More than 3,200 people throughout the United States and around the world have used the AAOS On-Line Service in the first two months of operation. Since it was launched on June 29, the Academy has placed a wealth of information on the Internet, making it possible for fellows to read and obtain Position Statements, continuing medical education and product information, state society and Board of Councilors activities, and much more.
The system is accessible 24 hours a day with most of the sessions, averaging about five minutes, occurring between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. In the United States, the users included people from 114 universities, 21 not-for-profit groups; and nine government organizations, including the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Institutes of Health, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Public Works Computer Services, Sandia National Laboratories, and the United States Geological Survey. Many other users accessed the system via commercial carriers, such as America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy, and PSI Pipeline.
More than 10 percent of the users were from other countries, primarily from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia, but also from Europe, Israel, South Africa, the Slovak Republic, and Thailand.
The entire Educational Resources Catalog is now on-line. Users can review product offerings by category (e.g., foot, ankle, knee) or by type (e.g., book, CD-ROM, exam) and they can order these products by calling the Academy's customer service department at (800) 626-6726. In the near future, members also will be able to order products by completing a form and electronically submitting it to the Academy.
Three new discussion groups or forums have been added to the system: Annual Meeting, AAOS On-Line Service, and State Societies. The discussion groups allow members, staff, and the general public to post information, pose questions, and receive answers on topics concerning the 1996 Annual Meeting, the on-line service and they can discuss issues relevant to the activities of state societies. These discussion groups are unmoderated, which means that no one reviews postings in advance.
In the near future, additional discussion groups will be established on health care reform issues and to serve clinical specialties. These will be private areas reserved only for members and subscribers to the AAOS On-Line Service.
Links have been added to many other World Wide Web sites including state and federal legislatures, the Library of Congress, Health Care Financing Administration, Social Security Administration, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A powerful search function also has been added that allows users to find all relevant AAOS On-Line Service documents that match any given set of key words. Both simple and complex searches can be utilized. The system also provides searches that can be limited to all or segments of the Educational Resources Catalog, the Bulletin, AAOS Report, and Washington Report.
The AAOS On-Line Service is accessible through the Internet's World Wide Web at address http://www.aaos.org. For additional information, call James Ogle, the Academy's director of the department of information services, at (708) 384-4280 or by electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.