issues. She can call Anderson Technologies with questions or concerns anytime. The team is always responsive. “This is helpful because it means I don’t have to drop what I am doing to try to fix a problem—a problem I probably don’t even understand, because I am not a computer expert,” she says.

Managed IT Services When You Need Them

When Smile Station first became a managed IT services client of Anderson Technologies, it was having trouble with its network speed and internet connectivity. “We were being intermittently dropped by our ISP [Internet Service Provider]. The internet would come back on, but it was happening frequently and just enough to disrupt us,” recalls Emery.

She tried troubleshooting the issue, but the ISP, after conducting numerous line tests, claimed it could detect nothing wrong. “Mark [Anderson] and his team were able to monitor our network and note the exact dates, times, and durations of the outages. They then got on the phone on our behalf and solved the problem.”

“At first it was a round robin with no apparent solution,” explains Anderson. “Smile Station wasn’t getting reliable service, but the ISP couldn’t seem to see the problem. We collected data over a multi-month period and then, armed with that data, worked our way up the chain with the ISP until they finally acknowledged they had an issue and resolved it.”

If you are in the market for managed IT services, Emery suggests asking potential vendors about their approach to service: “Ask them, ‘If I call you with a problem, how long before that problem will be addressed?’” She adds that when it comes to IT issues, problems tend to be urgent and need attention immediately, not in a few days or whenever the managed IT firm can get around to it.

Case in point: On December 30, 2015, Smile Station faced a potential flood. In response, the Anderson Technologies team jumped into action, securing the office quickly and calmly. The office manager even called Anderson “a tech angel.”

From floods to cybercrime to everyday IT issues, the right IT partner can help your dental office handle it all. Anderson Technologies is a managed IT services firm in St. Louis that is committed to providing timely and attentive service to all its clients. For more information about our approach to service, or about dental IT support, email info@andersontech.com or call 314.394.3001 today.