Published 12/1/2008
Jim Ogle

AAOS Personal Physician Web sites—Better than ever

Whether you have a Web site or not, check out this member benefit

Since 2000, AAOS fellows have had the opportunity to create their own personal physician Web sites, using templates that showcase and market their practices to patients and the public. More than 4,200 members have already taken advantage of this option, and almost 80,000 people visit the sites every month. The online membership directory, Find an Orthopaedist, automatically links to member Web sites created using the templates.

This year, based on member feedback, these “OrthoDoc” sites have been significantly improved and enhanced, with new visuals and additional options. They’re easier than ever to create and maintain. If you already have an AAOS OrthoDoc site, take a look at the new features you can add. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of this member benefit, now is the time to do so!

New templates—modern look
With eight templates to choose from, you’re sure to find one that matches your style. Test them out…switching between templates is easy, so you can change the look of your site whenever you want.

The new templates use modern technology to display page content correctly in various Web browsers and popular mobile devices such as iPhones. If you already have a site, you don’t have to do anything; current sites have been automatically converted to the new format.

All templates have seven main headings: Home, About, Library, Location & Hours, Specialties, Forms & Payment, and Image Gallery.

Easy to set up and maintain
The Web site creation and maintenance screens have been greatly streamlined and simplified. A wizard approach has been used to help lead you through the process of developing and then enhancing a physician Web site. Unlike the original system, which used one long page that listed every option, the new system has separate maintenance screens for every main heading.

In addition, links that are not used are not displayed on your site. For example, if you choose not to post any pictures to the “Image Gallery,” that link will not appear on your site.

New customization features
Now you can customize both the headings and navigation links on your site, as well as its content. This enables you to use your own terminology, such as “Meet our staff” instead of “Image Gallery.”

This feature also allows international members to create an AAOS personal physician Web site in their own native language. For example, instead of “Home,” “Location & Hours,” and “Forms & Payments,” Spanish users can rename the pages “Inicio,” “Locales y Horas,” and “Formulario y Pagos.”

Finding your office
GoogleÔ maps pinpoint your office locations. The “Location & Hours” page contains an embedded Google Map for the primary office address. When you add other addresses, the system automatically adds a corresponding “Get directions on Google” link. Most international members can also use this mapping tool.

Customize your Web address
All AAOS template-driven personal physician Web sites use a generic Web address (URL) that begins with
http://OrthoDoc.aaos.org and ends with your choice of name (such as DrDanJones or MillerMD). If you already have a domain name (such as www.DanJonesMD.com or www.MillerMD.net), you can use this custom address and it will point to your AAOS Web site. If you don’t have a domain name, but would like to use this feature, contact Pam Butenshen via e-mail at butenshen@aaos.org or call (847) 384-4282 for assistance.

Adding images and videos
The new system automatically sizes and scales pictures and graphics that you upload to the Web site. This makes it easier for you to maintain, change, and update your site. The new templates have reserved spots for a physician photograph, a practice logo, and one to three additional images that display in the upper right-hand corner of each page.

The “Image Gallery” can be used for images, graphics, photographs, or radiographs to describe and promote your services. For example, you might include photos of your staff or building, interior views of your office, or pictures of medical or therapeutic equipment. All images will be automatically scaled and sized as needed.

You can even add video clips to the “Library” section. Videos will automatically play in a separate pop-up window. If you have uploaded any video clips onto streaming video sites such as YouTube, you can add a link to them under the “Recommended Web Sites” section. The following video formats may be used: .wmv, .mov, .avi, .mpg, and .mpeg.

Bookmarking and printing pages
The new system ensures that interior Web pages will correctly and reliably display at all times. This means that patients can “bookmark” the pages and that page links can be sent through e-mail. In addition, a printer-friendly option has been added. Office staff, patients, and the public can easily print the content of each page without the display of superfluous information.

Pick lists
If you want your patients to know about your involvement in various medical societies, be sure to take advantage of this new feature. The “Society Memberships” section on the “About” page now contains lists of each state medical and orthopaedic society, many regional societies, and all specialty societies belonging to the Board of Specialty Societies. This makes it easy to list your membership in these affiliated organizations.

You can still link your AAOS-sponsored Web site to any of the medical education content on Your Orthopaedic Connection (http://orthoinfo.org), the Academy’s patient education Web site. When patients print out these articles, your name and practice contact information will automatically be included at the top of the document. This additional personalization enhances your relationship with your patients.

With AAOS templates, there’s no reason for you not to have an Internet presence. To update your current OrthoDoc site with these new features, log in at http://OrthoDoc.aaos.org/info

The companion to the personal physician Web sites—group practice Web sites—do not currently have these features. The new features will be available for group practice Web sites no later than June 2009.

If you haven’t yet built a site, now is the time to do so. If you have questions or need help, contact Pam Butenshen at butenshen@aaos.org or call (847) 384-4282.

Jim Ogle is director of information and member services. He can be reached at ogle@aaos.org