Launching a palliative care homepage: the Edmonton experience
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The Internet, with its graphical subdivision, the World Wide Web (WWW). has become a powerful tool for the dissemination of information and for communication. This paper discusses the authors' experiences with creating, launching and maintaining an official publication on the Internet by the Edmonton Regional Palliative Care Program and the Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada. It describes the content and format of the homepage and the process of publication. Over a six-month period there were 892 visits to the site and 84 separate items of correspondence to the site's editors. Of these correspondence items, 36 were requesting further information regarding clinical and other programme information. Sixty-nine of the 84 communications came from North America and Europe. The pattern of readership is briefly discussed as are some of the potential advantages and challenges when utilizing this electronic medium. To promote the dissemination of reliable information on the Internet, the authors encourage other palliative care groups and organizations to publish on the WWW. The URL is http:/(/)www.palliative.org (previously http:/(/)www.caritas.ab.ca/approximately palliate).
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