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Consumer Health Information Web Sites: the State of the Art A snapshot analysis of Consumer Health web sites Andrea M. Ketchum, MLIS, AHIP University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System May 24, 2004 Background

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consumer health information web sites the state of the art

Consumer Health Information Web Sites: the State of the Art

A snapshot analysis of Consumer Health web sites

Andrea M. Ketchum, MLIS, AHIPUniversity of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library SystemMay 24, 2004

background
Background
  • Preparation for update and redesign of HSLS Consumer Health Information web site.
  • Literature search found no previous analyses
  • Survey performed to
    • Identify prevalent format and content of existing sites
    • Brainstorm
    • Clarify goals for redesign
methods
Methods

Survey of 33 Consumer Health web sites

  • Google search
    • University AND “Consumer Health Information”
    • 33 web sites selected from first 10 pages
      • Academic centers
      • Public libraries
      • Hospital libraries
  • 16 US states and Canada represented
  • Snapshot date: November 6, 2002
  • Web sites analyzed for
    • Structure
    • Content
33 consumer health information web sites
Aetna, InteliHealth: Harvard Medical School's Consumer Health Information http://www.intelihealth.com/

Arizona Health Sciences Library, Consumer Health - MultFind Results http://www.ahsl.arizona.edu

Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Columbia University, Consumer Medicine http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/library/subguides/consumer.html

Charlottesville (VA) Community Web, Consumer Health http://hsc.virginia.edu/hs-library/outreach/consumer.html

Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, Consumer Health http://www.cclslib.org/consumerhealth.html

Cooper Health System, Medical Library http://cooperhealth.medicallibrary.medem.com/medlib_entry.cfm?m1=http://cooperhealth&flag=geturl

Crozer-Keystone Health System, Crozer-Keystone Virtual Library http://www.crozer.org/Crozer/Health+Information/default.htm

33 Consumer Health Information Web Sites
slide5
Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries, Consumer Health Resources http://www.dartmouth.edu/~biomed/resources.htmld/conshealth.htmld/

Duke University Medical Center Library, Consumer/Patient Health Information http://www.mclibrary.duke.edu/respub/refres/consumer.html

Emory Health Sciences Center Library, Emory MedWeb Subject Index for Consumer Health http://www.medweb.emory.edu/MedWeb

Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, Consumer Health Libraries http://www.saintjosephdenver.org/yourhealth/libraries/

Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library/ New Haven Free Public Library, Consumer Health Information Network http://www.nhfpl.lib.ct.us/healthnetwork/

Indiana University School of Law, Consumer Information http://www.iulaw.indy.indiana.edu/programs/CLH/consumerinfo.htm

Indiana University School of Medicine, Consumer Health http://www.medlib.iupui.edu/ref/consumer.html

Lane Medical Library, Stanford University Medical Center, Consumer Health http://lane.stanford.edu/toolkits/consumer.html

Loyola University, Consumer Health http://libraries.luc.edu/cfpages/subjectpg.cfm?sid=52

slide6

McGill University, Selected Consumer Health Resources http://www.health.library.mcgill.ca/resource/consumer.htm

  • McMaster University Health Sciences Library, Health Care Information Resources http://www-hsl.mcmaster.ca/tomflem/top.html
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region, Consumer Health Information http://www.nnlm.nlm.nih.gov/ner/ConsumerHealth.html
  • Northern Virginia Community College Libraries, Consumer Health Resources http://www.nvcc.edu/library/BOW/elechealth.htm
  • partnership: U of Cincinnati, OSU, Case Western Reserve, NetWellness Consumer Health Information http://netwellness.org/
  • Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library of Emory University, Consumer Health Resources http://www.emory.edu/WHSCL/REFERENCE/consumerhlth.htm
  • University of California Davis Health Sciences Libraries, Consumer Health Resources http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/healthsci/conshealth.html
  • University of Iowa, Virtual Hospital Information for Patients - Iowa Health Book http://www.vh.org/Patients/Patients.html
  • University of Iowa, Hardin Meta Directory of Internet Health Sources http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/hardin/md/index.html
slide7

University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Consumer Health Links http://www.hshsl.umaryland.edu/resources/consumer/

  • University of Maryland Libraries, Consumer Health http://www.lib.umd.edu/MCK/GUIDES/consumer_health.html
  • University of Toronto, Patient and Consumers http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/content/programs/hslibrary/consumerhomepage.asp
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Sciences Libraries, Consumer Health and Medical Information http://www.medsch.wisc.edu/chslib/consumer/
  • Utah Library Association, Utah Consumer Health Information Network http://www.ula.org/organization/rt/heart/heart-uchin.htm
  • VCU Libraries, Virginia Commonwealth University, Consumer Health Resources http://www.library.vcu.edu/tml/bibs/consumer.html
  • Washington Hospital Healthcare System, Washington Community Health Resource Library http://www.healthlibrary.org
  • Yale University Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Consumer Health Resources http://www.med.yale.edu/library/consumer/
most common features
Top 5 Structure Features

Columns

Site search

Index = Links (internal or external)

Organized by resource type

Scrolling one page

Most Common Features
  • Top 5 Content Features
  • List of links
  • Contact information
  • Last update notice
  • Disclaimer
  • Medical News
least common features
Bottom 5

Structure Features

Site Index Border

Organized by Subject

Site map/guide

Tables

Navigation Tabs

Bottom 5

Content Features

Search tips

Ask the Doc

Commercial ads

Referral service

Interactive tools

Least Common Features
columbia university augustus c long health sciences library

EXAMPLE: Most Common Structure

Columbia UniversityAugustus C. Long Health Sciences Library

Organized by Resource Type

Site Search

Index=Links

Columnar

Contact Info

Content = List of Links

Scroll one page

Last Update

slide32

EXAMPLE: Least Typical Structure and Content

Organized by subject

Advertisments

Site Index Border

Ask a doc

Interactive Tools

summary
Summary
  • Most common design was a 1-page, columnar scrolling list of external and internal links organized by resource type, with site search, contact information, last update notice, and disclaimer. Simple maintenance suspected.
  • Least common design included interactive tools, referral services, search tips, advertisements, navigation tabs and a site map in a more complex layout, organized by subject: a commercial look. Time-consuming maintenance suspected.
  • Medical News and Alternative Medicine were the most frequent specialized topics.
most surprising find
Most Surprising Find
  • 61% organized by Resource Type
    • Directories, Web sites, etc.
  • Only 39% organized by Subject
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • A survey of current web sites provides inspiration as well as a menu of possible design and content features.
  • Borrow the visual interest and navigational flexibility from web sites with a more commercial design (Intelihealth) and combine with the simplicity of academic library sites.
  • Add interest with photos and other illustrations.
  • Provide access to as much content as possible from the front page.
    • Build site map into front page, through layered subject outline.
    • Border menus, navigation tabs add interest and search flexibility
  • External news sources address current medical concerns and should be available for reference online.
  • Keep text simple, clear, and avoid adjacent columns of text to enhance accessibility and assure compatibility with screen readers.
putting it all together hsls consumer health information http www hsls pitt edu guides chi
Putting it all together: HSLS Consumer Health Informationhttp://www.hsls.pitt.edu/guides/chi