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Making a difference in how people find health information, today and into the future.

Glad You Asked: Continuing the Conversation

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thanks to everyone who has commented and do keep your comments coming. We have received thoughtful, good ideas on what you want to see. Many encourage the use of mobile so that access is immediate when and where health information or services are needed. I want to answer some of the comments here and will continue do so from time to time.

Comment: A desire to incorporate visuals on mobile sites.

Agreed! A good visual can be worth more than a thousand words if it provides context and directly supports the information needed. Learning and understanding becomes much easier when visuals support the words. When designing content for mobile use, these visual benefits have to be tempered by the fact that graphics often make the loading of the mobile information much slower. Sometimes the visual is too much for some phones to support. That will change one day, but for now, we must balance using more visuals with insuring that critical information can be easily accessed on mobile and tablet devices. We are learning more each day about building better mobile sites (and soon, this site will use responsive design so it can be viewed on any device). We value your input in reminding and urging us to use more visuals. We welcome advice on how best to do mobile sites so they are inviting and so information sought can be quickly accessed.

Comment: What kind of research do you conduct to determine when it would be good to build a one-stop, topic site?

HHS believes strongly in the consolidation of content on a specific topic. Gathering information from the many parts of HHS in one place makes it easier for you to find the information you need. But this is a very large job. Any one office may only have one piece of the total picture. Here are some of the steps we go through before undertaking a topic site: (1) we conduct a complete inventory of all the web pages that exist on the topic; (2) we use metrics for existing sites to tell us about traffic and where people are going; (3) we look for duplication of information and whether it is current; and (4) we consider the timeliness and need for the information (examples—bullying prevention, food safety). Our greatest challenge is that there is so much valuable content that needs to be organized and consolidated into topic sites!

Most of our consolidated sites are managed by a cross-department or government Editorial Board with subject matter experts and web and communications staff that approve content and maintain the site to add new or update information as needed. Cross-department/government sites need a strong leadership and governance that establishes how people will work together and fund and maintain the site.

What do you think? How can we make information more available? We’ve suggested some ways we are exploring. We are sure there are other—perhaps better—ways we have not thought of. So please share your ideas and suggestions. Thanks.

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Submitted by Anonymous on
" A picture is worth a thousand words" is almost up todate. You have to think about thoes that can not see.(?) Your cross-department/government must have a Quality Control Depart.All you department heads must collect all reports sit down colaborat on how these important areas can be translated into a Media of Sound. It would not take much money because some of the documetation post on all(?) site will not be needed. I am shore,if you look among your staff, there is an outstanding group of people, without giving a pay raise, that can be redirected to a new assignmet. I was ,now retired,a QI/QA Coordenator for N.O.Health Department/Nursing Sup.for two sites from 1994-2004. I resigned and worked for Excelth,Inc. All those years I was trained mntored by Excelth,Inc. Quality Control Dept
Submitted by Anonymous on
tell us what states recalled food/liquid is sold in or are we to assume all states if none specified?
Submitted by Anonymous on
It is apparent that there are a lot of recalls initiated after problems have been found in distributed food. What isn't being reported are the problems identified and addressed by inspectors doing inspections at food production or growing locations. Prevention is more important and less costly than response. In order to get congress to approve the fnding needs to fully implement FSMA it might help to publicize success in prevention.
Submitted by Anonymous on
We should hold a rally in all cities and continents so we can raise awareness for the victims of bullying.
Submitted by Anonymous on
PLEASE PLEASE take my thought and find a way to make it happen. I WILL DO ANYTHING, WHATEVER it takes to make this happen. Create 511 a hotline for bullied children and teens to call for emotional online support as well as to promote support groups in their area, on the web, or websites that support the cause. To me this is a NO BRAINER. But no one has made that connection.
Submitted by Anonymous on
One of the best uses for any monies available is to provide reimbursement to those Home Health providers that are utilizing tele-monitoring. Every one is concerned about rehospitalizations. Tele-monitoring in the patients home keeps people from going back to the hospital. We monitors these patients 24/7, and for those patients with a dx of CHF, Heart Failure, COPD, Renal Disease, Hypertension, it is amazing how we maintain these patients in their own home. We keep them out of the hospital and they continue to get better. We can display better outcomes with these patients than those not offerring this service. We do it because we care about our patients; however, it is most difficult to continue when not one dime is every reimbursed to us even thought the equiipment and personnel time is quite expensive. If we truly want to keep people from being readmitted to the hospital you need to work with the health care providers that provide this type of care and it is the free-standing, independent providers that have led this charge.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Why don't you consider using "key words" like hashtags in social media formats to let users create topics. Topics are only topics for a finite time, then merge with other topics.
Submitted by Anonymous on
This supports one of my favorite expressions: A picture is worth a thousand words. I wonder however if we should modify or update this expression to accommodate todays social media? Perhaps, a good visual is worth a gazillion eyeballs? [name withheld for privacy]