Digital Health Communication – Diabetes Centers – UCSF Medical Center

Diabetes centers are the primary focus for this research because of diabetes; caused by hormonal issues and also by lifestyle choices, continues to be life threatening due to severe complications associated with it (North Raleigh Clinic, 2017). The presence of a digital platform that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of diabetes is vital in early detection and also the management of diabetes before serious complications arise. Two Diabetes centers are the central focus; North Raleigh Endocrinology and Diabetes Center and Diabetes Center University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

North Raleigh Center targets not only diabetics but also other hormone related conditions like thyroid disorders, pituitary and adrenal, calcium and bone and sex-hormone related conditions. The facility has two physical locations and a website (North Raleigh Clinic, 2017). A fax and phone numbers are available on the website, and no other social media platform links have been displayed (North Raleigh Clinic, 2017).

The entire website has only three pictures that are not diabetes related. The mission and history of the organization are not listed on the website (North Raleigh Clinic, 2017). A link on the website provides downloadable patient forms such as registration forms, physician referral forms, and billing information; credit cards they accept and other payment means acceptable. There is the provision of external links that give more information about research, support groups and easy to read topics among other information about the mentioned conditions manageable by North Raleigh Center (North Raleigh Clinic, 2017). Maps for the two physical locations are present alongside the written physical addresses.

Strengths

Weaknesses

v  Billing information present.

v  Maps and physical location provided.

v  Downloadable patient forms giving patient history to the doctor prior to consultation.

v  Poor pictorial choices on the website.

v  No social media platform available to access information about the clinic.

v  Lacks history, mission and general clinic information.

Opportunities

Threats

v  More pictorial description of diseases treatable

v  Links to social media

v  Indication of their victories in management of diabetes

v  Information release authorization that is downloadable, patient signature can be faked enabling a third party to acquire confidential information

Table 1

Diabetes Center UCSF has a sophisticated website. The home page displays a pictorial slide show of doctors appearing to consult each other and other photos of doctors who seem to be to be having conversations with patients; a grown-up and a child, the doctors with smiles on their faces. The first impression from opening this website is that; the facility has professional and friendly doctors (UCSF Medical Center, 2017). A link ‘About Us’ has pictures of the team on what looks like a team building adventure with other sub-links such as history and mission; a vision for a cure drives their leadership in Diabetes. A listed evidence of their successes from 1960’s is listed; from developing a way to measure insulin levels among other great achievements in the 1960’s to create the pioneering functioning human thymus tissue obtained from the embryonic stem cells in the 2010’s (UCSF Medical Center, 2017). A black and white photo that appears to be of scientists from mid 19 century is present.

A link focusing on their research is present; type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity and clinical trials. A photo is present showing a scientist handling samples (UCSF Medical Center, 2017). Links about patient care and patient education are available giving information concerning pediatric patients, adults and diabetes clinics. It also has a link for donations and news link that enables one connect with them to receive e-news updates and also online newsletters through the email. A search place is available that uses key words to find answers to different questions by those accessing the website (UCSF Medical Center, 2017). A video gallery, a link that connects directly to Twitter and a ‘game’ to make gifts in the form of online donation is present.

Strengths

Weaknesses

v  Relevant and well-situated pictures

v  Sufficient information about clinic activities; newsletters

v  Gives impression that they believe in teamwork

v  Patient education that involves both pediatrics and adults.

v  Social media link available; twitter

v  Documentation about their research achievements over the years.

v  Mention of donations to the clinic; can be a turn- off

v  Focuses on diabetes only leaving out other hormone related conditions.

Opportunities

Threats

v  Provide online platform for appointment booking

v  Provide mobile apps that provide answers to inquiries and appointment booking

v  Too many features on the website that can be confusing.

The rationale of equipping healthcare organizations with digital platform ranges from the benefits of early booking, inquiries that can be answered over the phones (UCSF Medical Center, 2017). It enables elimination of the hustle that comes from traveling all the way to the clinic and patient education on what symptoms to watch out for, how dieting can be vital in living a healthy lifestyle to bolster saving of lives (North Raleigh Clinic, 2017).

The digital platform brings the patient closer to the doctor. Availability of articles on diabetes that are mentored by actual doctors hence giving out accurate information is key to prevention, management, and diagnosis of diabetes (UCSF Medical Center, 2017).

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