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Straine-On-Success — The Cost of Old Technology

Published on December 29, 2014

The Cost of Old Technology

Lakewood Ranch Dental is growing. When Dr. Michael Kanter added digital imaging equipment to the practice’s existing infrastructure to increase office efficiency, office manager Kelley McLane knew it was time to get expert computer network assistance. She called Henry Schein TechCentral Support. What she didn’t know at the time was how much the old hardware was costing the practice in energy and time—and how it could put patient data at risk.

Drowning in Data

As consumers, we place high value on the latest digital devices. But while many practice owners are willing to spend money on personal gadgets, they often forget to invest in the equipment they rely on to keep their businesses productive.

To assist practices in staying up-to-date, Henry Schein TechCentral offers a range of services, including the TechCentral Support Plan. This year-long plan provides support for PCs and networking, and includes constant server monitoring. When TechCentral Support set up server monitoring for Lakewood Ranch Dental, they noticed the practice’s server was dangerously low on storage space. The lack of storage space greatly increased the likelihood of the system crashing and the loss of data. The TechCentral Support team quickly optimized the fragmented drive to stabilize the situation and helped McLane work with a Henry Schein Digital Technology Specialist (DTS) to remedy the problem. The Henry Schein team upgraded Lakewood’s server, which helped the practice avoid costly potential problems like lost patient data, billing records and major disruption to the office’s operational processes.

Low-Cost Preparation Versus High-Cost Crisis

A recent white paper from IDC, a leading computer industry analyst group, analyzed the costs of keeping old computer hardware. The paper explains that, in the long term, it costs more than purchasing new equipment. The paper cites three key factors why IT hardware should be replaced: maintenance costs, energy efficiency and aging software.

Shortly after installing the new server at Lakewood Ranch Dental, TechCentral’s remote monitoring tools alerted the support team to a failed system test. The TechCentral team remotely logged on to Lackwood’s server to investigate the error. They discovered the thousands of attempts to access the server over the Internet – someone was trying to hack the server.

The investigation and a discussion with McLane led to the conclusion that the issue was a result of something the practice’s previous IT company had installed and was no longer in use. Lakewood Ranch Dental was at risk of hackers and malicious software that can take over a network and even potentially steal patient data. While the system was not compromised, it eventually may have been had Henry Schein TechCentral not intervened and corrected the security error.

After the incident, McLane said, “It’s incredible—as we learn more, we discover how much we don’t know. It’s important to have people you can rely on and trust.”

Originally published in Dentrix eNews. Used with permission of Henry Schein Practice Solutions.

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