Having a single computer or carrying a laptop from room to room will not work. In order to be paperless the office needs a server – workstation network.
“Cloud” based systems are an interesting alternative to this classic model. With a cloud system you would just replace the switch with an Internet router and the server would not be in a closet in the office but would be located off site somewhere (anywhere) in a big “server farm”.
Never the less as cool, hip and happenin’ as the cloud may be most dentist will still be using a locally installed network as described here.
This is the central computer where all the data is stored. Most offices should have a dedicated server running specialized server software.
Front Desk Workstations
These are the computers at the front desk. It is not a good idea to have one of these as the server.
Treatment Room Workstations
It seems obvious however some dentists still resist this. If you wish to enter chart information and review it the office must have computers in the treatment rooms. All of them.
Doctors Office Workstation
Another area of resistance. As a busy dentist you may not spend much time in a private office, however when you are there it is almost always to do something that requires access to chart data. For example, writing notes, reviewing x-rays, creating treatment plans, and talking on the phone with a specialist or referring doctor.
Besides you need a computer to fool around on the Internet.
Remember you have a paperless record not really a paperless office. You will print statements, estimates, letters, photos and more.
A flatbed desktop scanner with a transparency adaptor is ideal. If you do not wish to scan x-rays the transparency adaptor is not needed.
This is the only Diagnostic that is required to get started. Either a sensor system or a PSP “wireless” system will work, however I much prefer the sensor systems. Other digital diagnostics such as cameras are desirable but not essential.
Need More Help? The article above is an excerpt from The Emmott on Technology Tech Guide; Going Paperless in the Dental Office.