Providing patients with high-quality orthopaedic information is easier than ever
The AAOS patient education website, OrthoInfo.org, provides patients and their families with convenient access to more than 500 easy-to-understand articles and videos on orthopaedic conditions and treatments, injury prevention, rehabilitation, and healthy living. Thanks to the website's new look and site navigation, finding that information—on a computer, smartphone, tablet, or smart TV—is now easier than ever.
"The OrthoInfo.org redesign has transformed the website into an essential resource for the orthopaedic patient. The new format allows for simpler, more direct access to nonbiased information about all stages of orthopaedic conditions," said Jared R. H. Foran, MD, OrthoInfo's section editor for adult reconstruction.
OrthoInfo.org is one of the few peer-reviewed orthopaedic resources for patients available on the web. All content is developed by orthopaedic surgeons and goes through extensive peer review by the OrthoInfo Editorial Board—a 13-member group of orthopaedic surgeons representing all specialty areas.
Through information available on OrthoInfo.org, patients learn what to expect from surgery and recovery. Articles cover a wide range of orthopaedic conditions and their treatments including fractures, joint replacement, pediatric conditions, tumor, sports injuries, bone health, arthroscopy, and spinal disease. The site's rich visual content helps patients quickly understand the relevant anatomy, pathology, and treatment options associated with their diagnosis. Videos, animations, and learning modules provide descriptions of surgical procedures and aspects of recovery.
International visits to OrthoInfo.org represent 41 percent of users. Although a large portion of international users come from English-speaking nations, a growing number are from Latin America, and Brazil has recently joined the site's top 10 country listing. As a result, most of OrthoInfo.org's most popular articles are translated into Spanish, and several topics in Portuguese were recently introduced.
Meeting patient needs
OrthoInfo redesigned its website to improve user experience and to meet the evolving technology needs of patients, their doctors, and the public. In addition to more attractive visuals, key features of the site's redesign include the following:
- A simplified primary navigation comprised of four main categories—Diseases and Conditions, Treatment, Recovery, and Staying Healthy.
- Dropdown menus from the primary categories provide a simple way to access information, and provide direct links to popular topics and featured articles.
- The Search box is a primary feature on every page. It "sticks" with users as they scroll down each screen. Faceted search allows users to filter and optimize search results.
- On the homepage, the popular tool to find information by body part is merged with imagery that conveys a return to physical activities. Users select a part of the body to view a list of the most popular articles for that body part.
OrthoInfo provides extensive information on orthopaedic topics, particularly more common conditions and treatments. Because of this, one goal of the redesign was to better feature related content to help keep users engaged beyond a single article. A design focus on the search functionality, as well as the visibility of related resources within each article, addresses this goal.
"OrthoInfo.org allows our patients to search for nearly every possible orthopaedic diagnosis or treatment, and the new search results page more fully displays articles that may be of interest," explained Rajiv Rajani, MD, OrthoInfo's section editor for musculoskeletal oncology. "Additionally, the new site permits seamless integration between pages so that patients can more easily learn about similar conditions."
How to use OrthoInfo in your practice
A valuable resource for Academy members and their patients, OrthoInfo.org receives approximately 3,000,000 patient visits a month. Although some viewers arrive at the site through the use of a search engine, such as Google, many others are referred by their orthopaedic surgeons.
One of the most common ways Academy members utilize OrthoInfo.org is to link to specific articles from their practice websites. The website's new design also makes it easier for orthopaedic surgeons to share OrthoInfo with their patients; every page has icons for features such as emailing and social media sharing. In addition, articles can be easily downloaded and printed or viewed on a computer screen in the surgeon's office.
Good patient education can help lead to better outcomes. According to Laura Giblin, managing editor of OrthoInfo, "A continued goal of OrthoInfo is to provide AAOS members with nonbiased online resources to help their patients be better informed and more likely to follow treatment plans, with the end result being improved patient satisfaction."
As more and more patients seek medical information on the internet, it is important to have a site where they can get accurate and reliable information. Now with the redesign, OrthoInfo content is easy to access on any device—and it's free! Help your patients become better informed and to take an active role in their health care and orthopaedic treatment by directing them to OrthoInfo.org today.
Stuart J. Fischer, MD, is editor-in-chief of OrthoInfo and a member of the AAOS Now editorial board.