Tragedies and Drama: Living with Client-Server Software

It's true that the Greeks wrote some tear-jerking tragedies. Were they also using client-server software they would have been able to write quite a bit more. We're creating a collection of real-life tragedies and drama created by client-server dental software. A word of caution: Be sure to have a box of tissues by your side when you read; everyone can relate to these heart-wrenching stories of lost time, data and production.

Do you have a story to tell? Just use the form at right to submit your story. We'll send you one of our famous t-shirts just for sharing; Plus you'll be entered into a drawing to win an Apple iPad!

Pesky Server Crash

Just as we were closing the practice for the day and printing a deposit slip for the bank our server stopped responding. When I checked on the server it smelled funny and the fan wasn't working. I called our computer specialist who asked me a few questions over the phone and then he said our server was probably dead. He rushed over and began to replace parts with new stuff. I had to stay with the computer specialist because of practice policy. I didn't get home until midnight.

Cynthia Brown

Recent Upgrades are Miserable Failures

I've had a digital office since 1996. Through the years we've had a variety of issues with hardware and software. My favorite issue is a general one and fairly recent. Our software provider recommends updates annually or sometimes more often. We "upgraded" nearly two years ago and since that time, our system runs slower and I don't have any working intra oral cameras. The upgrade had new software devoted to things that we never use in the office. This company's recent upgrades are miserable failures. We put off upgrading for a long time because we had a unique, integrated system that was fast and we and our patients were thrilled with, and now we wish we could go back.

Blaine Leeds, DDS

Never Upgrade Again!

Upgraded my software to be able to be more efficient. In a matter of 3 weeks I crashed 3 of my computers and spent some $900 to revive them. I didnt count the hours I had to stop working and check on these computers to make sure they are working ok. Upgrading? NEVER AGAIN. When my computers crash again I will look into web based software--and it better work with the hardware I have.

Sam Lavi, DDS

Computer Hacker Buddy Required

It was time to update the fee guide at the beginning of the year. We received an update CD and when we went to install it, it didn't work! The software vendor was closed for holidays and I needed to get the job done, with no help to be found. In the fine print, it said we needed the previous year's fee guides or it won't install, but the update CD didn't warn us or give any error message to that effect. I called my computer hacker buddy who said to copy the files named feeguide2008 and rename them to feeguide2009. Then I ran the update CD again and noticed a new file appear called feeguide2010! It is nice to have a computer hacker buddy in your back pocket. For the rest of us, use CurveDental.

Edy Braun, DDS

$6,000 Glitch

As usual we were having a glitch with our legacy software which we have used for 8 years. We have been faithful to upgrade every year. Last year our server was on the verge of crashing. As soon as that was replaced our other CPU's malfunctioned necessitating more hardware purchases. An IT nightmare for me because all the software had to be reinstalled. The labor alone cost me over $6K. Fast forward to the glitch. Our IT guy needed help and made the call to Legacy's tech support. Just by accident the Legacy guy said that this software has always had problems with Microsoft Server 2003. Imagine that! By accident we discovered why we were having all our frustrations. Curve is a welcome solution !!!

Scott S. Oren , DDS

Can't Touch This

NOBODY can top this: Left NYC and opened up in suburbs in 2007. Tried PC emulation of my solid UNIX system I had in NYC. UNIX does not meld with graphic interfacing. IT WAS INOPERABLE with all the imaging now in the office. Lost $6,000. Went with the "Best" , i.e. biggest software out there. An IT guy put it together so no computer would talk with the server. Phone system people switched my static IP so I became electrically lost. Two more IT firms could not figure out how to undo the mess of the first one. The fourth guru (hint) got the software to run with tons of wrinkles. All this took 1 year out of my business and 5 years out of my life. Could hardly run the business, and patients were not happy. Then...all hell broke loose. We had been doing external backups with a series of drives. One day I was in NYC and got a call....the server just imploded, stopped, ceased and desisted and nothing was working. No data could be retrieved. Total file contamination; this had been building behind the scenes. At that point of this new office, it would have meant I would have had to start all over (in 2008, not a good year for that) or close down. All A/R balances were lost, appointments, notes, health forms, treatments, xrays...the works. To boot, the backups were all repeating the contamination. Called the software tech support number and it took days of work to recover basic data but almost all the xrays were lost. That really does wonders for insurance claims. Since then we have only had thunderstorms where just a bit of data gets electrocuted. Isn't this the best way to run a PC based business? PS: I do external backups with my software provider and the bill comes out different each month, overcharging by as much as $115/month. Spread the wealth as they say. Now top that.

Edward Prus, DDS

Server Catastrophe Avoided in the Nick of Time

I was working for a different dental office than where I am now. When I first started there, the computers and software seemed fine. Over time the computers started to slow way down and we found ourselves having to reboot several times a day. Frustrated, I called our IT guy who checked on a few things. Turns out, the 4 years prior to me being there, the computers were never shut down, thus the server had not been rebooting the system. He told us that with all the images we had uploaded, the server was about to crash and we would've lost ALL of our information stored in the database. We caught the error within a few hours of what could've been a catatrophe. Having a web based software is awesome. Thanks Curve

Roni Deugaw

What Does a Technician Know About My Server?

A few years ago we ran into a problem with our Easy Dental Software ! Being new to the office and somewhat more computer savy than the rest of the staff I took on the responcibility of calling in the problem. After explaining my problem to the technician numerous times he decided to log on to my server and look around himself. By the time that he was done not even the printer was working! Long story short, the techinican knew less than I did and it took 3 days to get a cd in the mail with all the drivers that needed to be reinstalled! Now, if the techincian doesnt catch on to what Im talking about, I ask for a supervisor!

Nicole Kurz

A Technological Paper Weight

I upgraded my personal office computer to a laptop tablet touch screen 2 years ago with the help of our IT guy. But it's 64 bit. So half of DENTRIX® didn't work, along with ScanX and no driver for our printing station. So I've got a very expensive paper weight.

Michael Segnini, DDS

One Time When the IT Service Contract Made Sense

About 15 years ago we had just started with a new software/hardware company and had all new computers installed and company was 5-6 hours north of us in WI. We could not get the printer to work so since service was free for first 6-12 months we called them and they sent someone down 6 hours drive to check and fix problem. Took 2 seconds to fix: paper tray was not pushed in all the way! Glad we had the service contract! :)

Art Hess, DMD

Server Upgrade Spells Trouble

Wouldn't you know it, my server went down. Again. This time it was unrepairable and although I was fortunate to retrieve my data, $500+ later I'm still unable to function seamlessly. The new computer I had to purchase doesn't recognize my older printer and won't communicate with my router. Hence no insurance claims by mail or electronically for a week. Help!

Rick Pyun, DMD

Major Disruption to Productivity

I was having issues with our software [old client-server software] and was unable to figure out what was causing the problem. I called technical support and was told that they would have to run a utility to correct the issue. The biggest problem with that was that everyone in the office had to be completely out of the software in order for them to fix the problem. Should've been easy except it was in the middle of a very busy day and asking the staff to log out was like pulling teeth. With Curve we don't have to log out of the software to get problems fixed. It's awesome!

Roni Deugaw

Updates Ruin My Weekend!

The office I was working in was sold to a new provider. The software had not been updated for 4 versions. I had to call the software company, have a CD sent to us, only to find out we didn't even need the CD. In order to update the software, the office needed to be closed. The steps I had to take to do the update were lengthy. I started it one night after everyone had left the office. The first thing that happened was an error message. I contacted Tech support and was told a different way to update than the original tech had told me. Come to find out, the process was going to take several hours since it had to be uploaded to all of the computers individually and one at a time. That's hard to do at 5:00 at night. So I thought I should return over the weekend and start the process early in the day. That would've been a great plan except for the fact that the software company doesn't have tech support on the weekends. Curve at least has Tech support available on Saturdays. Curve also does the updates for us automatically so there are no CD's to wait for, no installs for us to do ourselves and most important, my weekends are FREE! Thanks Curve

Roni Deugaw

Server Can't Handle Wireless Signal

Foolish me! I somehow thought a wireless network would solve the problems of computers in open bay treatment rooms. The minute there is a blip in the wireless signal - we're booted off the server software portion of our management program. Then there is the mess of a static IP that continually conflicts with any device on an IP assigned by the router. In addition to being a dentist I have an undergraduate computing degree and I am so not amused with software vendors that can't make simple things work!!!!!!

Stephanie McGann, DMD

Power Outages Glitches Server and Workstations

I recently purchased an existing dental practice that is running Dentrix G4. My first day on the job I wanted to convert immediately to computer charts as well as having the staff clock in and out for the day. Well, the night before the power went out and our computers did not reboot properly. I had to spend thousands for them to come out fix the computers and update my memory, Ram and a bunch of other stuff. On top of that they said I need a few new computers. What a way to start out my first day.

Adam Haney, DDS

Crashed Server Postpones Big Case

Our server went down on a Friday morning, the very morning I had a big implant surgery planned. Our patient had been sedated and we were all set for the procedure but were unable to proceed without access to her imaging on the server, and without the ability to aquire intra surgery PAs. At the end we lost a morning of 3 hygienists production as well as rescheduling our big surgical case. The stress in lost productivity and the unprofessional appearance of "going down" for the morning was very annoying.

Dr. Brett York

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