Technology is everywhere now. We don’t even leave the house without a piece of technology on our person– from our cell phones to our Fitbits to our Apple watches. Even your dental practice is outfitted with technology to help make your daily tasks easier. Practice management software is just one of those new pieces of technology. A practice management software, like Maxident, provides you with all kinds of useful features, which you can see for yourself here. But, just like Windows and Apple, sometimes your practice management software asks you to update or make suggested changes to the program. We suddenly become wary and intimidated by this technology, so much so that we panic upon sight of an email, providing software updates or changes, and we ask ourselves, what do we do now?
What we want to do is call on the experts in the field and, by experts, I mean the support technicians available to address all kinds of technical issues. Who better to understand a technical email than Support? However, the email you’re avoiding due to fear of screwing up is the same email every other customer is avoiding for the same reason. In fact, the reason these emails are sent out is to cut down and even eliminate your time waiting in the queue. I understand your hesitation, your fear of ending the world as we know it by simply pressing a button. But the truth is, you will not end the world and you have definitely got this. Below are just a few suggestions to confront this challenge and take the first steps towards opening that dreaded email and performing the updates or changes yourself without picking up the phone…
This is one of the biggest hindrances to performing any software update. They tell you not to panic when you’re drowning because it’s the absolute worst thing you can do, and in all cases, will make things a lot worse. The same applies here. Panicking can really mess with your eyesight and your ability to rationalize. Don’t believe me? Do you remember those high school provincial exams, the ones you sat down to only to realize that you couldn’t remember anything about the subject matter? Our first instinct is to panic, raising our blood pressure, our anxiety and our stress-levels. Suddenly, you’re looking at something simple and seeing it as encrypted gibberish. I hated taking exams for this reason. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t see straight and I was internally freaking out because if I bombed, my entire world would implode. So what do you do to get past the panic? Remember that this program is a program you work with daily. You are well-versed in all the functions of the program. At this point, you should just take a few cleansing breaths and relax.
Read through the instructions first
Do you remember the feeling just before taking an exam, that overwhelming “I can’t do this” feeling as you stare at down at the paper with words that are starting to blend together to look like gibberish? That was your anxiety rearing its ugly head. As an already anxious person, exams only amplified that feeling ten-fold for me, but the teacher told me something that I cling to now, because it works. Read it through first. The same applies to instructions attached to an update. Just read. Don’t act and don’t start pressing buttons. Look at each step and the corresponding screencap (if provided) and let your brain wrap around it all. Read it twice if that will make you feel better. You’ve seen it all before. When you’re relaxed enough and confident enough to move forward, do so, but not before.
Follow the instructions carefully
It comes up with every update that needs to be performed or every change suggested– follow carefully. I understand the sudden urge to barrel through the instructions just to get the update over with, but barreling through can sometimes result in more issues, ones that might have to be resolved by a technician, leaving you to wait longer than you want to for assistance. Try to avoid this. My advice. Take it slow and steady. It might not win the race, but it will guarantee an error-free update.
A couple things to keep in mind
Emails with updates or changes to the program always come with easy-to-read instructions and, in most cases, screencaps in order to make it easier; however, there are a couple points to bring up that are crucial to the successful execution of those instructions.
Fulfill all your training hours
It can be one thing to feel anxious updating software that you use on a daily basis and know a lot about, but it is completely another to update software you are not fully trained on. This is why it is doubly important to fulfill all your training hours, so you are not lost and panicky when it comes to even the smallest updates.
Stay aware. Stay secure
So much malware has been making the rounds lately, it is no surprise that you would feel anxious about clicking on any links– legitimate or otherwise. Here are just a few red flags to look out for:
- Spelling errors (most of these are glaring)
- The company name spelled wrong (most of the time, on purpose)
- Requests for personal or financial information
If, however, you still do not feel safe clicking on an available link, you can always call or email Support and they will be able to let you know whether the software update is indeed legitimate.
Are you comfortable with performing your own updates and changes? What advice can you give those that aren’t so comfortable? Share your stories and your advice with us. We would love to hear from you.