in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

When you should upgrade and what you need to consider

Windows 10 the upgrade is being delivered differently than before…via download…and it is free.  Mind you, this is for the upgrade.  You need to have at least Windows 7 for all of this to be true.

Sounds great, right?

It is, but when it comes to managing computers, this can cause problems.

This is where structure matters.  Policies matter.  Procedures matter.


These days medical offices run multiple pieces of software that don’t always upgrade as fast a Microsoft does.

In fact, the vendors of medical software are usually well behind Microsoft.

This was highlighted recently when a client needed to replace a computer in their office.  A Windows Vista machine (yes, I know, boo hiss) was about to die and we replaced it with a Windows 7 machine.  Everything worked great on the new computer except one thing, the label printing function from a medical lab website.

We fiddled with it a while then called their support.  They mentioned there were a few tweaks to get it to run correctly…oh and you have to use Internet Explorer, not Chrome, not Firefox.

This got me to thinking. Windows 10 drops Internet Explorer for a new browser called Edge.  I asked this tech if they have tested their website and printing on Edge.  He said “what’s that?”

Yep, so I explained it is the browser that replaces Internet Explorer in Windows 10.  He said he just heard about Windows 10 last weekend.

So, he’s behind.  His company is behind…yet, they will have many clients who upgrade to Windows 10 and have problems, so they need to get ready.

But really, you need to get ready.

When should you upgrade to Windows 10?

Let’s start with this – don’t rush it.  Remember, you only get the free upgrade if you have Windows 7, so really there is no rush.  But you need to clarify to your office and staff and doctors that nobody should upgrade to Windows 10 until given the green light.  This should be policy.  This should be procedure.

Windows 7 is probably already nagging your users to upgrade, so they really need to be told about this to avoid a mess.

Next, you need to examine all the various pieces of software you use and determine if they will be compatible with Windows 10 and Edge:

  • EHR software (yes, even if you are on the cloud)
  • Lab Software
  • Any websites that may require a specific version of a web browser
  • PM software (yes, even if you are on the cloud)

Confirm with all vendors all compatibility issues.  Which browser(s) they have tested is very important.

In general, if a vendor says their software will run on Windows 10, then by default they are saying it will work with Edge, also, but…I always ask because I’m continually amazed at what these people miss.

Policy / procedures in place for upgrades?

Just like everything else in your office, you should have a policy and procedure in place to give your staff guidance.  Yep, I get the same look when I tell an office they need to have a policy and procedure for sending a fax.

It’s all about risk reduction.  You’re running a business.  These things will save you lots of heartache.

Later I’ll have some Windows 10 tips as we delve into daily use of this new operating system.

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