Intranet may serve you well

Intranet may serve you well

Apr 01, 2002

Las Vegas-If you ask Dr. Paul Hobson, setting up a simple intranet can save you and your staff the most precious commodity of all - time.

In a presentation at the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC), Hobson touted the benefits of setting up an intranet as a way to access commonly used forms, hospital manuals and client information sheets.

Hobson, who owns three hospitals in London, England, says that setting up this type of system that can only be accessed by your staff offers a host of commonly used documents.

An intranet is a private computerized network inside a hospital, and is only accessible internally.

"What is an intranet in practical and real terms? It is like having your own private Web page in your practice," Hobson explains.

Hobson says his practices use an intranet for:

* vaccine information

* client handouts

* hospital policies

* reception protocols

* staff and client telephone directory

* laboratory test protocols

* clinical protocols

* active links to Internet sites

* practice manuals

* health and safety information

* instructions on how to make puppy and kitten kits for new pet owners.

* And even how to troubleshoot problems with the label printer.

Hobson says that while most practices are setting up and maintaining Internet sites for clients, they should also consider setting up an intranet. The result will improve efficiency and help save time.

The intranet site can be extremely simple in design, yet very practical to gain access to information quickly. He adds, his intranet site just uses Microsoft Word documents saved as html documents and hosted on the practice's computer server. To start off, get familiar with simple Web authoring software on the market.

Initially, you may need to have a professional set up the structure, but in his practice a hospital staffer with an interest in computers did the majority of the work.

The end result is that it allows veterinarians, technicians and receptionists the ability to find information quickly and at any workstation in the hospital.

"You really need to keep it simple to get started," Hobson adds.