March 2016

Website Committee Update

Ron El-Hawary, MD, MSc, FRCS(C)
Website Committee Chair

The new SRS website was launched in September 2015 in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary Meeting of our Society.  Overall, this tremendous undertaking was a very positive experience and I would like to thank the Website Task Force, .orgSource, EDI, and SRS Staff (in particular Shahree Douglas and Ann Shay).  As well, we certainly appreciate the guidance and support from the SRS Board, including John Dormans, MD and Daniel Sucato, MD, MS to ensure that a high quality website could be achieved. 

A view of from a mobile phone.Features of the new website include a new home page design based on three clearly defined entry points, easy to use drop-down mega-menus for each audience and new “landing pages” throughout the site, significant enhancements to the Patient and Family section with a new sub-audience focus and new content, simplification of problem areas such as dense text and multiple overlapping Q&A pages, focus on user friendly language and ways of presenting content, increased use of graphics and pictures and user friendly design for mobile use.  Initial reviews of the website have been positive and we plan to re-examine website usage this fall via Google Analytics in order to quantify the impact of the new website.

Although the Website Committee is excited about the launch of our new website, we realize that there is still plenty of work to be done.  Currently, EDI is helping convert PDF's to more mobile friendly .HTML files.  Shahree Douglas is working with SRS Staff to help prioritize these efforts.  Based on last year's work by over 30 SRS member volunteers, we are in the midst of updating the content on the website.  Areas under active update currently involve the following:  Non-operative, Coding, Awards, Global Outreach, Development and Advocacy.

Our group is interested in exploring social media and feel that we should initially focus efforts on Facebook parent education material.  We are working on identifying the resources necessary to do this well and are creating a mini-task force to help create a strategic plan for the content on Facebook and answering patient inquires.

Another new initiative that we support for our website is an Early Onset Scoliosis educational video and illustrations.  We are looking at the development of professional grade media content, specifically an animated video and illustrations, for the purpose of educating parents and patients diagnosed with early onset scoliosis.  This will be a combined venture with Growing Spine Foundation, Children's Spine Foundation and POSNA.   In addition, the SRS Growing Spine Committee is interested in developing an EOS Casting webinar and our committee is helping to explore this potential, including vendors and long term storage of these webinars on our site.

We will be developing educational videos for the patients/families section of website.  We plan to have surgeon interviews/Q&As recorded and added to the site.  Our committee will help create/write scripts to address patients' most frequent questions and concerns.  The goal will be to film these videos during the SRS Annual Meeting and to place them on the website by Fall 2016.

Other possible future directions, as proposed by members of our committee include, exploring potential collaborations with (secure photo sharing network for healthcare professionals) and with (virtual surgical simulation website); updating website photos; increasing dynamic content on the website and creating educational pages/games for young children with scoliosis.  Our committee looks forward to working with all SRS members this year to ensure that our website maintains its new, vibrant look and feel with relevant and updated content.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have comments or suggestions for our website.

Chair: Ron El-Hawary, MD Committee: Anthony S. Rinella, MD; George H. Thompson, MD; Jonathan H. Phillips, MD; Theodore T. Choma, MD; Lawrence L. Haber, MD; John C. France, MD; Munish C. Gupta, MD; Todd Milbrandt, MD; Jahangir K. Asghar, MD; Chee Kidd Chiu, MBBS MSOrth; Michael P. Kelly, MD; Toshiaki Kotani, MD, PhD; Roger K. Owens, MD; Denis Sakai, MD; Michael S. Roh, MD; Anthony A. Scaduto, MD; Timothy R. Kuklo, MD, JD; Ahmad Nassr, MD; Peter D. Angevine, MD, MPH; Lloyd A. Hey, MD, MS