Wireless Technology

A large percentage of dentists use computers in their dental practices for front desk and clinical duties (i.e., Charting and Digital Imaging). As the number of computers in dental office increase, it is only natural for those dentists who are more technologically aware, to also search for more ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of the office with the most up-to-date technology. The Ontario Dental Association has printed a very informative article in its June edition of the “Ontario Dentist” and can be easily accessed and viewed via the internet at www.oda.on.ca. The article seeks to advise dentists with guidelines for purchasing a new computer.

As we all know, wireless technology within dental offices is becoming more and more popular. When walking into an office, it is no longer uncommon to see a wireless mouse and keyboard at the front desk area and in the operatories. Although being wireless allows for more flexibility, one must realize and understand the advantages as well as the disadvantages of wireless technology.

A wireless mouse and keyboard permits the freedom of using a mouse and/or keyboard without cords getting in the way. However, anything wireless requires an access point (just like a cordless phone). A cordless phone transmits a signal back and forth from its docking station to the phone, however, the cordless phone can only transmit up to certain distance. Once you have passed that distance, the cordless phone will no longer work. A wireless device, such as a wireless mouse, works in the same manner.

A wireless mouse and keyboard are the simplest forms of wireless devices used in offices. Many offices are considering other wireless options such as a wireless network. In such a network, each network device (i.e., computer) must be connected with a wireless network card. The wireless network card transmits a signal to the Access Point which connects to the network hub. You may have already noticed this form of wireless technology in certain areas of the airport as people are now provided with the opportunity to access the internet and consequently also send and receive e-mails. Of course, a PC with wireless network capabilities is required. In addition, with the advent of tablet PCs running Windows XP, tablet edition, doctors can take their tablets from operatory to operatory and do their Charting directly on the tablet. Although there are many advantages to running a wireless network, The Bridge Network does not recommend you run Tracker within this type of environment. A cable environment is preferred as experience has proven that connections within a cable connected network are much faster, more reliable, more secure and easier to configure and install. Often, offices with a wireless network will run into errors and problems as a result of the unreliable connections. An unstable networking environment can cause serious damage to Tracker and the information entered in Tracker.

Palm Pilots, cell phones and laptops are increasingly common in today's society. These wireless devices provide you with the liberty to be anywhere and still be on top of any pressing matter. You can be accessible to your office with your cell phone and at the same timework on any pending documentation with your laptop. Finally, Track-Link is a Tracker add-on that allows you to upload your schedule into your palm pilot so you can see your schedule anytime and anywhere.

The concept of wireless technology seems great however, the decision to go wireless should not be made without understanding the pros and cons. Contact your hardware person to discuss your options.

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