Computer support policy
Maintenance and support of all computers owned by the School of Dentistry is the sole responsibility of the Dentistry Office of Information Technology. Dentistry IT staff performs remedial and preventive maintenance on personal computers housed in the Wood, Lyons and Perkinson buildings. Dentistry IT employs full-time IT professionals who respond to service requests. Dentistry IT provides “cradle-to-grave” support for all computer activities at the school: purchasing, installing, upgrading and replacing computers and software, and removing obsolete equipment.
- Supported platforms
- Requesting service
- Computer account privileges
- Remote support
All purchases of computer hardware, software or services must be placed by the Dentistry IT office. Initiate purchases for all PC equipment and software through the Dentistry IT office.
Dentistry IT restricts the hardware and software environment used within the school to maximize support effectiveness. This enables a greater level of service than would be possible supporting a wide variety of devices. Supported platforms are:
- Dell computers running Windows XP or greater
- Apple iPads
The dentistry work order system must be used for all service requests. Each work order alerts several Dentistry IT technicians and allows for problem tracking. Requesting support outside the work order system will result in service delays since all work requests must be recorded in the work order system. All pending computer work orders are visible in the work order system so that a person requesting assistance can estimate when the call will be serviced. Computer work orders are answered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not attempt to skip ahead of other requests by contacting the PC consultant for special consideration. A PC consultant will make every attempt to respond as quickly as possible. Please allow two hours for emergency calls (i.e. system down) and next business day for non-emergency calls. The only exceptions are for clinical workstations designated by each practice as critical to the operation of the practice.
With the growing number of software packages available today Dentistry IT cannot offer support on every product on the market. The following software titles are standards within the School of Dentistry and are fully supported. Dentistry IT will install, troubleshoot and patch all fully supported software as needed. This list is subject to change as dentistry adds more software to the supported portfolio.
- All Microsoft products except Outlook
- VCU standard email client
- Internet Explorer and Chrome browsers
- axiUm, MiPACS and associated components
- All Adobe products
- Dell-installed CD/DVD software
Requests for software outside the fully supported list will be evaluated case by case. Faculty members should submit a computer work order with a justification for the requested software. Dentistry IT will evaluate the request and determine the level of support that can be provided.
Note: You must purchase a license for each software package installed on each machine. Unauthorized duplication of software is a violation of federal copyright law. Software must be purchased through the dentistry purchase order system by the IT office as described in the purchasing section above.
The proliferation of computer security threats necessitates that all computer accounts employ the principle of least privilege — that is, all processing should be performed with the least set of privileges required. Standard Windows user rights (i.e. nonadministrator) are sufficient for all normal activities performed on a personal computer except for changes to the system configuration or the installation of software. Such changes should be kept to a minimum to ensure the proper functioning of the computer and to prevent inadvertent infection by malicious software such as viruses and other malware.
The School of Dentistry creates all new computer user accounts as standard Windows users. All personnel except for system administrators log in using standard user accounts in accordance with established VCU and state policy, security guidelines and best-practice recommendations.
Full-time faculty may request an exception to this policy and be granted access to an administrator account. Exception requests will be reviewed by the Dentistry IT director and forwarded to the School of Dentistry dean for approval. All requests should be submitted using an Administrator Account Exception Request Form and should include the specific reason for administrator privileges. Any faculty member who receives an administrator computer account should be aware of the following:
- Administrator account users must be prepared to assume additional responsibilities in the use of that computer including periodic patch installation, software updates and special care to avoid security threats such as viruses and other malware.
- Any administrator accounts issued are to be used only for making changes to the computer. All other processing should be performed using a standard user account. Administrator accounts will not have access to VCU network resources except for Internet access.
- Exceptions will be reviewed periodically and personnel who repeatedly require additional technical assistance due to the use of administrator accounts will be transferred to a standard user account.
Whenever possible, Dentistry IT will perform software service via remote support
software. Since remote support (and support rendered at the computer) may give Dentistry
IT staff access to privileged or confidential files, abuse of these access rights
is grounds for disciplinary action under the VCU Employee Work Profile Confidentiality
and Compliance Statement.
Training will prevent many PC-related problems before they occur. Dentistry personnel
are also encouraged to receive training in each specific software application (Word,
Excel, etc.) he or she plans to use within 60 days of employment or installation
of new software. VCU offers free instructor-led or self-paced training courses. Visit
the VCU Technology Services website
for a list of available courses. All new hires
must pass HIPAA and OSHA exams as determined by the office of the executive
dean before new accounts are set up.
Each person using a PC is responsible for backing up data files and documents stored
on his or her own computer. Files stored on dentistry network drives are backed
up automatically. Dentistry IT recommends that any critical files be stored on a
network drive. Each department has a network drive for shared department files.
Any faculty or staff member may request a personal network drive.
Network cabling is installed by VCU Network Services. Anyone requiring network cabling should submit a computer work order for installation or relocation of equipment.
Dentistry computer policies are in compliance with:
- VCU Computer and Network Resources Use Policy
- VCU Information Security Policy
- Commonwealth of Virginia Information Technology Resource Management Information Security Standard (SEC501-06)
- Virginia Department of Human Resource Management – Use of Electronic Communications and Social Media (Policy 1.75)