For Healthcare Professionals: Introducing this site to your patients

Dear Colleague,
Parents of children with cancer and other serious conditions have told us that the sheer volume of information available on the Internet can be overwhelming, and many parents say they do not feel confident to evaluate the credibility of this information. In addition, although the proportion of parents who know how to access information on the Internet has increased, many parents say they are not yet fully computer-competent.

As health educators, we saw that there was a need for an information navigator for patients and families. With funding from the Ronald McDonald House Charities and expert assistance from health care professionals, patients, families, and web design gurus, we developed the HOPE Portal (www.searchhope.org) to serve as a quick and simple way to navigate to vetted online information and support group resources.

You can find information yourself or direct patients and families to the site. The “home” page offers assistance for people who want more information about how to use a computer or the Internet. The search for information can be customized according to who the user is (parent/guardian, patient, sibling, healthcare professional, other), by the disease or condition, and by the age group of the patient.

We think that what will make the HOPE Portal especially useful to you and your patients/families are the user reviews, and ratings of both reading and technical levels (low – medium – high). The site is maintained by a senior health educator with expertise in pediatric hematology-oncology, who will continuously update information and links so you will be able to count on the HOPE Portal as a gateway to solid information and current resources.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts about the site, how you use it, and your suggestions for its continuous improvement. Happy information hunting!

Kathleen Ruccione, RN, MPH, FAAN
Co-Director, HOPE Program

Susan Gantan, MPH
Coordinator, HOPE Health Education Services

Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases
Children's Hospital Los Angeles