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Solid foundations

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 26/02/21 18:00

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We know that the best way to build a house (or a practice) is on solid ground. 

We know we need to do first things first and put the foundations in place and the infrastructure of which sustain the bigger project. 

In my world though, in the world of dentistry, it seems as though technology is massively outstripping the ability to create the infrastructure necessary. 

It’s not just me, major trauma hospitals are full of this difficulty and issue. 

There is no point in putting the best possible piece of digital technology into your practice if you don’t have any internet connection. 

There is no point in putting a cloud based system into your practice for practice management if you have domestic wifi. 

When I first moved to the bungalow in 2008 we had a server under the desk in reception which was about 4 inches thick. 

It controlled the whole of the practice management system and the image software in the practice including all the panoramic x-rays, all the photographs and all the patient detail back-up. 

It blew up…

… Twice. 

It took me two of those server crashes to realise that we needed more of an infrastructure in the practice if we were going to be in any way digital. 

Then we spent £10,000 on a server which was upstairs in an air-conditioned cupboard. 

Then we spent £20,000. 

As soon as we had the server sorted, the internet started to break down and we had to go from domestic internet to commercial. 

This was all in about 2014. 

When we built the new practice we put a pipe down the middle of the road that had a Gb internet line it in and solar panels on the roof because without the solar panels we’re at £3,000 per month on electricity. 

Dental practices need water, a lot of power and in the years to come the most amount of internet connection as they become IT businesses that also do a bit of dentistry. 

The urge to jump to the shiny bright object usually at the encouragement of the company that sells it, overstates the issue of first things first and laying proper foundations. 

I’m reminded of a situation when we were selling one of our CT scanners (we’re on our third one in the practice), we advertised that it was for sale and we were contacted by someone who wanted to buy it. 

It was a total steal at something like £10,000 for a £50,000 original unit. 

When we informed the person who came to buy it that they would also need their own pc to run it, they saw that as a dealbreaker because it was ‘too expensive’. 

You’re not running your corner shop when you’re trying to integrate digital into dentistry.

 

Blog Post Number - 2657  

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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