Dental Consultant | Windows 7 is Dying––Is your practice prepared?

by Dan Hughes of Advantage Technologies

If you haven’t heard by now that support for Windows 7 is ending, you’ve likely been living under a rock. But, just in case that rock has sheltered you from being aware of the dangers that loom, here’s a quick rundown of why it’s crucial for your practice to make the upgrade.  

  • Failure to upgrade means Windows 7 will no longer fix vulnerabilities in their software that allow hackers to penetrate your network and systems
  • These patches help prevent data breaches, ransomware, and virus attacks that can enter through your computer’s operating system
  • Specifically for dental practices, failure to upgrade will affect HIPAA compliance by using an operating system that does not administer patches  
  • Additionally, Practice Management Software, imaging software, and other tools and hardware will no longer work with the Windows 7 operating system. This creates lag, disjointed system functionality, and often an overall complete breakdown of system compatibility.  

Moral of the story: not upgrading can bring your practice’s operations to a screeching halt, or worse, collapse all you’ve worked for thanks to a cyber-attack.

With the significant risk associated with not upgrading, why will there still be an estimated 71% of medical devices and networks running Windows 7? A lot of times, it’s because practices don’t know where to start. They use break-fix solutions that utilize the support of an IT company that only touches their network when there is an issue. Additionally, many of these IT companies are not familiar with the specific intricacies of dental-specific hardware and software. This creates a reoccurring problem of reactionary IT maintenance – often costing more money and creating more downtime.

So, how can your practice stay proactive in its approach to IT?

With the degree of technology that is now integrated into everyday practices, it’s essential to have continuous monitoring of the functionality of all hardware and software, in addition to round-the-clock cybersecurity protection and regular data backups. By making the switch from a reactive break-fix approach to proactive predictability, here’s what tangible improvements you’ll see immediately in your practice’s daily operations:

Peace of mind: Your Network is secure, you know down to the second what time your data is being backed up every day, your computers, devices, and hardware all work as they should, and even if Janet clicks an infected link, you can breathe easy knowing your patient’s data is safe. Predictability lets you give attention to what should be your primary focus – your patients and business.

IT Cost Control: Did you budget for an update or fix for your practice management software this month? What about a patch to your point of sale software? Or how about an hour of your office manager’s time troubleshooting internet provider issues on the phone? While the thought of paying for the “just in case” can have your head spinning, having a company that you pay a monthly fee to ensure these items are anticipated, planned, and taken care of saves your practice time and allows you to firmly budget your monthly IT costs.

Industry Insider Advantage: When you have an IT company that knows the latest version of Eaglesoft is not compatible with your CBCT machine, you prevent the major headache of updating, only to have to uninstall, after lots of wasted time and frustration. An IT company that knows the ins and outs of dental hardware and software prevents these occurrences by leveraging the knowledge they already have. Chances are, your problem is not unique, and an experienced dental IT company knows exactly what is needed to fix it – or prevent it completely.

An estimated 71% of medical devices and networks will continue running Windows 7 even after it is no longer supported.

The Windows 7 end-of-life transition is merely one example of the importance of up-to-date software and how proactive IT maintenance and planning can eliminate unnecessarily wasted time and money. Partnering with a knowledgeable IT company will make sure you’re ahead of the curve and prepared for the ever-changing technology in dentistry.

Since 2000, Advantage Technologies has been working with dentists to provide our signature mix of services and ensuring Hassle-Free IT. Providing all the standard IT supports, Advantage takes our level of service a step further by providing an army of tech support, both in person and by remote access, providing one-call tech-related solutions through vendor management, offering entire-network equipment leasing, and additional stellar support that will have your practice protected, up-to-date, and running stress-free.

If you have more questions about upgrading your practice from Windows 7 or evaluating if managed IT services and cyber protection is right for your business, Advantage Technologies offers a complimentary in-office technology assessment. Get started today!

Dan Hughes is a Technology Consultant at Advantage Technologies for the Northern Illinois Region. Get in touch with Dan at or 877.723.8832 ext. 650 to learn more about getting Hassle-free IT.

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