How Your Dental Practice Email Could Become Your Worst Nightmare

By Grant Gooley | March 10 2019

Computer error message

Scenario: Insurance providers, patients, colleagues, and family are all emailing you at an address that was set up five years ago. You receive email every day, so no worries, right? 

The fact that email works perfectly all the time is taken for granted, but it shouldn’t be. 

Like any other technology, email can break, and if you don’t know who hosts your email or how it’s set up, you probably have a nightmare waiting to happen.

Imagine losing those precious patient emails asking for an appointment… Or imagine the ripple effect and servicing problems that could happen when an important email from an insurance provider doesn’t come through. Losing these, and other emails like them, can have a direct and dramatic impact on your bottom line. But… How could this happen?

Do you know who is hosting your email? 

Let’s say you have decided to change digital marketing providers, and your new provider asks, “Where is your email hosted.” From experience working with hundreds of dental practices, we hear “I don’t know” time and time again… If asked, would you answer the same way? 

A critical business function is to ensure your email hosting is in good hands and can be fixed, moved, or adjusted at any time. This will ensure it doesn’t hinder you in meeting your dental practice’s business strategy and goals as expected. What’s the best way to make this happen? Own your own email hosting!

2 Ways to own your email hosting:
For about $5/month, you can own the hosting of your email through Microsoft 365 or G-Suite by Google. Have your IT provider migrate it to either of these cloud-based software providers. (If you don’t have IT support, you may want to reconsider. More info is below on why this is important.)  

3 reasons why owning your email is important:

  1. Emails will belong to you and NOT to the digital marketing company you’ve hired.
  2. If you ever discontinue using the digital marketing company’s services, you don’t have to worry about losing your email address. Sometimes, digital marketing companies will not migrate your address (they won’t give it to you to use unless you continue with them) … which means you’ve lost it – and its content history – forever. 
  3. No risk of losing content or data.

If you know where your emails are being hosted, that’s great news! The next question: Are they hosted with a digital marketing company who also hosts your website? There are two reasons we advise against this. 

  1. It can be difficult to migrate your old email to a new provider. 
  2. The security may not be at the highest level it needs to be.

In today’s digital world, security is important. 

Your network security must be optimized to keep patient data secure – data such as age, name, ID numbers, income, opinions, evaluations, comments, and of course medical records. These security items are specific to HIPAA compliance, and if you are not sure who is hosting your email, there is a poor chance you, or anyone at your practice, can confirm the email is secure.

Do you have IT support at the dental practice?

We come across situations often where a dental practice is not set up with anyone who knows the hosting set up for emails, the network set up, or how secure it is. 

We highly recommend that you have a local IT support team who can provide a 24/7 help desk, preventive maintenance, proactive management, and data backup and recovery.

Final Thoughts

At Patient News, we help dental practices stand out and grow with industry leading dental marketing technology. We also work with you as a partner to ensure your dental practice is set up for success. 

If you need help to understand your email set up, or are concerned about where it’s hosted, reach out! At the same time, we can audit your web presence and let you know how your digital marketing is performing … and how to boost your success rate. After all, your website is an incredible marketing tool that should be delivering new patients to your practice daily. If it’s not, we can help.