P. F. (Pat) Anderson

Course CDEN 815
Assignment 1, pt. 2
Patient Information Web Site Evaluation


  1. Print off the PDF version of the Patient Information Web Evaluation Checklist. (28K)
  2. Verify your group number. The number corresponds to an item in the list of assigned sites below.
  3. The sites were selected by Dr. Pelok.
  4. From the page or link below, attempt to find sufficient information from the site to complete the Checklist. Do this with your group.
  5. If you are unable to access the web site, contact Dr. Pelok for a different assigned URL for your group.

The criteria for evaluating the site are highly selective. There are many more possible criteria. These are a subset of, first, health information evaluation criteria developed by such organizations as the Medical Library Association, the American Medical Association, and other organizations some of which are listed below. It includes, secondarily, usability and design criteria developed firstly by the the World Wide Web (W3) Consortium and secondarily by major web usability sites and services such as UseIt (Jakob Nielsen) and ForUse, much of which focuses on accessibility standards for the general public. While this nominally focuses on access for the disabled, in the Internet environment this also includes users overseas with slow Internet connections, modem connections, and persons with older browsers or equipment. In the dental community this often includes practitioners who are reluctant to invest money in a new computer for their practice.

I want to emphasize that these criteria are industry standards, developed and endorsed by industry experts. This is true irrespective of how frequently you see them implemented in practice. The importance of adhering to these standards ESPECIALLY for medical information and in the health care environment has been emphasized in so many publications by so many organizations that it would be difficult to compile a list of them all. A few of the most notable who have endorsed or adopted these or similar criteria include:

Note in particular that versions of the W3 guidelines have actually been signed into law (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998) in the United States for sites related to the government or receiving any government funding (including, for example, the University of Michigan!). If you wish to test a webpage for its adherence to the W3 Consortium Usability Standards and Guidelines, you may wish to enter the web address (URL) into the Bobby engine from Cast/Trace. This assignment is intended to heighten your awareness of the issues, responsibilities, and possibilities involved in providing and using health information on the Internet.

List of Assigned Patient Information Sites:

  1. Respiratory Problems: http://www.pnf.org/ccmd.html
  2. Sj÷gren's syndrome: http://www.pnf.org/remedies.html#Herbal
  3. Crohn╣s Disease: http://www.whale.to/d/crohns.html
  4. Braces: http://www.whale.to/v/nickel.html
  5. Periodontal Disease: http://www.whale.to/d/gum2.html
  6. Alzheimer╣s: http://www.whale.to/d/alzheimers.html
  7. Alternatives to Mercury: http://www.medical-library.net/specialties/framer.html?/specialties/_biological_and_mercury_free_dentistry.html
  8. Fluoride: http://www.whale.to/d/fluoride.html
  9. Root canal: http://www.hugnet.com/rcanalbklt.html
  10. Dental Products: http://www.hugnet.com/dental.html
  11. Dentures: http://www.frontiernet.net/~dwag/DENTURE-DENTURISTS.html
  12. HIV: http://www.lightstreamers.com/horowitz.htm
  13. Fillings to correct a bite: http://www.pnf.org/orthodontics_for_children.html
  14. Whole Body treatment: http://www.pnf.org/dentistry.html#Health-Centered%20Dentistry
  15. Trigeminal Neuralgia: http://www.whale.to/d/cavitations.html
  16. Birth Defects: http://www.whale.to/d/birth.htm
  17. Sealants: http://emporium.turnpike.net/P/PDHA/health.htm
  18. Flossing: http://www.burtonwellnesscenter.com/index.cfm?do=dental
  19. Local Anesthesia: http://www.sciential.net/alternatives_to_anesthesia_for_dent.htm
  20. Crowns: http://www.animated-teeth.com/dental_crowns/t9_dental_crowns_alternatives.htm

Contact: Pat Anderson, pfa@umich.edu.
Date last modified: September 17, 2001.
URL of current page: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pfa/pro/courses/PtURLs.html