Friday, March 21, 2008

I hate computers

I am writing to you on Friday and not on Wednesday because on Tuesday afternoon we lost the ability to have internet for almost THREE DAYS.

Isn't if funny how on Mondays blog I talked about how things can happen beyond your control and you never know when. Then I said I will see you Wednesday unless something happens. And guess what...NO EMAIL. I hope you weren't worried something really bad happened to me. Thank you for all the emails about how concerned you were about me. Last count there were ZERO emails. I feel loved.

I want to tell you about my computer problem but first I have to go back.
About 2 to 3 years ago we got a hankering to go digital.
My father said he wanted it. So we started looking for computer people.
Of course the first place you look is in your practice.
Well Bill C. is a computer guy, maybe he can just tell us how to do it. This did not work.
I found some guy on DentalTown from California and it look like it was going to be a little to much trouble. I mean he had a huge following and a huge operation.
Not the personal touch I was looking for.
So I was at a dental conference in Charlotte of all places and found a company from the town next to me in Florida.
I gave them a call. They are a turn key operation. From nuts and bolts to wires, to computer, monitors, sound system, you name it. And they were a small company about 10 miles from me.

We had them come out.
I told them I wanted to go in stages.
1) Wire the place up.
2) Computers and server(replace the existing systems) (6 computers, 1 server)
3) Computers in the operatories (7 computers)
4) New Management System
5) Digital X-rays system

We wanted to pay cash for it and not morgage the house to do this. Thats why the steps.
We did step one and two and obviously there was problems but none that I can remember.
We did computers in the operatories. They were useless until we did step four, a management system.

This is where I started to have an issue with the local computer company. At first they were a company that didn't work for a specific company. They could get any kind of system you wanted. But by the time we got to step 4 they were a Dentrex and Dexis people. They were convinced these were the best, which I don't doubt. But now they have lost the "let me tell you about all the good and the bad about all these companies" and they became the "this is why Dexis and Dentrix are so great company".

Now I agonized over this decision for about 6 months. I tried every avenue for information about which program and digital xray system was the best.
Reality magazine, CRA, Dentaltown, the AGD forums, I called the companies, I called current users. I went to people's offices that used the products.
I had about 6 reps come to the office. But none of them stood out much further than the other.
I ultimately decided to go with the biggest company. Patterson.
My past experiences are that if you buy from a smaller company it is either going to be bought by a bigger company and let go or will go bankrupt trying to compete.
Patterson has now a branch of their company that does turn key computer stuff. Wiring, computers, sound system, etc...
Our office has been a very large Patterson account for a long time.
So I now asked Patterson take me to completion. I bought EagleSoft and ultimately decided to go with Schick digital x-ray. I felt like if there was a problem that they were going to take care of it.

So Patterson completed steps 4 and 5 for us.
This was a little under a year and a half ago. I have not entered anything into a chart since November 1, 2006.
Because we have the capacity we are trying (I am pushing and my staff is pushing against) to go paperless.
But after using paper for 100 years it is hard to complete ween off. There are parts of the paper chart that cant be replicated in a computer. It is very hard. I feel like you have to just rip it off like a band-aid.
Cut the embilical cord.

Now the issue is we are in the technological age in our office but no one, I mean no one in our office is technologically savvy. This is NOT good.
Now we use the original company to repair our hardware when we have problems. A video card goes out. The modem stops working. The server isn't backing up. I mean problems, not all the time, but none-the-less problems. We and the computer company are now married forever.

If you are paperless (or going that way) how do you have a morning huddle. My idea (not original) was to buy a laptop and have it at the huddle and pass it around if someone needed to see something in the chart.
Well I bought a laptop and my computer guys came and set it up. He put in a wireless router. This laptop will now run EagleSoft and we can get everything we need via the wireless router. This went great for one day until the hard wire modem crashed the next day. Coincidence I think not.
They came the next day and fixed it.
Then I took my laptop home and tried to use it. I didn't work at home. I called my tech guy who set up the laptop and he said he programmed the laptop to only work on one router (the one in your office).
I said, "So if I go to a Starbucks and want to use my laptop for internet use I can't?".
He said, "Yes"
I bought a $2000 laptop and I can't take out of the office?
Well, yeah.
I said I want you to come back and change this.
Why the hell would he do this?
So a couple days later I still haven't heard from the tech guys and I have a computer geek in my chair (I say this with much affection because I want to be a computer geek) and he says he can fix it. NO PROBLEM.
He sits down and it looks a little like this for about 5 minutes.


What? you fixed it?
Yeah, no problem.
Awesome dude, I love you.
Next thing I know my hard wire modem is crashing and I can't talk to you guys in 3 days.
I called my regular tech guys and it takes them all day to get here. At 3pm they show up and he does the computer thing.
In about 5 minutes he understands that the hard wire modem and the wireless router are fighting. He needs to figure out a way that they will play nice with each other.
He fixed it. I have heard this before.

But isn't if funny how we are all trying to buy better computer equipment and don't know how to use it. It makes me rely on this computer guy too much but what am I going to do.
Computers aren't they great.

Listen have a great Easter,
Lots of chocalate and eggs,
Continue to pray for Heather, who is coming home tomorrow.

Talk to you Monday,


Anonymous said...

John, don't hate the computers, it's not the computers fault you were sold stuff by the Computer Guy who doesn't know how to use it. There are a lot of computer guys out there, but very few that really know what they are doing.

it's funny how in today's world how a few days without a internet connection affects us.

Have a happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

Computers are like people. Each one is different. As much as they may look like machines, they have there own quirks. It is part of the business workplace now, so over time, trust me, you will NEVER regret making the changes you so speak of.

You wouldn't be blogging if you weren't some computer guy John, so you can count yourself as a "computer geek" now. Welcome.

Boot on John, boot on!


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