The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

COMPARISON OF RESPIRATORY THERAPY DEPARTMENT WEBSITES

V. Roberts1, M. Babic1, A. Cunningham1, M. Hoffman1, L. Kester1, J. Lavelle1, R. L. Chatburn1, J. K. Stoller2


In a world dominated by the internet, where 70% of adults in North America are connected, it is easy to see the value a website could have for a Respiratory Therapy (RT) department. Potential uses for a website include public and staff education, recruitment and news communication. The purpose of this study was to identify RT department websites at highly ranked hospitals and rate their content.

Methods:
A list of hospital websites was compiled using US News and World Reports list of “Best Hospitals” and a simple Google search. The top 20 hospitals ranked in respiratory disorders were selected. A total of 16 sites were evaluated (Table). Each site was rated by seven RT staff members using a set of ten content criteria:

1-Description of profession,

2-Description of department,

3-List of RT employees,

4-Employment opportunities,

5-Educational material,

6-Policies & procedures,

7-Department achievements/ history,

8-News,

9-RT links,

10-Overall look & feel.

The rating scale used was: 0-not available or poor, 1-adequate, 2-good.

Results: Scores ranged from 1.6 to 14.6 out of 20 possible points. Three sites of 16 achieved > 11 points and these highest ranking sites all offered, to some degree, elements of all the evaluation criteria. Notably, one site offered a virtual tour of the RT department, as well as several patient care areas.

Conclusions:
Respiratory therapy websites have not applied internet capabilities to their fullest potential. Several leading sites provide excellent examples of what can be accomplished.


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