As part of our new biweekly format, Modern Physician is offering a new feature to alternate with our "By the Numbers" page. In this spot we will feature Web sites that are designed to provide information and services to healthcare professionals. For readers who already are regular Web surfers, we hope to suggest sites that you have yet to discover. For others, these highlighted sites may be a good place to start your search for the latest in healthcare business and management information. And for the latest in healthcare business news, please visit our Web site at www.modernphysician.com.
Kaiser Family Foundation (www.kff.org)
The Kaiser Family Foundation Web site is an information-heavy vehicle that provides archived reports on no less than 50 topics of interest to health professionals. Daily updates cover HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and health policy. An independent, philanthropic foundation, the foundation offers links to a variety of corporate sponsors. Its work is focused in health policy, media and public education and health and development in South Africa. The site is updated frequently, mostly with articles and updates created in-house. Recently launched is www.kaisernetwork.org, a site dedicated to late-breaking news and webcasts of policy decisions in Washington and elsewhere. AdWatch, a library of health policy issue ads from interest groups, provides analysis along with background on the issues and ad sponsorship.
One of the potentially potent features of this site is "Your Practice Online," which allows physicians to build Web sites. It allows physicians to post a photograph, practice philosophy, affiliations and specialties, as well as articles and other practice-specific information. Also available on Medem's site is a medical library and an AMA physician finder. Medem was founded last year by the AMA and several other medical societies. While these societies all participate, it is interesting to note that there are no direct links to their Web sites. However, the physicians' sites frequently offer links to societies with which they are affiliated.
This site focuses specifically on serving specialty medical practice needs. Salu has created marketplaces or "hubs" devoted to key specialties including allergy, neurology, dermatology, reproductive medicine and cardiology. Unlike many other healthcare-related sites, Salu is devoted entirely to doctors and their practices. It also offers a Web site builder in addition to messaging services and a "practice promoter." The practice promoter provides marketing tools to help practices gain more visibility on the Web and in their community. Messaging services help practices set up secure e-mail communication with patients.