Why?: A clear office policy (on appropriate and safe internet and computer usage) increases Staff productivity and lessens the risk of office computer problems?
First Question: The first thing we usually try to understand is what prompted this inquiry. For example, are you experiencing issues at the office with staff on the internet? Do you think your computers (email, social media, or web surfing) are causing a problem? Or, do you feel they may potentially cause a problem? Answering these questions should help you define your goals of your policy.
Tools: Our tools limit internet usage, and can be customized for each practice if they wish. Many practices restrict internet usage to only certain categories of websites, and even only on certain computers. So, your operatory computers may be more limited to “internet usage”, while the front desk computers may be less restrictive. In addition, we can let the doctor’s computer have even greater freedom if desired. It’s really a personal preference and the degree of restrictions is up to you.
If you already have restriction settings, but you are finding the current setup is allowing too much personal freedom and potentially introducing risk (opening the door to viruses), we can review options with you.
Policies: In terms of just establishing an office policy, you will find there are many sample policies available on the internet which your practice could adopt. Many practices include a usage policy within their HR employee handbook – “Acceptable Computer Usage” – which would help outline the ways computers should be used in the practice. For example, you might allow Facebook usage, but only if it is to respond to the official practice Facebook page. Or, you might allow email, but only email that is related to the practice.
The link below includes a sample usage policy published by a well-respected dental practice management consultant (Sandy Pardue).