What’s In It For You?
  By Steven D. Atwood,  M.D.                                                    9.7.99  for GCMS                  

If you are still using a typewriter for your office dictation or filing your insurance claims by mailing HC1500 forms, then perhaps this report is not for you.  But, if you want an inexpensive and easy way to enhance your practice and service to your patients, then it is the time for your practice to start using the Internet.
     Technology is rapidly changing the way we live and work.  Perhaps much of our present economic prosperity is directly related to our technological success.  Soon the Internet may be used as frequently as we use our phone,  with  advantages of the Internet including the fact that it can manage virtually unlimited amounts of information and operation 24 hours per day.
Urology Surgical Associates in Springfield was the first local office to offer its own web site [1].  Since then several other offices have posted their own sites [2-5]. Perhaps the best office web site in Springfield was set up by Terry Nye, M.D. for the Department of Internal Medicine at Smith-Glynn-Calloway Clinic [2] but Dr. Cady’s office web site [5] is equally as good and  designed for a national market.
     Setting up an office web site is really as easy as completing five basic steps.  Setup can be completed for under $150 and  yearly maintenance fees can be as low as $250.   So with such limited expense, what are you waiting for?

1   Authoring Program FrontPage 2000 perhaps easiest & most functionality
Flash & Dreamweaver  are for experts & if you want multimedia
do not need to know html or javascript code for a simple site
2   Reserve Address Internic now at
costs $75-$150  to register
your name becomes your property
3   ISP any isp can host for you & location & size make little difference
ISP supplies CGI for basic forms & FrontPage extensions
ISP supplies up to 50 megs of space, unlimited ftp uploads, aliasing
rates typically about $20 / month,  charged monthly with no minimum
      and $10-20/mo extra  if you add a database link
4   Design hardest part and 1/2 your time will be deciding what to post &
      then setting it up so it looks ok.  A beginner can make a web
      page is an hour or so.
Digital Cameras are easy to borrow & work well.  Kinko's will digitize
   any picture w/o a copywright as a jpg for $3.  Use GIF for graphics,
    animated drawings, and drawings with a background that blends in
    with the page background.  Use JGP  (JPEG) for any picture with
    faces, or many variable colors or shapes.
 Keep picture size below 10k and total page size below 100k.
5   Post any  FTP program will work.  They are usually free software that links
     your computer to the ISP so you see a Windows FileManager type
     structure & can upload, download, move, copy, delete.
Keep you graphics in one subdirectory.
The first page of each subdirectory is index.htm.
Stay with 8.3 file names & avoid capital letters. Windows truncates
    names that are not 8.3 & Unix & Linux are case specific.

Consider:     e-mail on your business card
                    aliased e-mail to your office departments
                    a submit form to your receptionist for registration
                    pdf files made by Acrobat to have instructions & information that will always view exactly as
                          you made it
                    profile your services & providers to help those trying to select a doctor
                    give your patients links that you think provide reliable info about your type of services

[1]                                 Urology Surgical Associates              
[2]           Smith-Glynn-Calloway Clinic, Dept of Internal Medicine
[3]                               Whiteside Adult Medicine
[4]      Springfield Clinic of Internal Medicine      
[5]               Headache Care Center
[6]                            Internic
[7]                list of key places for Medical Searches
[8]                                         Dr. Clark's ER web site
[9]                                  Dr. Steele's Pediatric web site

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