Networking The THERAPIST

Before we can talk about networking The THERAPIST, it is important to understand the terminology and the different kinds of networking that are available.

  Network A collection of two or more computers connected with hardware using a wired or wireless networking protocol. Networks generally fit into two broad categories, each with its one acronym: Local Area Networks (LAN) or Wide Area Networks (WAN).
  Local Area Network

As the name suggests, this type of network operates over computers in close proximity to one another, usually in the same building. Local area networks can be connected via a wired or wireless protocol. The most common wired protocol is Ethernet. Wireless protocols include Wi-Fi, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and others. A given network can use both wired and wireless connectivity. Local area networks are relatively inexpensive. Often the most costly part of a local area network is the labor involved in wiring the facility.

  Wide Area Network Wide area networks connect computers over long distances from a few miles to across the country. They usually require special hardware and costly leased telephone lines. They can easily cost hundreds to thousands of dollars each month to operate.
  Remote Control A means of controlling one computer with another. The control can operate over a network, over the Internet, or over a telephone dialup connection using modems. Remote control software can simulate a wide area network at a cost comparible to that of a local area network.

Now that we know what the terms mean, we can discuss how to fit The THERAPIST into the scheme. Windows versions of The THERAPIST work quite well on multi-computer network. The key is that the network has to be in place and must work with Windows before you can use it to run The THERAPIST. With the network in place, the rest is easy. It is simply a matter of installing The THERAPIST on each workstation and telling each one how to find the data.

CAUTION:  With wireless networks, unless you set them up properly, anyone within about 100 feet can connect to your network. They could potentially read your patient information or even delete important files.

Complete instructions for installing The THERAPIST on a network are included in the installation guide. The installation guide comes with the program or you can download a version in Adobe Acrobat format. Click here for the installation guide for The THERAPIST Pro. Click here for the installation guide for The THERAPIST EZ.

PLEASE NOTE:  Technical support cannot help you install, setup, or configure your network for several reasons, not least is that setting up a network requires detailed knowledge of your networking hardware and software and we have neither. Please contact your networking hardware or software vendor or a local network installer for assistance.

License Issues

While The THERAPIST is fully networkable, you must purchase network user licenses if you want to have multiple people using the program at the same time. The THERAPIST comes with one network user license. A license must be purchased for each additional user. Click here for prices.

The THERAPIST uses a "Concurrent" licensing policy. This means that you are only limited by the number of users using the program at a time. You can always have as may users with access to the program over a network as you wish but the program will limit the number of users who can log in at a time. It can be any combination of users, only the total number at a time is at issue.

Networking From Home or Between Offices

Running The THERAPIST on a network between home and office or between two offices can be done two ways: with a wide area network or with remote control software. It is far too costly for most businesses to operate a wide area network. The alternative is to use remote control software or a service that includes software. The most commonly used remote control software is PC Anywhere from Symantec. With PC Anywhere and similar software, you can connect two computers across the telephone. The THERAPIST would run on the office computer but would get its keyboard and mouse signals from the other computer. It would send its screens to the second computer as well. Data from The THERAPIST would not actually cross the connection between the two computers except as screen images. Someone looking at the office computer would see everything that was happening. The office computer could not be used for anything else when being controlled with the remove control software.

Similar functionality is available from GoToMyPC.com, a combination of software and Internet web site. There may be similar services available from others. If you leave the office computer turned on and connected to the Internet, you can use GoToMyPC to connect from virtually any computer on the Internet.

Using any kind of remote control scheme, security is an concern. Using software like PC Anywhere and a direct connection, there is generally not too much to worry about. However using it over the Internet or using GoToMyPC, which is accessed only via the Internet, security of your computer in general and your data in particular may or may not be sufficient to satisfy HIPAA privacy regulations.

Other Solutions

Another way to access your data from The THERAPIST from home or from another office is to physically move the data back and forth using some kind of removable media such as floppy disks, Zip Disks™, CD-R (or CD-RW), flash memory devices sometimes called USB Drives, or removable hard drives. The down side of doing it this way is that you cannot use The THERAPIST at the same time at the original location. Oh the other hand, it is very secure.

NOTE:  Not all computers can use CD-R or CD-RW to backup data from The THERAPIST. Please see the technical support pages on making backups for more information.