Signal is an open source, no-cost, highly encrypted, group based, site to site instant messaging system. It works on Apple and Android phones, and desktop computers. No one can read transmitted traffic other than the designated targets, and there is no commercial entity such as Facebook or Microsoft waiting to data-mine your communications unlike other applications, no metadata stripping, and no advertisements.
After installing the Signal app on your device one creates chat groups of individuals in your contact list. For example today’s on-call group would include all surgeons on call, the surgical assistant, the OR nurses, the charge nurse, the clerical staff in the operating room and labour and delivery, the obstetrician, support staff and would allow real-time communication. What cases are pending? Who is next? Other issues? Anesthesia is gone for a C-section? Possibilities are endless. Everyone sees every message sent into the chat group.
An office website requires a domain name (ex. www.drsmith.com) and hosting of the domain. Have a look at the Staff listing to see examples of physician websites. Companies such as namecheap.com or godaddy.com can do both. Your IT consultant can easily set up both for you resulting in more efficient use of your office staff.
Google offers business accounts at no charge. As the most popular search engine, surgeons need to take advantage of this resource to provide patients with needed information such as phone numbers, location, hours of operation, scope of practice, and office website without significant resource costs. Search “Google My Business” and you will be able to set up your own business listing.
As the second most popular search engine, surgeons need an account with Bing as well. Search “Bing places for business” to set up your own listing.