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  PracticeWorks: Bug In PW Causes Expen$ive Data Loss!
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:27 PM
  Care and feeding of the digital office
982 Reads

Warning! Bug In PracticeWorks Causes Lost Data - Big $$$ To Recover!!!

April 3, 2006: Twice in the past 10 days, we've been contacted by PW users who've lost data - their user-defined merge variables - because of a known bug in the program. It exists in every version of PW in use today, from 4.9.042 up to and including the latest release of 6.0. In one case, the office called us, we told them what file they needed to restore from backup, and they fixed their own problem in about 3 minutes, at no cost. In the other case, it took over an hour of their hardware techician's time and over 2 hours of Lighthouse time (all billable) to fix the problem - well over $400. The difference between these offices? One of them had an adquate backup system in place, one of them didn't.

Just last Friday, what started out as a remote to work on some recall issues for an office turned into a near-panic situation for them when they realized they had NO backup of their data (PW, Dexis or ViperSoft) since January 4. They thought they had a good backup, but because no one was verifying it every day, they were wrong.

  • If your backup system consists solely of a tape drive that someone swaps a tape into every day...
  • If someone isn't looking at your backed up data from within PW every day...
  • If you don't have at least 3 "generations" of backup (last night, two nights ago and three nights ago)...
  • If you don't have all of your practice data on some kind of hard drive in a physical location other than your office at all times...

...then you don't have an adequate data backup system, and your practice is at risk of suffering catastrophic loss!!!

Think that's an exaggeration? Your practice IS your data, in a very real sense. Imagine what would happen if you couldn't get to the data in PW - no appointments, no patient names, no ledger history, perhaps no clinical history... How would you recover from that? And at what cost?

This Article describes a backup system that will protect you from every known type of danger to your data and to the smooth operation of your practice. And if you want to be protected by this sytem, but don't want to take the time to set it up yourself, just call us, and we'll do it for you! 888-427-5454, extension 1.

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  "PROFESSIONAL" Data Center Techniques
Posted by: Allen on Friday, July 29, 2005 - 11:35 AM
  Care and feeding of the digital office
611 Reads

> For what it is worth, the following just appeared on the IDF forum.    It
> sounds like a post that could have appeared on the Dentrix forum if you
> just substitute Schein for Kodak, Dentrix for Practiceworks, and Image for
> Trophy.
> The grass is frequently the same color on both sides of the fence.
> Skip

Unfortunately with the current condition of the market - that analogy needs
to be changed to "the mud is the same color on both sides of the
fence".....and then you zoom out to find yourself as one of the thousands in
a hog ranch or cattle ranch....

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  The Business side of things: How to Create and Use an "off the shelf" PracticeWorks server
Posted by: Allen on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 11:17 AM
  Care and feeding of the digital office
1405 Reads

In today's modern dental office, the high speed handpiece has been eclipsed in importance by the computer. While there are still offices that "survive" with little to no automation, they are becoming fewer and fewer. In order to "thrive", a practice NEEDS to embrace modern information technology. Embracing technology, however, does NOT need to mean breaking your bank account.  Though it is common practice for most hardware "experts" to recommend/quote a high end computer "server" for use in a dental office, the reality is that these high end machines are mostly overkill: you end up with unused capacity, even over a time frame of several years.  Though you never use the capacity, you DO pay the higher price for it.  The result: dollars that could be spent on other technologies for the practice end up being wasted on speed or storage technology you will never see the benfit of.

All is not lost! It turns out that "mass produced, off the shelf" computers (with their corresponding "mass market" prices) are more than adequate for the typical dental practice. With a little research, planning, and understanding, any office can acquire the BEST technology for the task, at the BEST price for an overall solution that is economically priced and will support the office for years to come. This article details how I recently upgraded the server in our office and proved that it is possible to comfortably and safely run a dental practice using a computer that cost under $500.

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  The Business side of things: What IS a PracticeWorks SERVER
Posted by: Allen on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 09:04 PM
  Care and feeding of the digital office
822 Reads

What IS a PracticeWorks SERVER

In an ideal world, with an ideal system, no one would know or care what hardware or software existed beyond the screen they were looking at. As long as the correct data could be collected and presented at time of use, nothing else "should" matter. Unfortunately our world is not ideal, and while it is possible to establish a system that runs unnoticed behind the scenes, it does require a little bit of knowledge and work. This article will cover the necessary basics to understand what can be used "out of the box" along with some optional though recommended add-ons to optimize for PracticeWorks without unneccessary expense.

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  PracticeWorks: Dealing with the "Record in use" window
Posted by: Brian on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 07:56 AM
  Care and feeding of the digital office
1720 Reads

Have you ever seen a "Record in use" window pop up in PracticeWorks that prevents you from accessing a patient record? The intention of that window was to inform you that someone else in the office is currently using the record. However - what if NO ONE is using the patient record (and you are sure because you checked)? This annoying situation is called a "phantom record lock". This article describes how to deal with it.

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Lighthouse Dental Consulting and its principals are not affiliated with PracticeWorks, Inc. in any way