Social networking is becoming an important adjunct in healthcare, allowing patients and providers to connect. Montgomery Eye Care is using technology to the fullest with an enhanced new Website, a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter account.

The Website, www.mecnj.com, serves a variety of purposes. First, it enables patients and prospective patients to get a good feel for Montgomery Eye Care’s philosophy. They learn the practice, run by Dr. Mary Boname, is a family-oriented, “Norman Rockwell” office backed by the latest and greatest in eye health and eye care. The site also enables patients to learn more about Dr. Boname and Ben Fazio, the practice’s licensed optician, as well as upcoming news and events.

“What’s great about the online technology is that we can communicate with patients in a variety of ways,” she noted. “We can notify patients when they’re due for an exam. We can alert them of events, new products and other items of interest. Patients can even order their contact lenses right from our site.”

The contact lens ordering system is another example of Montgomery Eye Care’s growing use of technology. Patients can order lenses 24/7 and have them shipped directly to them. Dr. Boname transmits the prescription for the lenses, including an expiration date, to the vendor. This helps maintain patients’ ocular and visual health, as it also triggers a yearly visit.

“Our social networking sites on Facebook and Twitter are other ‘instant’ means for updating our patients, and for letting prospective patients know what we’re all about,” said Dr. Boname. “What’s exciting is that patients who wish to communicate with each other can do so. It’s also putting us in touch with other healthcare professionals around the country.”

Dr. Boname has discovered these methods can be effective when patients move. She can get recommendations for patients and can stay in touch with her former patients and their new caregivers. Montgomery Eye Care patients are somewhat like family, so maintaining the connection is important.

“I also have patients who move but don’t leave us,” she added. “They come back to the area for their routine exams. And because we can post or tweet or email, it’s as if they’ve never left.”

Montgomery Eye Care’s fan base is strong among its loyal patients and is growing online. The Facebook page just launched and is at close to 100 fans already. The Twitter account has more than 250 national and international followers, plus eight eye health-related lists.

Dr. Boname also garners press the old-fashioned way. She is the March cover feature for Contact Lens Profit Advisor, a supplement in the nationally distributed “Review of Optometry.”

Montgomery Eye Care offers patients comprehensive eye care, plus a large variety of glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. The office is open Monday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours may vary near holidays, so call or check the front door.

Montgomery Eye Care. Montgomery Center, 1325 Route 206, Suite 24, Skillman. 609-279-0005. info@mecnj.com. www.mecnj.com

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