At about 3 a.m. the other night, my phone lit up like a Christmas tree, wanting me to perform a system update that I had been putting off for several weeks. The bright light illuminating from my phone was so disturbing that my husband had to turn my phone over in order to get back to sleep. In the morning, I finally clicked on the OK button so it could complete the update of new features (and bug fixes) and thought to myself, “I hope this goes well.” My mobile phone is constantly running updates for the operating system and all the apps I have installed on it and, with a little hesitation, I always click yes.
I always click “YES” because I want the new features. I want the bug fixes and I want my phone to be as up to date as possible. Having my phone up to date means that I have the latest security program, which makes my technology safer. Now, with that being said, every time I say “YES” to an update, I am also saying “YES” to more stuff on my phone which, over time, slows down and fills up my phone. I am saying “YES” to putting more stress on the existing hardware and what I notice is the battery life is affected, my storage space is affected and the speed at which my phone can think is affected. So what do we have to do every couple of years? Get a new phone!
My point here is the same scenario plays out in your office when it comes to your computer system. Our mobile phones are just mini computer systems and they only have a certain amount of capacity until they start to reach their maximum threshold where we start to see a loss in performance.
I get calls all the time about the Dentrix updates because they are happening at a rapid pace and the office wants to know if it is safe to say “YES” to the update. They want to know if all the bugs have been worked out and they don’t want to be the first ones to install it. The list goes on and on and my conversation is the same with every office that reaches out to me. “Can your current hardware and network support it?” Now, I am not an IT professional by any stretch. However, I have been around computers (I use to build computers from parts when I worked for a company in Bellevue, Wash.) and technology all my life, so I understand how technology works together.
Any time you say “YES” to any update on your computer system, no matter if it is Dentrix, Adobe, Java script, Microsoft Windows or iTunes, it will affect the performance of your system. Some performance issues we can head off at the pass and resolve before there is a breakdown and some things come totally out of left field. What you want to do is your homework and do some system checks before you click “YES” to update. You might have an experienced IT computer managing your technology or you might have a highly skilled person in your office who has experience with technology managing the computer system.
Whatever your situation, here are a few things to consider . . .
- Do your current hardware specs exceed the recommended requirements? If you are thinking about doing a Dentrix update, you can find the recommended hardware specs on the Dentrix website by CLICKING HERE. In my opinion, your current system specs should exceed the Dentrix requirements.
- How old is your network cable? Many offices are only looking at the computers and forget to add the network cabling in the equation. This affects the speed of information transmission and could be the culprit if your network is slowing down.
- Make sure to check third-party software integrations. This could be devastating if your imaging software suddenly stopped communicating with your practice management software after an update. Do your homework and ask the questions.
We can’t be afraid of the updates because they are what help keep our systems safe with security updates, help protect our system from viruses and help our team be more productive with great feature enhancements. I love seeing what an update has to offer and how it will help my everyday life. It’s the little things that create a huge impact on our daily lives and, when Dentrix made it so we could run month end without getting everyone out of the system, that was a big deal! Just be smart about it.