A Critique Of The Flu.Gov Web Page

872 words - 3 pages

In the Emergency Department the flu season seems is an incredibly busy time of year. Hospitals are faced with numerous people coming in with complaints of fever, body aches, nausea and vomiting, and the like. According to Thomas & Ademolu (2014), the influenza virus is responsible for 200,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths in the United States per year. With this virus affecting so many patients it is imperative that there be adequate resources available to manage this disease. The following is an evaluation of Flu.gov. This website was chosen by the writer for evaluation as it was the first website to appear on a Google search when the author queried “flu”. Creators of Flu.gov focus their media on educating the public on influenza as well as the steps that can be taken in order to control outbreaks. The domain of the website indicates that it is a government managed website. The site is operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The site can be accessed directly at http://www.flu.gov/index.html.
Website Evaluation
A website can be evaluated through careful analysis of authority, information, objectivity, ease of navigation, and privacy and security policies (Hair, 2014). As previous states the website is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service and thereby has authority as “.gov” tends to be credible sources (Lane, 2010). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services further lends credibility to the website by clearly stating their name and providing contact information (Lane, 2010). Information on found on the website is consistent with information available through the Centers for Disease (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). The information was last updated March 19th, 2014. The content is written in a clear and concise manner. The site covers the topic of influenza in a comprehensive manner. Information includes community vaccination resources, prevention strategies, signs and symptoms, risk for specific populations, information on specific flu strands, possible complications, and treatment modalities in an objective manner. The site does demonstrate some bias in that there is a clear push for vaccinations. The site is easy to navigate with large font, attractive colors, and intuitive design. The sites privacy policies are clearly identified and the site contains no product advertising. Based on the above evaluation of Flu.gov one would consider this website to be a credible source and appropriate for use in the patient care setting possibly with prior facility approval.
Practice Implications
Lewis (2013), identified that when discharged from the emergency department, many patients do not actually understand their discharge instruction however individuals seem to be motivated to use online resources (Lewis, 2013). As nurses it must be a priority to ensure effective patient education has been completed and the patient is fully understanding of a treatment plan which is...

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