Microsoft small business tools help medical practice increase efficiencyLast year tech vendors began wooing small businesses, and\u00a0Microsoft\u00a0was no exception. One small business owner who took advantage of all the attention was Dr. Arthur Lavin, who began using\u00a0Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003\u00a0and Small Business Server 2003 - along with third-party electronic records management applications - to create a new paperless medical practice.Lavin has long believed the paper chart was a dinosaur. \u201cEvery time a piece of data comes in or out, or any time there\u2019s a transaction, somebody has to pull the patient\u2019s chart, [add] new information and refile the chart. That\u2019s an awkward way to run a database,\u201d Lavin says.Teaming up with Dr. Mary Stacia Dearmin, in 2002, the Beachwood, Ohio, pediatrician launched Advanced Pediatrics. In the office, there are no chart racks; all records are maintained electronically. Staffers use Compaq TC1000 Tablet PCs and a notebook PC equipped with wireless network cards to share data, as well as a Compaq desktop equipped with Office Small Business Edition 2003 connected to a network running Small Business Server 2003. Advanced Pediatrics relies on two electronic medical records packages to maintain patient records and track billing and scheduling. A local IT consultant helped Lavin and Dearmin design the network he now manages.In May 2002, Advanced Pediatrics participated in the Office Small Business Edition 2003 beta tests, and also took part in the small business solutions program set up by Microsoft and its technology partners. Microsoft helped the new practice develop a corporate identity using Microsoft Publish, which obviated the need to hire an expensive public relations firm. After some initial guidance from a graphic artist, Lavin developed a company logo, business card and newsletter. \u201cPublisher tools provide us with an enterprise level look and feel, yet we are only seven people,\u201d he says.Lavin was also satisfied with Microsoft Small Business Server 2003. \u201cIt takes a good IT person 15 minutes to install and establish a pretty sophisticated office computer network with home access and features that used to be only available to an enterprise user,\u201d he says. The Web Access feature lets Lavin access Office programs from home via the Internet, so he can leave the office at 5:30.\u201cWith Remote Web Workplace, I have my office computer, as I left it, on my home computer screen,\u201d he says. \u201cRather than finish up chart notes or complete business work after seeing patients in the office, I go home and finish the day\u2019s work when it doesn\u2019t interfere with family or social time.\u201dMicrosoft Small Business Server Standard Edition costs $600 (for five user licenses). Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003 costs $500 new, $279 with an upgrade from Office 97 or higher.\u201cIt\u2019s pretty cheap for what you get. You\u2019re going to get that money back in a jiffy, I think,\u201d Lavin says.