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Optometrical Practice Management Newsletter - Tips & Reviews. Volume 5. June 2006

Computerisation: Distributed Environments

What do we do when we have more than one practice? This question arose recently with an Optom running a central ‘main’ practice, with 3 part-time ‘remote’ practices. Richard Rees from Lookup IT services dissects the important issues.

Read on for more.



















Visit Porsche Design


Rodenstock Australia

Porsche frames position our practice to the business professional.
Get your patients to test drive this premium product.  It's success in our practice has amazed us.



Results of last months poll

What is your main concern about optometry?

31 optometrists voted last month.

  • 32% were concerned about low consultation fees
  • 16% were concerned about maintaining profitability
  • 13% were concerned about needing good staff

It is clear that low consultation fees are by far the most important concern amongst the average optometrist today. This is especially true when taken in the context of recent AusOptom chatline discussions. I will discuss this topic in detail next month, as charging appropriate fees is critical in being able to afford the new technological advances that your patients deserve.





From February this year I have started a BLOG called Keratoconus. Many of you will know that I see many keratoconic patients and the misconceptions I encounter every day require discussion. Follow the link below, all comments are welcome. Your keratoconic patients are welcome to visit and comment also.






Therapeutic Review: Dr Anthony Maloof joins us again next month

Computerisation: Distributed Environments (Part 1)

What do we do when we have more than one site? This question arose recently with an Optom running a central ‘main’ practice, with 3 part-time ‘remote’ practices.

Well, there are a few ways to deal with this scenario. For this discussion, we’re assuming a Microsoft Windows environment is required due to the mainstream support for Microsoft Products within our industry.

There are 2 main trains of thought here. The first is pure Terminal Services, and the second is its little brother, Remote Web Workplace. Let’s look at Terminal Services first.

Terminal Services
Terminal Server lets you deliver Windows-based applications, or the Windows desktop itself, to virtually any computing device. You can get the Microsoft spiel here.

Basically, a Terminal Server allows you to connect using Terminal Client Software, and work on the terminal server as if you were sitting in front of it, as if the keyboard and mouse were connected directly to the server itself.

The beauty of this is that you can do it from anywhere (e.g. from a remote practice, or from overseas) and not use a whole lot of network bandwidth, because very little data is travelling to and from the Terminal Server. All that is being sent up to the server is your keyboard and mouse input, and all that is coming back is the screen image. The actual data processing is happening on the Terminal Server.

If ever you’ve used remote access software such as PCAnywhere or VNC, you’ve done something akin to using a Terminal Service environment. It looks a bit like this:



User Software (Optimate, Word, Outlook etc.) only need to be installed on the server.
Keeping up to date is made much simpler

The Terminal Server must be $$ grunty and should not be used for anything else
(you’ll still need a normal domain server)

You can use really low-spec workstations as Terminal client machines. The server does all the work.

Terminal Server licenses are not inexpensive

More complexity in initial network configuration

Can be easily distributed over the Internet as well as within the office.

You still need to plug Diagnostic gear into at least one ‘real’ workstation

Stay tuned next month when we will discuss Remote Web Workplace.








The 7 Critical Mistakes that


Optometrists Make in Their Practices

And how to avoid them

By Jim Kokkinakis













Visit Lookup for all your IT needs

Therapeutic Review: Stay tuned next month for the next article by Dr Maloof. It will further expand on lid disease.

Read this for Dr Anthony Maloof's biography


Anthony would welcome your enquiries at:


Phone: 1300 303 669

Rooms (Sydney city):

Suite 13, Level 9, William Bland Building, 229-231 Macquarie St Sydney 2000

Rooms (Westmead):

Suite 7, The Ashley Centre, 1a Ashley Lane, Westmead 2145



Next month:

Computerisation Part 2

Lid Disease

Billing Outside of Medicare







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