Wire up your systems to serve you best

March 21, 2012
Stan Goff
Issue 2

You need another workstation for your expanding staff, or you’re planning a new office. Or maybe a staff member’s computer has just died. So why not run out to the nearest chain store and pick up a computer or two? Because then you might just be stuck with something that will not serve your practice well and because you already forked out the money, it may be unlikely that you’ll replace your mistake any time soon. That’s why you should consult with experts like Paul Hinman and Keith Aderman before you start making purchases involving computers, wiring, monitors and other audio/video systems. Hinman  is president of Liptak Dental Services  (liptakdental.com) and Aderman is the president of Mr. Hookup (mrhookup.net).

You need another workstation for your expanding staff, or you’re planning a new office. Or maybe a staff member’s computer has just died. So why not run out to the nearest chain store and pick up a computer or two? Because then you might just be stuck with something that will not serve your practice well and because you already forked out the money, it may be unlikely that you’ll replace your mistake any time soon. That’s why you should consult with experts like Paul Hinman and Keith Aderman before you start making purchases involving computers, wiring, monitors and other audio/video systems. Hinman  is president of Liptak Dental Services  (liptakdental.com) and Aderman is the president of Mr. Hookup (mrhookup.net).

The two experts agreed to share their experiences of working with hundreds of dentists to help those looking to either start up a practice today or expand/replace some existing infrastructure items currently in their dental offices.

Q: Paul, what does a practice get when it brings in IT specialists to put together and manage the computer infrastructure? 
A: We’re a dental only IT company, entirely service based, and due to the wave of the digital revolution, dentists now need an outside IT manager. If you’re expanding business, hiring people or adding a new location or just adding a new role for an employee, it’s going to come down to some computer advice at some point. Some purchasing advice will be needed and also some industry knowledge. So we consult with our customers on what’s out there. Where they’re going to best use their money and how to manage their budget. We handle the maintenance of these computers and servers as well as the advice and consultation that comes along with having a good partner.

Q: What factors need to be considered to put together a package of hardware and software that fit a practice?
A: We do a Network Assessment for an office that will include an audit report on each computer, but we also interview everyone there about their job, the workflow, people’s responsibilities, how data is entered and we talk to the doctor quite a bit about where they’re going and what they want to do. If you’re going to make the exact right purchase for this day, it would be good to know if you’re going to add another office within a year, and that you’re going to start doing some ortho. It’s all about communication and information so a network assessment is very much an interview process.

Q: What value can experienced IT professionals bring to a practice after advising on the system purchase and overseeing installation?
A: We’ve found that dental offices are very tolerant of dealing with things that really don’t work quite right and they’ll come up with work-arounds that really aren’t very efficient. We’ll come in and they’ll usually have the honey-do list. The relationship we have with the entire staff is important, and when we visit we work with them to improve their efficiencies.

Q: Keith, what is one of the biggest areas where you find offices needing help in terms of A/V purchases and planning?
A: We do the computer wiring, but our primary function is we are an audio video specialist for the dental office. That’s all we do is dental offices. We make sure you get the most use out of your monitors and we help place them in the best spots to improve the patient experience and the staff’s work area. There are all types of articulating mounts and options, but often its best and most affordable to place LCD TVs on the ceiling.

For much more advice from these two experts, go to dentalproductsreports.com.