Why should I join a national network of optometrists who provide vision therapy and other specialized services?
Parents and patients have a strong need to seek information and endorsements from others who share the same purpose. On-line communities are thriving on the web, especially in healthcare.
The public's strong need to communicate and the interactive power of the web are such a perfect match that on-line healthcare communities will evolve regardless of whether professionals (in this case, optometrists) are involved or not.
Join us! Harness the power of the internet for your practice. Carpe diem!
If optometrists do not participate in the building of on-line medical communities, the evolution of eye care, vision care, and visual health services will be driven solely by consumers and commercial interests. By forming an internet network, optometrists have the opportunity to create an optimal educational experience, match patients with eye doctors, and get feedback from patients.
- Why do I need a web site for my optometric practice?
Public use of the Internet for health care information and referrals is growing rapidly! A visible presence on the Web can really energize your vision care business.
Your practice will benefit by (1) being found through the internet search engines (Google, Yahoo/MSN, etc.); (2) receiving on-line referrals; and (3) offering patient education to prospective and current patients.
According to a 2006 Pew research survery, eighty percent of American internet users, or some 113 million adults, have searched for information on health topics. Most internet users surveyed said they started at a general search engine when researching health and medical advice online.
A Pew Internet Project 2008 survey confirmed that "information gathering has become a habit for many Americans, particularly those in the 55% of households with broadband connections. 78% of home broadband users looked online for health information, compared with 70% of home dial-up users.
- How will people find me in the network?
People use the search engines and referring links to find our patient education eye care articles. Then, a prospective patient will find you by searching through our FIND A DOCTOR directory or by following links to your web site. And people can go directly to your web site from Our Members section.
Find out more about how Optometrists Network works at links, listings, web traffic, and patient education.
- How can I get the most out of my web site?
Your web site is an invaluable patient education and public relations tool. Don't just wait passively for people to come to you. Communication is a two-way street.
Generate word-of-mouth in your local area. Tell people, parents, current patients, etc. to go directly to your web site to find helpful patient education. It's much easier to get many people to visit a web site than it is to get them to pick up the phone and call you!
Put your web address in all your collateral and advertising. Put your web site address in the signature line at the bottom of all your email messages. Publicize your web site in the recorded messages on your phone system.
Use the patient education in your web site in your practice. Many have found that their web site makes life easier by replacing or supplementing in-office materials (flyers, brochures, photocopies, etc.).
Make full use of the content in the network. As long as you are a member, you are licensed to use our copyrighted patient education content in a single private practice web site or in marketing print materials for the same private practice.
We have more ideas about how to get the most out of your web site. Join us and find out more!
- How should I respond to my referral from the FIND A DOCTOR on-line referral system? Should I follow up?
We recommend that you follow-up by sending the prospective patient a short prompt email message. Remember, in this case, the prospective patient did NOT email you directly. You have received a record from the FIND A DOCTOR system that someone did a search and clicked on your listing to get your contact information. So, your email follow-up should serve as an introduction and an invitation to the person to email or telephone you directly.
It is also recommended that you acknowledge any personal questions or information that the parent or prospective patient voluntarily included in her referral request.
If you are still unclear as to how the referral system works, see FIND A DOCTOR - Terms and Conditions.
Does Optometrists Network offer internet access or set up email in my office itself?
No. We are publishers of patient education content and links. We are not your "webmaster" or IT consultant. We do not provide telephone support for any of your internal office IT or email issues. As a convenience -- for our members only -- we provide optional domain name web hosting.