Have you taken a look at OrthoInfo.org recently? If not, it’s definitely worth a visit.
OrthoInfo—the AAOS patient information website—now has a more contemporary look, with an updated style and color scheme that make the pages more engaging and easier to read.
OrthoInfo.org is one of the few peer-reviewed orthopaedic resources for patients on the web. The site is led by a 14-member editorial board of orthopaedic specialists. The 400-plus articles and features have been developed by orthopaedic surgeons and completely peer reviewed ensuring accurate, reliable information. Articles are understandable and meaningful to patients and are complemented by multiple animations and illustrations, many of which can be enlarged for easier viewing.
OrthoInfo.org continues to add new content and features that benefit both patients and orthopaedic surgeons.
OrthoInfo’s multimedia programs make it easier to present details of surgical procedures and orthopaedic care of common problems.
- Animations—Animations have been added to articles on common orthopaedic procedures such as total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and on conditions such as osteoarthritis and herniated disk.
- Videos—Short videos, developed in partnership with the Patient Education Committee, cover topics such as preventing infections, preventing blood clots, avoiding dislocations, activities before and after joint replacement, arthritis, and exercise. Additional videos on stress fractures and meniscus tears are planned for the near future.
- Informed patient modules—These step-by-step learning tools help patients better understand their musculoskeletal conditions and upcoming procedures. New modules for 2015 include knee arthroscopy, distal radius fractures, and lumbar laminectomy.
Reaching varied audiences
About 3 million visitors a month now click on OrthoInfo.org, generating more than 40 million page views a year.
Although most visitors are from the United States, OrthoInfo has an international reach. Approximately one third of visitors come from outside the United States, many from Spanish-speaking countries. To address their needs, as well as the large number of Spanish-speaking Americans who visit the site, the most popular articles are translated into Spanish.
In 2014, OrthoInfo added 11 new Spanish articles, bringing the total number of articles in Spanish to 80. According to Spanish editor Ramon L. Jimenez, MD, “With the Hispanic/Latino segment of the U.S. population reaching 15 percent and growing rapidly, the Academy is at the forefront in providing patient education materials that these patients can understand.”
To help patients and their families become more active and involved in their care, OrthoInfo collaborated with the Patient Safety Committee to create a complete section on patient safety. Comprehensive articles raise awareness of the measures patients themselves can take to ensure safety, and provide helpful presurgery checklists for patients entering a hospital or surgery center as well as lists of what hospitals do to make surgery safer. This new section on patient safety puts the Academy’s patient safety resources within a click or two of physicians and patients.
One of the more popular Healthy Living areas of the site focuses on bone health. According to section editor Barbara J. Campbell, MD, “Osteoporotic fractures are not just treatable, they are preventable. Patient information is one way to improve outcomes. OrthoInfo articles on bone health can be given to patients and their families, and included in their electronic medical record (EMR).”
During the last quarter of 2014, reader satisfaction survey questions were added to the end of each article. The results: An overwhelming majority of readers found the medical information they were looking for, were very satisfied with the information, and would recommend OrthoInfo to others.
AAOS members, too, have praise for OrthoInfo. Annual Meeting focus group participants have shared that they send patients to the website because they trust the information. Members also appreciate that OrthoInfo is easy for patients to navigate and provides accurate, unbiased treatment recommendations.
Using OrthoInfo in your practice
One of the most common ways members use OrthoInfo is to link to specific articles from their practice web sites. All OrthoInfo articles are printer-friendly and many are available in PDF format.
In addition, OrthoInfo can be useful to surgeons and practices attempting to meet EMR meaningful use requirements. According to Joel Mayerson, MD, chair of the Patient Education Committee, OrthoInfo articles “allow for easy placement into the EMR and assist surgeons in meeting the requirement of providing educational resources to patients. OrthoInfo serves as a very cost-efficient method to meet the federal guidelines and get reimbursed for doing so.”
In 2016, the Academy has planned a complete redesign of OrthoInfo to better align it with the redesigned aaos.org website currently in the works. It is expected that the new OrthoInfo website will improve access and functionality and be more “responsive” to mobile formats; 36 percent of viewers now access the site on tablets or smartphones.
OrthoInfo is a valuable tool for both patients and surgeons. As more and more patients seek medical information on the Internet, it is important to have a site where they can get accurate and up-to-date information.
To learn more about OrthoInfo and its new initiatives, visit www.orthoinfo.org or come by the OrthoInfo booth at the Academy Resource Center during the 2015 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
Stuart J. Fischer, MD, is a member of the AAOS Now editorial board, editor of OrthoInfo, and author of 100 Questions and Answers About Hip Replacement.
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