Veterinary group to update all its Web sites


New sites will feature blogging by doctors and news and tips updated monthly.

Many veterinary practice Web sites are just static online brochures. And there's nothing wrong with that, says Dr. Ted Sprinkle Jr., CEO and cofounder of Pet Partners, a privately owned group of more than 20 veterinary practices in at least nine states. “But it's just the first step,” he says.

That's why Pet Partners is working with a marketing agency and a multimedia developer to redesign Pet Partners practice Web sites nationwide to be more interactive and up-to-date. Dr. Sprinkle says the new sites will include general information about practices and their teams as well as interactive blogging software to let doctors communicate directly with their clientele. Writers at the marketing agency will gather national, state, and local stories affecting Pet Partners' clients and update all the sites on a monthly basis. Notable medical cases drawn from Pet Partners clinics may also be featured.

Dr. Sprinkle says that veterinarians need to do a better job of communicating online with clients and the public. “We're not dictating the pace of information the way we did 15 years ago,” he says. “The demand for this information and technology is really coming from the clients.” Dr. Sprinkle says online communication will be key in veterinary practice in the future. “We have a population of young doctors who understand the Web and blogging,” he says. “They're thrilled with this.”

Pet Partners will test its new Web site design at North Ridge Veterinary Hospital in Madison, Ohio, and roll out sites for more practices later this year.

If you've been waiting to update your practice's Web site, there's no better time than now. See related links below for tips on what needs to be on your Web site and how you can help clients sift through information from the Internet.

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