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Who's watching you? Managing the Internet to position yourself for success (Proceedings)

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Apr 01, 2010

Internet

     a. 5 reasons why you need it
          i. Research diseases, new technology and products and additional services - Connect to the AVMA, veterinary colleges, research sites to keep up with the most current information. Look at and research new products that are coming on the market, read other's reviews of these products.
          ii. Web site - This is a way for you to communicate with your current and future clients, answer frequently asked questions, tell the history of your practice, introduce your services and the veterinarians who provide them, and share who you are and what you do. You can provide them with links to research behavioral or medical issues for their pets as well as back issues of your newsletter.
          iii. Communication
               1. Clients - via email for reminders, newsletters, general communication
               2. Vendors (ordering)
               3. Your accountant - send and receive information
               4. Other veterinarians - chat, discuss issues, stay in touch
               5. Electronic faxes - do away with all the paper and easily keep track of important data
          iv. Internet pharmacy and store
               1. Advertising and Marketing
               2. Market your practice to the public and share updated/seasonally relevant information
               3. Announce open house or special promotions i.e. dental month
               4. Place ads and receive resumes from job applicants
     b. 4 ways to make it safe - employees don't realize or sometimes don't care about the threats that are out there when they are surfing the web. There are several ways that you can help to add layers of protection for your practice, your software, your employees' and your clients' privacy.
          i. Policy
               1. Computer, Email and Internet Usage Policy & Blogging Policy

Computer, Email and Internet Usage

Employees should not have the expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive on the computer system. The computer system belongs to [Practice Name] and may only be used for business purposes.

Employees are not to use the Internet for personal use. Internet access is provided at each terminal to enable employees to gather knowledge relevant to veterinary medicine. In our technological age, Internet access keeps us up-to-date and it is to be used properly by employees or access will be denied. Accessing pornographic or hate sites will be grounds for immediate dismissal. Material that is fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, profane, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful, inappropriate, offensive (including offensive material concerning sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or other characteristics protected by law) or violate [Practice Name]'s equal employment opportunity policy and its policies against sexual or other harassment may not be downloaded from the Internet or displayed or stored in [Practice Name]'s computers.

Employees encountering or receiving this kind of material should immediately report the incident to their supervisor or the Practice Manager.

The email system is the private information system of [Practice Name]. Individuals using this system expressly consent to monitoring of their activities. Personal e-mail should be checked on personal time. Anything transmitted by, received from or stored in the email system are the property of [Practice Name] and employees should have no expectation of privacy in the connection with the use of the email system or the internet, or the transmission, receipt, or storage of information in that system.

Violation of this policy shall result in the appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

[Practice Name], in its discretion as owner of the e-mail system, reserves and may exercise the right to monitor, access, retrieve, and delete any matter stored in, created, received, or sent over the e-mail system, for any reason and without the permission of any employee. [Practice Name] intends to enforce this policy, but reserves the right to change it at any time as circumstances may require.