Foundation - Best Face Forward - Website Brings New Resources to Patients and Professionals
Best Face Forward
Web site brings new resources to patients and professionals
Special to the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
The web site address may be familiar www.canorth.org but, as of October 12, once you arrive at the Foundations home page, all is new. Murky blue has been replaced by bright white-space, defined by the Foundations new visual identity (which we announced last issue) and upbeat portraits of people of all ages. The sites basic architecture has been laid out, and there are information streams for patients and professionals, fund-raisers and donors, volunteers and advocates. Resources are easily available to visitors looking for information, arranged in a vertical menu on the left. The format is maintained throughout, so that as new services and content come on-line in the future, users will intuitively know where to find them.
Under Patient Resources & Support, people who need orthopaedic services can find information that complements and reinforces the direction given to them by their surgeons. Theyll find guidance on what to expect before, during and after surgery, as well as articles about specific musculoskeletal conditions and how they are treated. A click on a sub-menu, and users are connected to an archive of recent news articles about orthopaedic surgery and such ongoing issues as wait times. Further down at the bottom of the main menu under Patient Advocacy, people can easily connect with their MPP using E-Activist (see previous article).
Grouped under Research and Grants, orthopaedic professionals will find a sub-menu to connect them to grant applications, where they can download an MS Word CV module and an application in pdf format. Results of the annual peer review of those applications are also available at a sub-menu, where the award-winning projects are available in pdf format.
Fund-raisers who want to participate in Foundation activities are provided the contact information for the nearest Hip Hip Hooray! event. Donors can download a pdf format form that provides them with chequing or credit-card payment options, as well as choices about one-time or repeat donations. They can also find out how the Foundation invests their donations to further orthopaedic research, education and care in Canada.
The site offers people who want to volunteer for the Foundation a variety of roles, from joining a Hip Hip Hooray! committee to starting a new one to speaking to small groups or sharing personal experience with new patients. Advocates on behalf of the Foundation can find position statements on various public-policy issues, such as surgical wait times, improved access to medical innovation and cross-border internet pharmacies.
Building the new web site was a significant challenge, done with cost conservation in mind. Infinet Communications undertook much of the design work at cost, and Foundation staff wrote the content. It was truly a team effort, says Debbie Gates, Communication and Education Manager, and the resulting web site fully reflects the Foundations focus on bringing resources to help our different stakeholders.
Over time the web site will provide real value for money, since it provides the Foundation with a visible presence and tremendous reach, without the high costs of print or video production. On the other hand, theres an inherent temptation in the medium to create an outsized web site, disproportionate to stakeholder needs, which can quickly become a sinkhole for time and money.
Although it was launched initially in English (pending translation of the final content), the web site will eventually be fully bilingual and continually enhanced as money allows. Its easy for an organization to become obsessed with putting as much as possible into their web site, says Debbie, which also means significant monetary investment. But were realistic about what we can achieve as a charity. Well continue to develop our web site, but invest resources as need dictates. We want to provide real value to our donors, patients, and professionals not just stuff that looks cool.
Mise à jour le Mercredi, 21 Mars 2007 11:23