What resources should health professionals consider when recommending online content to patients and families?
A wealth of health information is available on the internet. However, many sites with accurate health information are not well-suited for consumers, and many sites oriented toward consumers do not contain accurate health information. Links to several reputable, well-designed, consumer-oriented websites are below.
- Medline Plus (in particular the “EZ to Read” materials)
- NIH Senior Health
- National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE)
Two sites with practical information about writing and designing user-centered websites are Usability.gov and Health Literacy Online. These sites review how to implement key strategies for user-centered design (from Health Literacy Online):
- Learn about the users
- Write actionable content
- Display content clearly
- Organize and simplify
- Engage users
- Evaluate and revise
Note these strategies are very similar to the principles for clear health communication, as applied to written communication.