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Reasons for this site


In 1996 I presented "The Gravel Track to the Information Highway: some thoughts on how electronic information exchange could facilitate our cooperative efforts in Hospital Dentistry". Last year this became "The Tar Seal Track to the Information Highway: becoming wired in Hospital Dentistry"

Encouraged by the support I received: a dental supply company offering to underwrite the costs of hosting the website and the commitment from several colleagues to provide copy and maintain their area of special interest, I have continued to explore the Hospital Dentistry Website initiative.

During the year several important changes have emerged on the Internet. The most important for us being the development of Website software packages that make the authoring of a website relatively easy. The maintenance of the site by a group of people is straightforward. Access can be password protected, levels of access are easy to define and assign, and security of the site is assured. Of packages available Microsoft FrontPage is the one of choice.

To give you some idea of what is possible I have constructed the backbone of the site. Here is a Home Page which is hyperlinked to other material. "Oral Care of the Terminally Ill Patient" is internally hyperlinked and demonstrates the interconnectivity possible. The David Hay papers are basically text much as you would have in a folder or handout.

One of FrontPage's features is the ease of use, especially on site keyword searches. Such a search finds the keywords and then generates hyperlinks to them. This makes recovering information that the author has not already hyperlinked easy to recover.

For those of you who are interested in helping me develop the site I am waiting to hear from you. Use the contact page on the Website.

Acknowledgments:

I would like to thank David Hay for his generosity in supplying Auckland Hospital's protocols for Xerostomia, Radiation treatment to the Head and Neck, and patients undergoing chemotherapy. As well, to Andrew Hamer from WEBCards for his assistance in the initial preparation of this site and to Lisa Newick, website designer for WEBCards, who has reorganised the site to make it more user friendly for patients and clinicians alike to get a sneak preview of the site's potential. Finally, Information Services, Canterbury Health Limited, especially Geoff Goulding, for his cheerful help with installing hardware, software, and bolting me to the Company's Network.

I hope to be able to convince the New Zealand Dental Industries Association to be the major sponser of this site. In discussions to date they have been quick to appreciate the power of the Hospital Dentistry Website initiatve. Watch this space for developments.

Kevin B. Scally


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