Optometric Management Tip # 193   -   Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Using the Internet in Your Practice

Since this newsletter is only delivered via email, itís a safe bet that you have Internet access, and I would even venture that most readers are fairly tech-savvy. Still, I was surprised to see that a recent survey of million-dollar plus eye care practices revealed that 30% do not have a practice website, and many doctors have personal email accounts, but donít use email as a business tool. It made me think that it would be a good idea to review the practice management benefits of using the Internet and email.

High speed connection

I expect that most people have already converted to DSL, cable or some other form of broadband connection. To really make the Internet work properly, you need high-speed access and always-on capability. Dial-up connections are a thing of the past and you just wonít use the Internet and email to a great extent if itís slow, inconvenient, and incapable of displaying attachments, files and graphics with large amounts of data. Donít let the monthly cost hold you back. Iíd view it as a small investment that yields one of the most powerful business tools available.

Email

How did we ever get along without email? It is truly a breakthrough in communication, offering excellent speed and privacy, without the intrusive nature of phone calls. It eliminates phone tag and you can read and respond on your own schedule; day or night. Of course, email is only effective if the other party checks for messages, and the more frequently he or she checks, the better it works! So leave your computer on with your email program running at all times, and youíll realize the full benefits and ease of email.

Email has many uses beyond personal correspondence for the doctor. Consider these email business functions, along with a few nuances: Internet uses for eye care The Internet offers many advantages to eye care practitioners, and more applications are being developed all the time. Invest in technology and stay active with it to keep your practice progressing.


Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management