October 2002 Bulletin

OKO gets new look

Quicker online access, too

By Sandra Lee Breisch

Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO) has had a minor facelift! Now, the premier Web site for online orthopaedic education provides Academy members and subscribers with even quicker online access–fewer clicks–to view orthopaedic information and current video demonstrations on surgical techniques, images and text-based information.

According to William A. Grana, MD, MPH, OKO’s co-editor in chief, an OKO User Survey–sent out on April 24, 2002 to 1,607 respondents with more than 11 percent response rate–indicated a need for some "minor" online improvements. And Dr. Grana noted, "feedback from the editorial staff helped guide improvements" to the site. "The site was always user-friendly," explains Dr. Grana. "However, we were looking at ways to decrease the number of clicks that busy orthopaedists would have to make in order to surf through the topics within their time constraints. I think that’s a major improvement."

Survey results

The survey results indicated that approximately 82 percent of respondents said they used OKO to access clinical material, 47 percent accessed surgical procedures and 45 percent used OKO to sharpen their clinical decision-making skills. A great number of users provided comments on their specific usage experience with OKO that were taken into account in planning the update.

On average, 20 percent indicated they visit the OKO site at least once a week; 43 percent, at least once a month; and 22 percent, at least once a quarter.

The survey responses indicated that many users employ the many shortcuts in navigating the Web site, including "What’s New," which marshals the visitor directly to newly posted content; a link to a list of the available "surgical procedures" on the site; and the organization of topics by orthopaedic specialty such as adult reconstruction. The survey also indicated that users made use of all the available forms of navigating the Web site, including options to review a topic from beginning to end to move around the topic for specific information.

"On the survey there were some comments about clarity and efficiency of the menu that people would have to go through in order to access the information on a specific topic. And that’s also been incorporated [in the facelift]," explains Dr. Grana. "That’s the major improvement. The OKO site just looks nicer. It’s cleaner, more streamlined, the colors are better–and all of those kinds of aesthetic things were factored into the new look."

User feedback

One frequent user is Robert Rutkowski, MD, who is in practice with two other orthopaedists in a rural community in Culpeper, Va. Dr. Rutkowski says that although he’s been in practice for 21 years, he uses the OKO site to "refresh" his memory on certain procedures.

"There are a lot of newer techniques on the OKO site," he says. "Being a general orthopaedist, I treat a wide spectrum of orthopaedic cases–pediatrics, sports, backs and necks, total hip revisions and the site is very helpful."

Other frequent users to the OKO site include orthopaedic residents across the country.

"What OKO does is provide a continually enlarging knowledge base that the orthopaedic residents can access throughout their residency program–and hopefully they’ll continue to use the site after residency," explains Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, chair of the department of orthopaedic surgery at NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases, NYU Medical Center, and chair of the AAOS Council on Education. "As a program director with 62 residents, the decision to make OKO available for each resident in the program was an easy one," he says. "We spent a lot of time designing our educational program for our residents–both didactic and in the OR–and making sure our residents can acquire the fundamental knowledge necessary and technical skills to become an orthopaedic surgeon. From the time residents are with us, we want them accessing OKO. I consider OKO an important companion to the education that we provide residents with in our residency program."

Dr. Grana says that the unique thing about the OKO site is the potential for interaction. "The point-counterpoints and controversies in the case presentations are meant to reproduce the type of learning environment that people get out of the Academy’s courses–such as the interchanges between faculty in the question and answer periods. People want this interaction. We’re trying to give them that within the time constraints of a busy orthopaedic surgeon," he stresses. "We also would like to thank the orthopaedic surgeons who lent their time to develop the OKO site."

Adds Dr. Zuckerman, "The new facelift makes a great product even better. There’s something in it for everybody–on all different levels. The OKO site shows our commitment to continued improvement for the premier site for online orthopaedic education."

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