Internet's "Speedy" message

Aug. 4, 2006
Advertising with "Speedy" technology is synonymous with saving time and money — a desired benefit for staff recruitment in dentistry.

By Cathy Price RDH, BS

The Internet was first developed in 1957 when the Soviets launched Sputnik, an act of technological supremacy that prompted President Eisenhower to create the Advanced Research Project's Agency (ARPA). The purpose of the ARPA was to develop a strategic network that would remain operational even if a nuclear attack destroyed one or more of its nodes. By 1969, an attempt at such a network began operating between four U.S. research institutions. From these four nodes, the network grew to the global system it is today.

Originally used exclusively by government and educational institutions, various developments made it possible for commercial organizations to take part in, and eventually dominate, the network. Use of the Internet has permeated almost every aspect of traditional business, and dentistry is no exception. From managing patient records to recruiting staff, dental offices, laboratories, manufactures and distributors have slowly but surely merged onto the information superhighway.

How has the Internet trend benefited the dental industry?

Although computers initially appeared in dental offices in the 1960s, it wasn't until the '90s that they became an integral part of practice management. Before the Internet, computers offered few benefits and many costs, which made them impractical for the dental office. Technological advances now allow dentists to do everyday tasks online, thus saving time and money.

One area of practice management that has been truly revolutionized by the Internet is recruiting staff. Employers who have job openings can place their job advertisements, and workers looking for jobs can place their resumes on the information superhighway. Communications between employers and workers are driven (exceeding the 55 mph limit) to their target audience, saving time for both parties. With Internet technology as the catalyst, the facilitated communications become so efficient, even Speedy Gonzalez would be proud!

For example, matches job ads to posted resumes according to geographic locations and job positions. Dental employers receive matching resumes via e-mail while dental workers receive employers' job ads. Employers still receive phone calls and faxes per the information in the unlimited text of their job ads. However, unlike traditional ads found in local newspapers, online dental job ads can be placed simultaneously in multiple geographic locations and directed to the target dental audience. Because it is all done online, dental workers are found sooner by employers for interviews. Using the Internet to advertise for dental job openings saves time and money.

Clearly the traditions of dental practice management received a major overhaul with the creation of the Internet. Who would have thought that a piece of tin with a funny name would have such an effect on dentistry?

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Cathy Price RDH, BS, is president of She can be contacted at [email protected] or 310-689-0576.