Boeing Frontiers
August 2003
Volume 02, Issue 04
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Cover Story

A convenient way to stay e-healthy

BoeingWellnessThe new Boeing e-health portal——provides interactive, private, and user-friendly health information where people are increasingly looking for it: on the Internet. By visiting the site, employees and their families worldwide gain free access to the knowledge and experience of 2,800 doctors, researchers, and specialists at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.

"The research shows that the majority of people with Internet access use it to search for health-related information," said Michael Brennan, manager of the Boeing Wellness program. "But they are concerned about the reliability of what they find.

"By partnering with The Mayo Clinic to create, the company is able to deliver the latest information from some the world's best doctors—seven days a week, 24 hours a day," Brennan said. "We placed this portal outside the Boeing computing 'firewall' so employees and their family members can use it whenever and wherever it's most convenient for them." This Web-based tool provides:

  • Easy search. Using the "Find Information Fast" feature, users can quickly navigate to the latest information about thousands of diseases and conditions—everything from "Achilles tendon rupture" to "private Zollinger-Ellison syndrome." The site's Drug Search section provides detailed information on thousands drugs, including proper doses, allergic reactions and precautions.
  • Up-to-the-minute news. When a health-related topic, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, is in the news, it also appears on—with insights from Mayo doctors and researchers.
  • Frequent updates. On Father's Day, users are likely to find an article in the "Timely Topics" section about parenting from a dad's perspective. In August, they'll probably find tips for staying cool while exercising in the summer heat.

    Additionally, as new research becomes available on key topics—such as Hormone Replacement Therapy—Mayo updates

  • Topics of interest. From the Food & Nutrition Center users can link to a healthy eating plan, they can link directly to the section about vitamins and minerals, or they can go straight to the Mayo online weight management program.
  • Automatic cross-referencing. For instance, if a visitor is browsing information related to tobacco use, a box about Free & Clear, the quit-tobacco program offered free of charge to employees, pops up.
  • Multimedia—video, quizzes, tips. If children's middle ear infections are a concern, a user can step through an interactive health-decision guide offering detailed information about the condition and the options for treatment. Featured in this decision guide are videos of parents discussing their experiences with making the same decisions.
  • Communication beyond one-way. Sections of the site, invite users to participate in polls related to the subject matter. For example, in the Pregnancy Center visitors were asked recently to vote on the severity of the morning sickness they experienced while pregnant. They could then see how their responses compared with those of other users.

    Users who sign up for the online Healthy Weight program have the option of requesting weekly e-mail messages from the Mayo Clinic. The messages remind them to return to the program to record their progress and receive new information free of charge.

  • Customization. In addition to the wealth of Mayo Clinic health information and wellness tools, offers timely information about local programs, services, and events offered exclusively to employees and family members. Because users personalize the site when they visit the first time, they only see information about what's available in their areas. For example, a Boeing employee in Wichita, Kan., would see information about the fitness and recreations opportunities offered in Wichita, but not in Puget Sound.

"This Web site can help our employees and their families make tough health decisions and get 'second opinion' type data online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Brennan said. "Or they can enhance their personal wellness program that can prevent illness for a longer life. Or they can find something as simple as a healthy recipe for tonight's dinner. This one site is the doorway to an entire world of health and wellness resources."

—Cynthia Pulham

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