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Your Computer System: Asset or Liability?

Courtesy of Bryan Currier, President of Advantage Tech

When selling a practice, one of the areas that can easily be overlooked is the computer and network technology within. Proper utilization of practice management software, imaging technologies, and the core computer system can make a world of difference in your transition. Each of these is very important to the operational efficiency of any practice. For today, let’s look at the underlying computer system, which is the foundation upon which all of the practice technology is built.

1. Be realistic about the age of computer and network hardware
The first thing to consider when evaluating a network system is the age of the equipment. Computers in a dental office (properly managed) will last about five years before you start jeopardizing the integrity of the system. That isn’t to say that you can’t use them for longer, it simply means that the components within the system, from a statistical standpoint, start to break down after five years, and the rate of failure increases dramatically at this point. If you are looking at a practice that has computers that are approaching that point, take the cost of replacement into account. It’s going to be a factor very soon.

When considering the investment that will be required, remember that the hardware itself is no longer the vast majority of cost. Prices on computers have come down as they have become a commodity. The services to properly install, service, update, etc need to be considered as well.

2. Make sure the practice I.T. system is properly managed
I’ve gone into many practices where they “called Sam when there was a problem with the computers.” This is in line with only seeing your dentist when you have a severe problem. It is important that the network be managed by a properly trained and certified dental I.T. company. This will make your life a lot easier as a purchaser. As I tell my team all of the time – nothing is as expensive as downtime. You can’t afford to have that system go down, so make sure the proper precautions are in place. It’s cheap insurance.

3. Get a second opinion
When looking at a practice and trying to determine the status of the I.T. system, don’t go it alone. There are qualified and trained I.T. people that know dental who can help. Your transitions consultant at ADS can recommend a local dental I.T. partner who is qualified to help you in this process.


Bryan Currier is president of Advantage Tech, an I.T. company dedicated to serving dental practices. Bryan has 13 years in the industry, and has assisted nearly 1,000 practices with various I.T. needs throughout his career. He has spoken at various events, including the Carestream Users Group and Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, and has been published in various trade journals. He resides in Florida with his wife and four children.

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