AAOS Bulletin - December, 2005

Your Orthopaedic Connection enhances content, features

AAOS patient education site attracts 1.5 million page views monthly

By Nancy Fehr

What’s the most reliable site for orthopaedic patient information on the Internet? Where can you send your patients and referring physicians, knowing that they’ll get accurate information, without hype or bias? And where can you go to help populate the patient education section of your practice Web site?

The answer to all three questions is the same: the AAOS patient education Web site, Your Orthopaedic Connection (YOC)—www.orthoinfo.org/stories

If it’s been a while since you visited the site, it’s time to take another look. Your Orthopaedic Connection has added new, user-friendly features and enhanced content. A new, streamlined banner masthead has been added, still featuring the slogan, “Orthopaedic information you can trust”—the Web site’s mission. With recently installed updates—from Google™ search technology to additional topic areas—it’s no wonder that YOC is the most popular section of the AAOS Web site. The site attracted more than 1.5 million page views a month in both October and November 2005.

Google it

More than 25 percent of visitors to YOC arrive because of a referral from Google. Now, Google search technology has been added to Your Orthopaedic Connection. It is helping users to locate information they seek more quickly and efficiently, using the search box that appears on the top of every page.

Why Google? “Google is an industry standard that end-users already know how to use,” explained James Ogle, director of information and member services. This new search engine also can index additional types of documents, such as Adobe PDF files. It also recognizes possible misspelled words (“rotater cuff”) and suggests the correct option (“Do you mean rotator cuff?”), helping to ensure that visitors find what they need.

Printer-friendly option

In many offices, downloaded, printed handouts of Web materials are used to supplement printed patient education brochures or booklets. With the new “Printer Friendly” link at the upper right hand corner of every article on YOC, you get one-click access to a print-ready copy of the article, complete with the URL (Web page address) spelled out at the bottom of the page for future reference. It’s an easy way to provide your patients with materials to review after the office visit and to share with friends and family members.

E-mail to a friend

Another new user-friendly feature also can be found in the upper right hand corner of every article: the “E-mail to a Friend” link. This tool lets you electronically send a copy of the article to a friend, family member, patient or colleague simply by typing in their e-mail address. The e-mail shows you as the sender and includes a standard message: “I saw this article on Your Orthopaedic Connection from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and thought it might be of interest to you.” You can also change this message or the subject line to personalize your e-mail.

New topic areas

Information on YOC is organized both by anatomic area and topic areas. Three new topic areas organize information in easily accessible categories.

The new section on Joint Replacement currently includes articles related to knee, hip, shoulder and wrist arthroplasty. Information on total ankle arthroplasty and other joint replacements is planned and will soon be added.

New articles cover minimally invasive surgery for both hip and knee replacements. You’ll also find information about related topics such as anesthesia, deep vein thrombosis and having dental work after a primary joint replacement procedure. All types of joint replacements are discussed, including osteotomy and unicompartmental, cemented- and cementless-implants. Patient-directed materials include general guidelines on preparing for joint replacement surgery; questions to ask a surgeon before joint replacement surgery; postoperative activities and exercises; and how to use crutches, canes and walkers after surgery.

The Patient-Centered Care section was developed as part of the new AAOS initiative to foster a culture of patient-centered care. Patient-centered care is responsive to the individual patient’s preferences, needs and values, and puts the voice of the patient at the center of the health care system.

The section includes links to articles about the patient-centered care initiative and patient safety that will interest AAOS members and other health care professionals. Other articles help patients get the most out of a visit with their doctor, partner with their physician for the best surgical outcome and find trustworthy medical information on the Internet.

A rapidly expanding selection of

orthopaedic oncology topics led to the creation of a Tumors section. A variety of conditions are included, from Bone Tumor and Osteochondroma to Ewing’s Sarcoma and Paget’s Disease. The article on Limb Salvage vs. Amputation for Extremity Bone Sarcomas presents patients with information on two treatment options to enhance informed-choice decision making.

Patient stories

Although the AAOS is dedicated to providing patients with accurate, trustworthy information, sometimes the most valuable insights come from the personal stories of other patients who have experienced the same orthopaedic conditions. The Patient Stories section features vignettes describing the orthopaedic experiences of individuals willing to share their stories with others who might benefit.

People of all age groups with a variety of orthopaedic conditions share their stories. The first group of patient stories came from a group of patient advocates who accompanied their surgeons to Washington, D.C., as part of the 2005 AAOS Research Capitol Hill Days to lobby lawmakers and government agencies for an increase in federal funding for musculoskeletal research. More patient stories will be added to the Web site as they become available. To read the stories, visit http://www.orthoinfo.org/stories

E-newsletter

Your Orthopaedic Connection even has its own electronic newsletter to keep AAOS members and site visitors aware of additions and updates to the site. Issued quarterly, the newsletter provides information about site enhancements and links to new or updated materials so you can refresh your own patient education site with the latest information. To subscribe, go to: http://www.orthoinfo.org/sub_list.cfm

If you’d rather view the latest information when you visit the site, a “What’s New” page is updated regularly. Visit www.orthoinfo.org/new

Nancy Fehr is a patient education specialist in the AAOS communications department. She can be reached at fehr@aaos.org


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