Partnership program aims to enhance orthopaedic Web presence
In today’s world, practically every business—and millions of individuals—has a Web site. New software programs make it easy to design and establish a site, but maintaining that site can be costly and time-consuming. To help orthopaedic specialty societies reduce costs while building a vibrant Web presence, the AAOS Board of Directors recently approved a new Web support service.
Effective Jan. 1, 2008, the AAOS will provide Web site development and support for the member organizations of the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS) on an at-cost basis. This service will provide participating societies with a stable, cost-effective Web site development partner that can support simple page updates as well as the complete redesign and launch of an improved Web presence.
The AAOS information services department will provide most of the technical support, using external consulting companies as needed. The first partner in this venture was the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), whose Web site has been supported under the tenets of this plan for nearly a year.
Under this program, the AAOS information services department will provide the following Web site services:
- Hosting (at no charge)
- Support and maintenance
- Indexing and searching using a Google mini-search application (no charge)
- Web site utilization statistics using Unica NetTracker (updated daily at no charge)
Support, maintenance, and development will be charged back to the participating societies at $72 per hour, which is 25 percent to 50 percent lower than the rates charged by commercial Web site companies in the Chicago area.
In addition, AAOS will partner with external firms to provide societies with a revised Web site look-and-feel, improved navigation, and mini-usability studies (to improve Web site utilization and acceptance). Because the extent of these services depends on parameters such as the size and condition of the original Web site and the strategic direction specified by the organization’s board of directors, estimated costs could range from $5,000 to $20,000. All vendor costs will be charged back to the society with no markup.
BOS organizations that wish to participate in this new program must agree to the following terms:
- A one-year contract (renewable annually) with AAOS for services—This enables AAOS to accurately forecast its annual labor requirements. There is no minimum fee or retainer. Societies will be billed monthly for services rendered.
- A designated point-person who can funnel and prioritize work submitted to AAOS and who can make decisions as warranted—AAOS highly recommends that this be a staff person but recognizes that exceptions may need to be made.
- AAOS hosting of the society’s Web site—This allows AAOS to have complete access to the Web site pages and any underlying databases. It also allows AAOS to leverage the various tools and software modules that have been written for its own or other participating Web sites and permits the use of a common content management system.
- Defined business goals for the Web site, marketing efforts to society members, and periodic assessments of member satisfaction with any improvements and enhancements.
A commitment to deliver
This new service has been reviewed and endorsed by the AAOS Board of Directors. The Board has also authorized the hiring of additional staff as needed to provide responsive support to each participating society. AAOS also is committed to surveying each participating society on an annual basis to confirm that this service meets the society’s expectations and to obtain information for expanding the service.
Societies that are interested in exploring a Web site partnership with AAOS should contact Jim Ogle at email@example.com or (847) 384-4280.
Jim Ogle is AAOS director of information and member services.