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New guidelines for computer hardware and software selection available from ADA Catalog

In an effort to make computer hardware and software selection easier and more cost effective, the ADA hopes that members will take advantage of a new technical report available from the ADA Catalog.

The ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics’ Technical Report No. 1055 for Computer Hardware and Software Guidelines for Dental Offices, approved by the ADA Council on Dental Practice, outlines the available features of hardware and software for dental practice management systems and proposes guidelines for selection for optimal utilization in dental offices. The guidelines were designed to assist dentists using patient management software and/or integrated technological products including digital radiography, computer-based intraoral imaging or cosmetic imaging.

Because software applications used in dental offices range from simple accounting programs to highly sophisticated imaging and design systems, the report also recommends that dentists work closely with computer hardware suppliers to ensure that their system hardware is optimized to meet their current and anticipated future needs.

“Technology changes so fast and there are so many choices in hardware and software that we hope this will help dentists figure out which is the best system for their practice,” said Dr. Mohamed Harunani, who chaired the workgroup that oversaw T.R. 1055.

The report also promotes the use of off-the-shelf computer hardware and devices as opposed to proprietary, closed systems because the committee feels that these readily available systems will decrease the cost of technology ownership over time. The recommendations also say that using industry standard hardware allows the most freedom in choosing a supplier/service provider or even changing them, if need be.

The 2011 report replaces two previous reports, ADA T.R. 1012-2002 for Computer Hardware Recommendations for Dental Offices, and T.R. 1004-2004 for Computer Software Performance for Dental Practice Software.

The ADA report is available for purchase from the ADA Catalog at www.adacatalog.org.