Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Designing websites at Tufts University School of Medicine

#TUSM Lisa Gualtieri teaches a fascinating course at Tufts University School of Medicine entitled, " Online Consumer Health."  The idea is to train students how to conceptualize and design websites that can be an integral part of the marketing and education strategies of hospitals, physician groups, and public health agencies.  This isn't as easy as it might appear.  Among other things, you need to think about your overall strategy and goals; you need to develop personas representing segments of your audience, against which to test the effectiveness of your message; and, of course, there is the standard web stuff of design, layout, fonts, integration of photographs and video.

I had a pleasure of attending the class today and who should be there but Pam Ressler, a virtual friend from the blog world, and an adjunct faculty member at both Tufts and the University of Massachusetts.  Pam specializes in stress resiliency and social media in health care.  Together, we served as guinea pigs as the students presented their projects for the course, and conducted formative evaluations in which we played the roles of possible viewers of the websites.

My first interview was with Mary, shown here, who was tasked with revising the website of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates with regard to shared medical appointments.  I had some fun, pretending I was a primary care doctor who was interested, but skeptical, about this care delivery model.  Her task was to use my comments to design a website that would answer my questions and gently persuade me to consider the approach.

Pam's first interview was with Lisa, and the project was a redesign of the state Department of Public Health's website about oral health care.  I then proceeded with Emily, who was working on a Children's Hospital website to help inform teachers about classroom issues surrounding students with cancer.  I had to leave before Pam concluded with Kelly on her project.

All in all, an excellent experience in a thoughtfully run class.  Lisa runs a more extensive course for professionals entitled "Digital Strategies for Health Communication" during the summer.  It is worth a look here for those able to come to Boston in July.


Elaine Schattner, MD said...

And I thought this was all for fun. (Nice work, Lisa!)

Lisa Gualtieri said...

Thank you, Elaine, and especially thank you to Paul. I love having anything I do be called "fascinating".

David Joyce said...

This course looks like an elective level course for an MBA student. Why not give them education in basic business skills that all doctors seriously lack. Knowledge in strategy planning, marketing, finance, process improvement leadership and management would go a long way to improving the delivery of health car in this country. David Joyce MD MBA ES4P.com

Pam Ressler said...

Great class and Lisa is a wonderful instructor. Nice to connect in person, Paul!