Just because your computer turns on, doesn’t mean it’s working. Each computer in your practice is an investment intended to maximize your production, efficiency, and provide simplicity for your team. That being said, it comes as no surprise that after the years turn your new investment into an old-clunker, it can be hard to bite the bullet and replace it. After all, computers are expensive, require effort to replace, and can be a transitional hassle for your team. So how do you know when the benefits finally outweigh the hassle of swapping your aging machine for a new model? Check out our tips to help determine when it’s finally time to say goodbye.

Dental Software Requirements

We see it often; a practice wants to upgrade their practice management or imaging software, only to find their computers do not meet the software requirements. This typically occurs when a practice has computers older than 3 years old or had originally purchased low-end computers. We suggest exceeding the requirements to ensure that your system can handle your new software AND all the other programs that you may use in the future. If this all sounds Greek to you, contact your trusted IT partner who can review what you have,  and what your upgraded software recommendations are. The worst thing to do is to simply upgrade the software and hope for the best; that route often leaves one knee-deep in regret.

Slowness and Reduced Productivity

What could you do with an extra 30-60 minutes in your day? That’s often the reward after making wise technology investments replacing slow workstations. The longer it takes your staff to check-in patients, complete transactions, and perform regular tasks – the more time you lose each day. You’ll know it’s time to consider replacing slow computers when they become a constant source of frustration, slowed production, and potentially irritated patients who experience high wait times as a result. Staff motivation, energy, and productivity is always the first to go when they don’t have adequate resources to do their job, so resist the temptation to push workstations to their limit.

Outdated Operating System (OS)

When your computer operating system experiences manufacturer’s End of Life, meaning the manufacturer will no longer support or provide system updates to the system, it’s time to consider a replacement. You have two options in this scenario: upgrade to a new operating system on your current machine, or purchase a new computer altogether. It’s important to note that the former is a temporary “band-aid” solution; as a new operating system will likely max out most available resources, and begin a ripple effect causing slowness and poor functionality; which in turn forces you to upgrade to a new computer regardless. In most cases, a new computer is the most efficient and cost-effective (in the long run) option when your operating system is discontinued.

Contact your trusted IT vendor if you’re on the fence of the status of your computer. A great partner will help find solutions to maximize your current investment before making your next. As always, we are happy to help!

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