CASE STUDY: Dental Office Software Upgrade

Client Name: Dr. R.
Service Details: Business client, on-site consult, on-site/remote project
Problem and Request: A dental practice with 20 workstations and a legacy practice management software application needed some extra help. We met with the doctor to learn more about his IT environment, discover tech pain points, and help determine which technology solutions could contribute to his immediate and long term business goals.

Solution and Result: The doctor’s biggest challenge was that his main line-of-business software suite – which combined CRM capabilities along with dental practice-oriented documentation functions and intra-oral imaging capability – was due for an upgrade.

Most importantly, the doctor wanted to be sure that a major software upgrade would not break his highly-integrated (and expensive) camera imaging system. After collecting system specifications from the software vendor’s website and checking them against our hardware/software specs for compatibility, the software upgrade project was approved.

However, conversations with the software vendor’s tech support (as well as a talk with a colleague who had experience with this particular software vendor) highlighted some serious potential issues. First, the vendor would not allow us to do the upgrade without signing a liability waiver (this was a big red flag). Second, there were inconsistencies in the vendor’s system requirements: though we met their website-published specs, the vendor’s techs insisted that we “failed” the test run using their proprietary system check tool and wanted the doctor to sign the waiver to proceed. Discussions on professional IT forums echoed these concerns, with several pros reporting that the vendor’s “version 6” software was buggy and seemed to cause significant performance issues on their networks.

It soon became clear that this upgrade came with a high chance of slowing the doctor’s network to a crawl, while absolving the vendor of responsibility.

We never like telling a client “no”, but the doctor understood that the upgrade would probably do more harm than good. He appreciated our due diligence, and the decision was made to suspend the software upgrade project.

Although this particular project wasn’t completed as planned, it helped lay the groundwork for a solid IT asset management plan based on transparency and trust. Now, we are helping Dr. R. upgrade his network, work towards HIPAA compliance with better data security, and achieve a fully-documented and reliable IT environment that he has full control of.