Performance Improvement 2011-2012. Does the Redesigned Home Page of the Radiation Emergency Medical Management Website Enhance Usability and Navigation?

01/01/2012

During the Fukushima nuclear incident, the Radiation Emergency Medical Management website (REMM @ http://remm.nlm.gov ) was accessed more than 170,000 times on the first day and hundreds of thousands of times during incident. It has clearly become a vital resource for information during a radiation incident response. The mobile REMM app in both the Apple and Android app stores has been downloaded thousands of times, especially during the Fukushima incident.

Evaluators studied the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) website to determine whether a redesigned home page would enhance the usability and navigation of the website. The REMM website provides guidance for health care providers, primarily physicians, about clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation injury during radiological and nuclear emergencies; just-in-time, evidence-based, usable information with sufficient background and context to make complex issues understandable to those without formal radiation medicine expertise; and web-based information that is also downloadable in advance, so that it would be available during an emergency if the internet is not accessible. Usability tests were conducted using individual in-person and remote sessions.

Participant reactions were positive and some of the redesign suggestions were implemented for enhanced usability of the site. Participants found the content valuable, including the depth of the information, having all information about radiation medical management gathered in one site, and the useful tools, including the algorithms, dose estimators, and detailed procedures. Most participants preferred aspects of the new home page design, stating that they would use the site again, and that they would recommend it to others. Participants recommended that an expanded display of the multimedia library would improve the usability of the website and highlight its value to potential users. This was implemented.  A number of the requested enhancements have been added to the site including a multimedia carousel, and a redesign of the “right side” of the page have made new and select resources more accessible.

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