I was preparing our computer network for an upcoming practice management software major update. We use OfficeMate as many eye care professionals do. This program will be upgrading to Version 9 soon. This will require some work to make this update happen. Reference their upgrade recommendations to prepare your practice for this update.
One recommendation is to use a server – client configuration. We started with a peer-to-peer network in 1992 and it’s time to make the change in preparation for electronic medical records.
One OfficeMate recommended server is a Dell PowerEdge T310
Budget around $3500 nicely equipped with redundant power supply, faster RAM and a Raid 5 array of 3 HDD’s spinning at a supersonic 15,000 RPM. I think one could cut $400 or so with base equipment.
Expect a build and transit time of up to 45 days until delivery.
OfficeMate recommends having a good IT guy set up your network. This is good advice if you don’t wish to go much of the hassle.
Tip Only for the Tech Savvy
If you are very experienced with your gear and willing to learn and explore the changes you need to make to go from a peer-to-peer to a server based environment, Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows has a Windows 7 tip of the week that may save you money. If you are the guy that sets up and fixes your own computer network, You are an IT guy. Microsoft has a program to invite IT folks to explore and experiment with their Microsoft’s software. Microsoft Technet Plus subscription can save $$$ for IT guys. Read his post to learn more. There is a discount at the bottom of the post you can take advantage until June 30, 2010.
The next result is that you may be able to set up your own server as an experiment status with the software available from Technet as part of your subscription. This includes licenses for Microsoft Server 2008 R2 (retail $799), Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2008 ($1859 although an express version for free is available with a 25 user limit) as well as Office 2007 and 2010 when ready plus most of the other Microsoft software including Windows 7 installs and much more.
When I got information direct from tech support that V 9 is in beta in some offices until this summer. It is anticipated the upgrade process will begin then.
We are currently using their Microsoft Access database. The next version is SQL based for all users. Some users already are on an SQL database – especially those on a server already.
If you setting up your systems. Order a server now. Once configured your next step will be to convert your database to SQL. Call OfficeMate when you are ready for this process. You can continue with your current version 8 using the SQL based database.
The next step after that will be the software update beginning sometime the summer of 2010.