Web Takes … November 2013 Picks

November 1, 2013

Gundersen Health System

Provider websites have come a long way since I started reviewing them 14 years ago. But with some excep­tions, interactive functions remain underutilized. This site for a Wisconsin system is one of those exceptions.

A click on the Health & Wellness link brings visitors to a page where they can access numerous interactive features. The first choice on the list is “Balance Your 7,” which pro­motes seven dimensions of wellness and finding balance in one’s life. The page links to a wide range of resources, from fitness calculators and quizzes about nutrition and feelings, to classes and events, health risk assessments, and a blog on balancing a busy life.

The health risk assessments in the Know Your Risk area cover heart disease, stroke, diabetes, joint pain, sleep disorders, and peripheral artery disease. The purpose and benefits of taking each assessment are clearly explained, and a link to the organi­zation’s related service page is in­cluded. An assessment takes only a couple of minutes to complete, and respondents are presented with a summary of their risk and access to a detailed report. Name, age, and full contact information are required before results are provided.

The Online Medical Encyclopedia offers a symptom checker and care guides, along with a wide range of clinical assessment tools.

Visitors will find many other inter­active features on the site. Included are the opportunity to sign up for three e-newsletters, a comprehensive bill review and pay section, classes and events that offer online registra­tion and payment, patient/customer feedback (which would be enhanced with a form rather than just email, phone, and mail options), and a tutorial on advance care planning. Also available is MyCare, a patient portal that offers many patient-physician communication functions.

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