Beyond Indigo PetsFall is upon us. The leaves will soon change, as will the clocks, and the threat of summer lightning storms will soon be a thing of the past. Does this mean the computers are now safer for a few months? Most likely not. Now is the perfect time for a checkup.

There are many things that can affect your infrastructure. As the time of year and seasons change, so do the dangers. We typically think of electrical issues as originating from storms. Did you know that power fluctuations within your practice can cause issues with your electronics as well? Now is the time to check with your IT professional about power conditioning for your server and major computers. When was the last time you checked your battery backup? They should be tested regularly as the power can go out in the winter too.

Don’t forget to clean your computers! I know we think of cleaning as a springtime task, but chances are, you’ve had a busy summer. The amount of hair processed through the computers can be staggering depending on where your units are placed. This is not something you should tackle on your own; a trained IT technician should be brought in. Make sure to check your laptops, too. Dust builds up on the unit’s internal parts, causing overheating and malfunction. To avoid damage, never use a vacuum cleaner on a computer.

As we start to share more and more of our digital information in the exam rooms, it is important to make sure these systems are presentable, speedy, and reflect the image of your practice that you want to convey. We often don’t think about how our clients view the technology they see in your practice. If it is outdated, slow, and uncared for, they could make some assumptions about other medical technologies in your practice. In the old days, it was standard practice to leave the computers in the exam rooms as the last ones to receive upgrades or replacement. They were not used much, right? That focus is changing. With checkouts and education often occurring in the exam room itself, these systems are more front and center than ever before.

Next, look at the data backup. Are you protected if something happens? Maybe your practice management software is being backed up, but do you really know about other systems in your practice, such as your digital X-ray and your dental X-ray system? These systems were probably brought in to the practice after your initial computer network setup, and it is likely that they did not come in with a backup solution provided. As part of your fall checklist, make an inventory of all your systems and ask yourself, how is this being backed up? Is the data stored on this system safe in the event of a failure?

Your computer will never technically put in its notice - it will just not show up for work one day. If you are receiving hints (lockups, freezes, reboots, and blank screens), then you really need to listen to your computer. Give your computer a head start for the long winter months, and give yourself the peace of mind in knowing that your technology and data are secure.

For more tips and assistance with your data security needs, feel free to contact us at www.beyondindigopets.com!

This article was written by Nancy Dewitz, Technology and Marketing Consultant at Beyond Indigo Pets. 

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