Your Used Dental Equipment And Microsoft Windows XP
Most dental professionals still using Windows XP are probably wondering if they should get rid of their old operating system and replace it with a newer one. For those who have not heard, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows XP operating system with updates and patches on April8, 2014.
According to Microsoft, computers that use XP and connect to the internet are now much more vulnerable to virus attacks and hackers. This vulnerability of electronic patient information has led to speculation about whether dental practices who continue to use Windows XP will be in violation of HIPAA regulations.
But we do not recommend rushing to get rid of your old operating systems just yet. They may still come in handy.
Utilize Used Dental Equipment by Keeping Windows XP
One important consideration that has been overlooked in this Windows XP discussion is that many dentists use older equipment in their offices that only works with Windows XP. For example, old models of ScanX phosphor plate x-ray machines will only work with a Windows XP operating system.
Whether you use older equipment or not, you may buy used dental equipment in the future in order to save money. That may be the reason you visited our site today, (if it is not the reason, think about browsing our online selection anyway. You may be surprised by how much you can save on great equipment). Dentists who still have Windows XP operating systems will be glad that they kept them when they buy used equipment and find that it that only works with XP.
So keep some of those computers that use XP and leave it installed on them. It might be a good idea to use them only with the dental equipment that requires them and upgrade to newer computers and operating systems for the rest of your office, especially computers that hold patient information and connect to the internet.
Keep Windows XP and Obey the Law Too
If the computers that you leave XP on must still connect to the internet, experts from USA Today, the California Dental Association, and Decision Base, (a clinical records software consultant firm), recommend taking the following precautions:
- Back up important files
- Continue to use antivirus software subscriptions, (some will continue to support XP for several years)
- Use a browser other than Internet Explorer, (most virus attacks target Explorer)
- Create a written plan to deal with potential risks to patient data
- Develop a plan to eventually upgrade all computers that contain patient data and must access the internet to a newer operating system
Implementing these steps, especially the last two, should keep your practice in compliance with government regulations.