We love to help our clients avoid headache scenarios and save them money in the process. It builds confidence in what we do and strengthens our business relationships. We’re talking about win-wins here.

Recently, we’ve heard scary things in IT news that have been impacting some of our software vendors. So, it seems like now is a good time to share our observations and guidance with you.  Our goal: help us help you!

Critical to making this happen is understanding who is doing what.  So, be sure you know what your laboratory IT role is whether internal or an outsourced Managed Service Provider (MSP), what the job of C4 is, and what your job is. Knowing how these many players cross paths is important for an overall understanding of your IT umbrella.

Many problems have proactive solutions that, in many cases, may eliminate even bigger headaches down the road.  We’ve seen these problems growing as indicated by our alerts and have suggested steps to our clients to address them.  The unaddressed ones frequently get worse and then we’re dealing with a crisis together.

Here are the most frequent alerts / problems that we see as your database / LIS administrator:

Backups failing:

  • Once you get notices indicating this issue, they will typically become more frequent if not addressed
  • Not doing backups and testing them correctly will result in permanent loss of your data
  • When this occurs, you cannot provide requested results, are in HIPAA violation, and providers lose faith

Inadequate server capacity:

  • It’s possible that your servers are simply too old
    • This will prevent you from updating to critical software versions which your business operations need
    • Growth is then limited in your environment
  • C4 continues to see indications of outdated servers – a clear sign of such systemic threats

Outdated faxing solution:

  • Is your faxing solution still using a faxmodem?
    • Then strongly consider changing to a modern digital solution
    • The list of known and unknown costs is a long one: software licenses, phone lines, compatibility issues between faxmodems, etc.

Internet browsers:

  • Many issues may be related to an outdated browser version
    • There are many types of browsers to choose from, but all need regular attention
    • Know the browser you’re working on and keep it consistently updated, it’s easy & free
  • Always remember: to activate a browser update, please close and reopen it

Remember, it’s not if you’re going to be attacked, but when you’re going to be attacked and, with their higher levels of sophistication, hackers are now able to lock up your database files. So, there are some common sense approaches you can use to be prepared, including:

  • Consistently maintain Windows updates on all Microsoft-based machines:
    • Whether laptop, desktop or server, they all need to have consistent maintenance
    • We’re aware that most LIS software is challenging to stop and start to do such maintenance
    • However, it’s still very important that you do so and keep software updated
  • Talk to your IT team about your routers, firewalls, etc. to assure they are also adhering to a consistent maintenance schedule
  • Remember that with all software you can’t just set it and leave it!

C4 can help you better understand all of these issues to be better prepared. If you’re seeing specific concerns, we can explore those issues more deeply – even if we’ve already notified you of related alerts. Then, if our services fit what’s needed, we can be part of your team to get it resolved.