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5 Misconceptions About Staying on Outdated Software to Manage Your Practice

Medical practices love to use the reason as to why they don’t upgrade of “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.”

A good strategy for being in business a long time is to keep your costs lower than your revenue which is why I think some practices love to use the excuse of “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.” And for those that don’t care about improvement, or don’t care about progress, or who are okay with dealing with all the problems associated with older software, then maybe this is an okay philosophy. However, this narrow-minded approach might not be what’s best for your practice.

Let’s take a look at all the potential downsides of managing your practice on an older version of your practice management software.

#1. Features that seem insignificant can be seriously helpful for your users

Planning an upgrade is a conversation a lot of businesses do not like to have. Mainly because it is really hard to justify purchasing an already pricey piece of software. To make things even harder, sometimes the newest upgrade might not have a lot of life-changing features – you’ll see some small bug fixes and minor improvements, most of time. However, your users are the ones who are utilizing the software every day and not upgrading could be causing small issues for them every day that they don’t have a solution for. Even a small issue can be built up to become much bigger issues, creating a huge problem and making their jobs harder.

#2. Unsupported software means unsecured data

On January 14, 2020, Windows will end support for Windows 7. Updates will stop, and the operating system will enter lame-duck status. You’ll still be able to use Windows 7, but once Microsoft ends support, security patches will cease. Without these essential patches, you are susceptible to hackers and your data becomes extremely vulnerable. The same is true for hardware. New devices and components are released all the time, and they are all designed to work with the operating systems of today and tomorrow. Using Windows 7 with such hardware limits its capabilities. Eventually, it will become difficult to find hardware that’s compatible with Windows 7 at all. Read more about the Final Days of Windows 7 and see if you are prepared for the switch.

#3. Your operating system or other software might not be compatible with older versions of your software.

Software is tricky. Even the people who design it will tell you that. With so many users using the software for multiple different reasons, things are bound to come up that even the engineers behind the software didn’t think of when they created it. Some of these bugs and quirks have to do with how compatible the software is with other softwares – even including operating systems. It’s not always as black and white as you think. Like, using an old software on a new computer, or new software on an older computer. Sometimes it’s the smaller issues that can add up to big ones down the road. We call them ‘time-wasters’ and they can add up to extra expenses and lost income. Users may think it’s just not ‘working the way it should be’ and they’re right. It could be lagging, or even just flat out refuse to work – unless you create a work-around. We’ve even had customers tell us that restarting their computer fixes software issues. This might not be completely crippling for users, but it could be frustrating.

#4. No more access to technical support

It’s become the norm that when something wonky happens with your software, you can call tech support. We hear from our own customers that it’s nice to know they have support, even if they don’t need it – because when they don’t have it, that will be the day they need it, right? Software is only supported up to a certain version. As the newer, most current versions come out each year, and the further you get away from the newest version, the more likely you are to have a version that is not supported any longer. If your users do not have access to be able to call someone to solve their problems, the further they’ll be from finding a possible solution. Looking for Medisoft or Lytec support for your software? AZCOMP is famous for our phenomenal support. Check it out!

#5. Using an older version of software may be costing you more than the actual ‘upgrade’

We’ve talked about work-arounds in this article a few times. If your users are creating work-arounds in their daily tasks, it’s probably taking them upwards of five hours per week on issues they’re having. Trying to fix their software, instead of doing their work, adds up to a lot more in payroll then it does the price of upgrading your software. Ask us about how we can get you the plan you need to fit your budget – at a predictable and low monthly cost – because we’re committed to making sure you get the best deal (and not at the price of wasting time!).

AZCOMP Technologies – the #1 eMDs reseller since 2005.

We are the ultimate source for all things Medisoft & Lytec. Whatever your question or problem or need with Medisoft & Lytec, we can help you. AZCOMP can help with sales, training, coaching, installation, support, EHR, sending electronic claims using Change Healthcare Clearinghouse who has the largest list of payers, or patient statements, patient payments, appointment reminders and more.

For more Medisoft information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/medisoft/

For more Lytec information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/lytec/

Be sure to call us at (480) 730-3055 for all your network and healthcare technology needs.

The Final Days of Windows 7 – Are You Prepared?

All technology is iterative. Whether we are talking about software or hardware, there will come a time when your current tools will no longer fit your needs. Deciding when to upgrade is always a bit of a guessing game. You could choose to be an early adapter, but that means you may be dealing with 1.0 bugs and other growing pains. Waiting too long to switch, however, can create much more serious problems.

Why You Should Be Preparing to Switch

An expiration date for making a change is exactly what Windows 7 users are facing right now. On January 14th, 2020, Windows will end support for Windows 7. Updates will stop, and the operating system will enter lame-duck status. Technically, you’ll still be able to use Windows 7 after that date, but if you’re one of the 40-plus percent of businesses who still use the platform, you need to think about switching as soon as possible. Here are a few key reasons why:

Ease of Integration

Your operating system may be the foundational platform from which every other desktop tool springs, but it’s far from the only software resource you rely on. In today’s world, every business needs a whole suite of services in order to run at their best. Sticking to an out-of-date operating system will cause your other programs to falter. Developers simply aren’t updating their software with an eye toward Windows 7. Over time, many of the applications essential to your operations will become unusable in Windows 7.

The same is true of hardware. New devices and components are released all the time, and they are all designed to work with the operating systems of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, Windows 7 is quickly becoming yesterday’s operating system. Using Windows 7 with such hardware limits its capabilities. Eventually, it will become difficult to find hardware that’s compatible with Windows 7 at all.

Security Concerns

While hindering your performance is far from desirable, that pales in comparison to the safety risks you’ll be living with if you don’t upgrade in time. Once Microsoft ends support, security patches will cease. These patches are essential for combating the latest tactics used by hackers to break into your network. Without them, you are extremely vulnerable.

Even worse, hackers know to target businesses and individuals who fail to upgrade to current operating systems. They correctly reason that if somebody is foolish enough to use an outdated platform, they probably aren’t wise enough to have adequate defenses. Basically, an unsupported operating system is the equivalent of a “kick me” sign on your back, only this one reads: “hack me.”

Act Now or Cry Later

We are just about 6 months away from the death knell of Windows 7, so you may think you have time before a change is necessary. The truth is: You should act now so that once the final date arrives, you’ll have all of the machines ready to go. That’s especially true if you’re considering changing your service provider altogether, rather than simply migrating forward to Windows 10. If you need to transition your operating system, we are here to help guide you along the way. No matter what course of action you take, you have to act. Otherwise, you’ll be in deep trouble come January 2020.

AZCOMP Technologies – the #1 eMDs reseller since 2005.

We are the ultimate source for all things Medisoft & Lytec. Whatever your question or problem or need with Medisoft & Lytec, we can help you. AZCOMP can help with sales, training, coaching, installation, support, EHR, add-on tools such as preferred clearinghouses, or patient statements, patient payments, appointment reminders and more.

For more Medisoft information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/medisoft/

For more Lytec information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/lytec/

Be sure to call us at (877) 959-8292 for all your network and healthcare technology needs.