Many Practices are offering iPads in the patient waiting room area. The uses are seemingly endless:
Completing patient online health history (like Dolphin’s Super Questionnaire)
Enrolling for future patient online communications (like Sesame’s online services)
Friending your practice on Facebook
e-Magazine reader rather than having many hard copy subscriptions
Games (such as Angry Birds)
Setting up an iPad with WiFi in the lobby is pretty easy, but how do you keep it from walking out the door? We’ve seen a few successful approaches:
If you order your iPad online from the Apple store they offer free engraving (up to 2 lines). We suggest something like the Practice Name and Web URL. Essentially if Mom see’s Johnny with a new iPad and has a look at it, she sees it belonged to his Orthodontist and will hopefully return it. If it’s engraved it might act to discourage the prospective thief.
If you already own your iPad, you can engrave it yourself with a simple engraving tool.
In addition to engraving it, why not consider really making it unique by painting the back of the iPad in whacky colors or patterns with nail polish. Sounds silly I know, but who’s really going to try and steal a bright pink iPad? It would draw additional attention to the iPad (and parents).
Swap for it
A simple method would be to sign out the iPad, perhaps swap the iPad(s) available at the front desk for their car keys.
How about locking the iPad up somehow? The iPad was not designed with a Kensington lock slot like most computer peripherals. While there are rigid mounts available for iPads, this restricts their motion and thus usefulness. We’ve found a simple mount that includes a tether cable.
It has a clear plastic case that wraps the iPad
It Includes a small stainless steel cable you lock to the clear case
You anchor the case to a counter or chair leg with the 6 ft. cable
It Includes a ‘kick stand’ that allows it to hold the iPad upright on a counter
We also still recommend that you engrave your iPad.
The device isn’t very expensive, and may be the solution you are looking for. It’s available for about $70 from MacLocks.com.
Some other suggestions for your lobby iPads:
You should record the Serial Number of your iPad in case it is stolen.
You can also create and save a special desktop background that has your practices logo on it. One more step to help deter a prospective thief.
Finally, you can play with the parental control settings to restrict what the user can do with the iPad.
Since your existing IT person didn’t suggest this to you, perhaps you would consider working with the people that did. If you need a little help setting this up with your Practice, this is what MME Consulting does. We can help you implement this quickly and efficiently. Just give us a call at 866-419-1102 or check us out online at www.mmeconsulting.com.
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I’d like to hear your comments on this topic (successes or not). Please leave your comments here on this blog.