• March 14, 2012
  • Penn-Developed Online Cancer Resource Launches Redesign, New Features to Guide Patients, Caregivers

  • User search habits drive OncoLink's new site design, providing instant access to personalized information on cancer risk and care

PHILADELPHIA — OncoLink®, a free cancer information website developed by experts at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center has launched a redesigned website based on the search habits and feedback from patients, caregivers and health care providers who use the site. Enhanced, interactive features provide access the most up-to-date information on cancers of all kinds, and allows users to develop personalized survivorship plans, and review the latest cancer research more easily.

The redesign comes just in time for the 18th anniversary of the site, which was the Internet's first cancer information resource. OncoLink's designers and a team of dedicated nurses and physicians implemented a new navigation system to make it easier for both patients and healthcare providers to rapidly locate the information they're seeking. Using a new "slide show" feature, any user searching for information — whether they are newly diagnosed with a specific disease, are curious about their cancer risk, are currently receiving treatment, or are a cancer survivor — can select a visual starting point based on their specific needs. Interactive tools available throughout the site help patients search and filter more than 75,000 pages of cancer-related content — a boon to patients and families who may be overwhelmed by the array of potentially unreliable or confusing cancer information on the web.

"The new design and features are based on how users are searching for their information," says James Metz, MD, an associate professor and chief of clinical operations in the department of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine, who serves as editor-in-chief of OncoLink. "We took a close look at statistics and analytics to gauge what users are searching for the most, and how they are finding that information. The redesign puts content front and center. Our goal is to empower patients and healthcare providers to obtain the resources they are looking for instantaneously."

Recent changes to the site include enhancements to interactive tools for patients, including:

  • What's My Risk: A program designed to help users learn about factors that determine their personal risk of many types of cancer and what they can do to decrease that risk.
  • LIVESTRONG Care Plan: Online tool that provides cancer survivors, their family members or their health care provider with an easy-to-follow roadmap for managing their health as they finish treatment and transition to life as a survivor.
  • Clinical Trials Matching Service: A search tool that helps patients quickly learn about and evaluate research studies across the nation for which they may be eligible. A telephone matching service is also available.

The new site also offers a comprehensive Healthcare Professional's Section, which includes:

  • Nurses Notes: Resources for nurses including patient handouts, newsletters and practice information.
  • Patient Education Center: Free handouts covering side effects, medications and procedures.
  • Conferences: Coverage of the annual scientific meetings of the oncology societies, a calendar of global cancer related meetings.
  • OncoLink University: Teaching guides for students at all levels and a core oncology related course for medical students entitled MD2B.

OncoLink is dedicated to providing the latest information on cancer risk, treatment and research. The site provides patient-friendly content developed by healthcare providers, patients and survivors, allowing users to become educated about risk, and have informed discussions with their healthcare providers, and make plans that give them the best shot at living a healthy life as both a cancer patient and survivor.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

 

 

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