21 July 2009

Disaster recovery done right..

What happens when the computer used to process all digital x-rays via phosphor plate encounters a hardware failure, bringing all x-ray production to a standstill? Pick up the phone in a panic and hope that technical support can resurrect the system? Fortunately, in this case it was a regular client.

One hour later, everything is up and running as if nothing ever happened. Coincidence? No. The Doctor has listened to my incessant calls to protect the data collected from patients in all digital form to ensure no single point of failure threatens the Practice. In this case, the system that processes the digital x-rays does not contain any sensitive data. It is a means to an end. All of the data is securely stored on the server awaiting the replacement worker bee to send more images.

And so the Doctor left for lunch unable to process x-rays only to return as if nothing was wrong. I only hope more Practices are secure in their computer support. Something leads me to believe the answer is unfortunately no.

08 July 2009

Same as it ever was..

There haven't been any new developments to speak of recently, technically speaking, so it's been a bit quiet around here. Much of the same as families go on vacation after school has let out. The emergencies have subsided, and we've settled into a more routine maintenance mode. And so, I've taken the time to evaluate where my regular clients' technology stands in relation to the coming upgrades in software.

Dentrix is rumored to be out with their next version (G5 maybe?) before the end of the year. Imaging 4.5 will soon be replaced with a version more akin to Dexis, the proud (somewhat-)new owner of that package. Eaglesoft is currently at version 15 and has been since October 2008, so an upgrade is likely in the near future as well. Kodak (or is it Carestream Health?) has some advances slowly rolling out, per my recent trip to the CDA Presents. And Schick CDR has recently released version 4.5. And wouldn't you know it, each new version has been accompanied by an increase in recommended hardware requirements.

So, as I was saying, I've been evaluating the technology status of regular clients. End of year/holiday sales by manufacturers are always a good time to take advantage of discounts. And as of right now, commitments are already beginning to fill my calendar. Good for me? Well, yes. But it also ensures my clients will be able to take full advantage of the latest advances in Practice Management and Digital Imaging software without the performance penalty.

And speaking of Digital Imaging, apparently Cone Beam 3-D systems are becoming more prevalent. Care to guess the hardware requirements for these new systems and software?