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Palmer College

Your practice and Web 2.0

"The internet? We are not interested in it."—attributed to Bill Gates, 1993

"The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow."—Bill Gates, 2003

The Internet has seemingly unlimited possibilities– e-mail, blogging, podcasting, video conferencing, social media, wikis, site sharing and beyond. But can they work for you? A number of Palmer alumni say, yes.

“In today’s society of technology and information, I think it is extremely important for a chiropractor to have a website,” says Julie (Meyer) Howard, D.C., Davenport ’04. “Posting timely information, newsletters, events, etc., on the site can help spread positive information about chiropractic and the benefits of chiropractic care.”

Dr. Howard designed her own site, www.lifearts. 8k.com, on a low-cost Web hosting service, allowing her to control her site and keep costs minimal. The site offers 24-hour access to her practice and services, including patient forms, testimonials, frequently asked questions, what to expect on the first visit and online payments.

Facebook, too, has become an asset for Dr. Howard. Along with her personal profile page, she has a fan page for her practice, LifeArts - Howard Chiropractic, PC, where she posts information and articles on chiropractic and health. Facebook has become a patient referral tool, as well.

“A current patient will post something positive about her care on Facebook, and a friend of hers will reply. I’ve actually watched referrals to my office happen on Facebook!” she says.

According to Webopedia.com, the term “Web 2.0” is being used to describe “a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online.”

Matthew Loop, D.C., CEO of DCincome.com, a site that focuses on Web 2.0 chiropractic marketing, says that if you think social media is big now, it’s only going to get “bigger and badder” in the coming years.

Chad Rohlfsen, D.C., Davenport, ’98, was the first Clinic student on the Davenport Campus to not only list his e-mail address on his student clinic business cards, but the first to list his website. He designed his site in 1995 in the days when it was necessary to know HTML coding in order to create one. Then, in 1997, half a million people visited his site to read his article, “Antibiotics Now and Then.”

“Social media is an emerging main form of communication in our society today,” says Dr. Rohlfsen. “It will give the chiropractic profession a level playing field to share common sense ideas with the general public.”

Dr. Rohlfsen is very active online, posting updates on Facebook and Twitter, hosting live Web talks and podcasting. His site, www.rohlfsen.com, features a new patient center, chiropractic videos, links to social media, and a link for e-mailing patient appointment requests.

“I have chiropractic friends who have 200-350 friends in common with me. So when I send a news article out, it has ripple effects that chiropractic has never experienced before. It allows the chiropractic profession to come together and have a unified voice in healthcare matters,” says Dr. Rohlfsen.

How can you take advantage of what Web 2.0 has to offer? “Do a little bit to build your brand each day,” says Dr. Loop. “Most doctors are on their computers daily, but typically don’t use it as a productive time to market their office. Get in the habit of meeting 20 people from your local community each day on Facebook. Get to know your audience and build trust, likeability and credibility.”

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