Hardware Recommendations for Paperless
Offices typically need to purchase additional hardware when they migrate to a paperless environment. As a minimum, it typically involves PCs in the treatment areas, where prior to going paperless, only one PC in the reception area is sufficient. This knowledgebase article discusses some of the hardware considerations when taking an office paperless.
The biggest challenge in recommending hardware is that it is a moving target. Any documentation released today will be obsolete within a few weeks as new hardware is made available by the manufacturers. However, there are some basic items that are relatively static. See below for detail:
Capable Software Pty Ltd uses a mixture of PC brands to help test sociability between different possible configurations, but largely uses Dell ™ equipment. Capable Software Pty Ltd does not formally endorse any particular brand of computer equipment.
When going paperless, an office should consider the implications of being paperless. It means that the office is completely dependent on the computer equipment for information regarding patients/clients. In a fully paperless office, even x-rays and travel cards are computerised, meaning that the loss of a computer workstation renders that office area significantly diminished. Further, it means that the loss of the office server (or main server/workstation) impacts the operation of the entire office. Capable Software Pty Ltd recommends having a ‘Business Continuity Plan’ that allows the office to continue to function in the event of equipment failure.
Other risk mitigation strategies are covered below.
Some of the material described below is of a technical nature, and may need to be referred to a PC technician.
Offices must implement their own backup solution. Capable 21C does not include
a backup feature. An off-site backup solution is essential,
as severe events could result in the loss of the data on the main server/workstation,
but could also result in the loss of attached backup devices and backups retained
in close proximity with the main server/workstation (eg a fire).
Capable Software Pty Ltd endorses the use of Intel processors only. Other
brands of processors may operate successfully, but are not endorsed by Capable Software
Every office should have an uninterrupted power supply attached to the main PC (or server).
Offices with 5 workstations or less can typically function effectively with one of those PC’s operating as a combination workstation/server. Offices with 6 workstations or more should consider a dedicated server.
The main PC (or dedicated server) should have a redundant (eg RAID) drive array with sufficient drive units to ensure uninterrupted operation in the event that one drive fails.
Every office should have a broadband internet connection operating full time. This ensures high speed Live Updates, and the ability to transfer data to Capable Software Pty Ltd in the unlikely event that emergency data repair is required.
Workstations used to display images (in particular, x-rays) should have larger screens (a minimum of 19 inch monitors is advised). Touch screens are gaining some
popularity, but offices should be aware that most touchscreens only support a 'left
click' and require additional software to be purchased to allow a 'right click'
to be performed. Whilst touch screens are being used successfully in some
offices, and the technology is endorsed by Capable Software Pty Ltd, offices are
advised to seek expert advice from their local PC Technician before making a purchase.
Offices wishing to use Fingerprint scanning or swipe card technology should refer
to the knowledgebase article on Fingerprint
Recognition or Setting Up Swipe Cards. Capable Software Pty Ltd endorses the use of Microsoft
Fingerprint Scanners, but also cautions offices regarding the accuracy and reliability
of fingerprint readers. Barcode or magnetic swipe card readers can be used
as an alternative, and only keyboard interface readers are supported.
Refer to the knowlegebase articles on
Windows Terminal Services and
Windows Vista for information about those solutions. Capable Software Technicians will appraise hardware quotes on request at no charge.