This was an email I recently sent to a doctor involving going digital in a practice that only has a couple of computers and Softdent version 9.
First I would suggest moving from softdent 9 to Open Dental. The new Softdent 14 that is supposed to work with Windows 7 and Server 2008 has continual server message issues and disconnect issues. It is frustrating to no end. Whereas Open Dental is on a new SQL database and runs great. Also Open Dental is free other than the 130$ a month support contract.They can convert his Softdent 9 database to Open Dental.
Secondly, Imaging software. Xray Vision, this is the option you should choose. I have dealt with 159 installs at this point and here is what seperates Xray Vision from other imaging software. 1. It works with every sensor except for Dexis. 2. The database is easily backed up and the Xray Vision server is easily moved when the server hardware is upgraded. 3. The Xray and Intra Oral Camera layouts can be customized and used with multiple different devices including digital cameras.
If you pick the right practice management and the right image management you have already solved 90% of the issues of going digital. If you pick Dentrix or Eaglesoft then you can look forward to Schein and Patterson making many of your purchasing decisions for you. Not to mention both of these programs have an array of issues with Windows 7 and Server 2008 that they claim will be fixed in the next version but never are. Server 2008 has been out for 3 years and the companies still haven’t fixed the errors.
Depending on your number of computers and operatories a traditional server may not be necessary. Server 2008 is a great asset for more than 9 computers. It makes security and management convenient but for an office with less than 9 computers it is an added level of complexity and expense that is not needed for less than 9 computers. We of course would still suggest the machine itself have a server Xeon processor, a quality raid controller for RAID 1 and at least a terabyte of space.
As for computers we do not build them. If an IT professional offers to build you computers for your office then you most likely have the wrong IT professional. No system builder builds enough machines to work out the bugs in their parts choices. Also, no system builder can supply a 3 year or 5 year warranty like Dell can with a next business day guarantee. The trick to buying Dell is to not purchase the cheaper home user versions like the Vostro series. We always use the business lines like the Optiplex series and we always use at least the middle of the processor options. Many people end up with bad Dell computers because their IT guy picked the least amount of RAM, the lowest grade processor and the onboard video card so they could have more markup on their sale.
When it comes to monitors in operatories the important thing is to avoid track mounts or expensive ceiling mounts for getting small screens closer to the patient. Instead, mount a 32” lcd to the wall and to the ceiling and a 12 oclock behind the patient and tie these all into one computer. These 3 monitors will cost less than the traditional track mounted monitor with medical grade monitor.
Network is your next concern. Always run category 6 network cables from the network closet all the way to the computer operatories, front desk PCs and network printers. Many IT companies get lazy and daisy chain switches so they can run one long network run and branch off multiple PCs. This always leads to network slow downs and problems in the future. Absolutely do not use wireless as a network options.
Digital X-Ray sensors are the next most important decision to make. Dexis 12K$ per sensor plus 8K$ for Dexis Image includes a 1 year warranty and additional years warranties are 1500$ per year per sensor. We do not suggest the big names in sensors, Schick, Dexis, Gendex and Kodak are all greatly over priced and in our experience of repairing sensors the only big difference we have found is price not quality. The QuickRay sensor which is the same sensor as the XDR is a direct to USB sensor, modeled after the Dexis Platinum is $4,997 for a size 2 and $4,597 for a size 1. These sensors take gre
at images, are comfortable and are priced well. The imaging software (Xray vision) is around 3500$ with 10 licenses.
If you would like us to quote out the job based on these specs please tell us how many operatories, front desk stations, and private offices the practice has. Also, please tell us the max number of Hygienists and doctors working at any one time.
Co Owner Sodium Systems
Office Phone: 800.821.8962