Does Your Dental Practice Need an IT Server?
While many people may believe that all computer networks are the same, this is not true. If you own and operate a dental practice, you will need to execute careful planning and prudent financial expenditure to create a network system that will consistently meet your needs.
Building the IT Server
To build a computer network or IT server, it will involve a few computers and connecting them together with the appropriate wiring. However, it also needs a lot of thought and detailed planning as you would for a home remodeling or construction project. You have to take several things into consideration such as:
- Storage Space
- Processing Power
- Electrical Capabilities
- Future Expansion
You will need three years to maintain your IT server before considering any changes, unless you have outgrown its capabilities. When you have a detailed plan for your computer network, it leaves open the option to support changes, integration and future additions without having to duplicate the same expenses that you initially incurred.
The Future Additions and Changes
In the future, when you are getting ready to expand your IT server, it should be a simple process because then you don’t have to change the digital infrastructure even if you are making additions of new computer workstations and new software applications.
So, if you are a dentist and you are considering an IT server, it is best to think about your immediate needs first. If your practice relies on Dentrix, XDR, Eaglesoft, or Dexis software, proper consideration will need to be given to the resources you will require in your new server. Hire an IT expert to project the type of technologies that your plan and needs will accommodate within the next three years. You will need to consider an IT server that accommodates the administrative staff and the clinical staff or make a combined effort of having everyone on the same server, if it won’t cause overload. It will depend on the number of staff involved. Your IT expert will probably implement a plan that expands over two phases; one administratively and the other clinically done to cater to the needs of your dental practice. Therefore, you must efficiently communicate your needs to the IT professional. This will include your budget, needs and scope of the project.
If you are going to combine the administrative and clinical network, your IT guy will need a dedicated server to link both halves of the computer network. At the outset, the IT professional will simplify the process by running Category 5E or Category 6E cabling. New technologies can be added to the network if the bandwidth is enough to carry it. The IT expert needs to ensure that there are no bandwidth limitations to prevent poor performance. Core components will be selected for the IT server to encourage data backup and recovery and to prevent IT server failure.