244121 Creation of MySPH, the USC Arnold School of Public Health's web portal

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nathaniel Jay Patterson, MHA , Office of Public Health Practice, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Lydia Frass, PhD, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Lillian U. Smith, DrPH, MPH, CHES , Director, Office of Public Health Practice and SC Public Health Consortium, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Gregory A. Hand, PhD MPH , Arnold School of Public Health, Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
BACKGROUND Web portals, developed in the early 1990s in the business sector to increase productivity within an organization and to facilitate Web searches, have been defined “as a doorway that can be customized by individual users to filter information from the web.” Portals have been adopted by entities outside of business and have evolved into customizable ‘one-stop-shops'. The University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health (USC-ASPH), along with South Carolina's Public Health Consortium, first envisioned “a website that will integrate multiple data sources to serve as the clearinghouse of SC public health academic/practice collaborations.” The Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP), housed within USC-ASPH, was tasked with developing this site for public health students, faculty, staff, practitioners, and others interested in public health. It will link together various resources for public health issues, news, research, jobs, practicum opportunities, and online learning communities. Named My School of Public Health (MySPH), a work in progress, is a means for advancing health informatics within USC-ASPH.

PURPOSE This project's purpose is to present evaluation analysis of MySPH's development process.

METHODOLOGY Using formative evaluation methodology, the following research questions were posed:

(1) How should the Website be delivered and what resources included? (2) How has MySPH been used? (3) What has been learned?

RESULTS The first development phase evaluated USC's technology infrastructure. Following this, OPHP determined that external resources were necessary and investigated current technologies that could incorporate the Consortium's and USC-ASPH's needs. Customizable, Open Source, portal technology was selected. Initial portal content was selected by stakeholders and included: a profile builder, a practicum experience database, login security, and internal communities. Students have created profiles within an Opportunity Manager. Modifications based on student feedback have been integrated.

DISCUSSION Following challenges, MySPH was launched during Fall, 2010, and is in beta testing.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to 1. Define Web portals. 2. Discuss the creation of MySPH, the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health’s portal. 3. Identify barriers and resources for portal creation.

Keywords: Information Technology, Public Health Informatics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Coordinator for the Office of Public Health Practice and Informatics Coordinator for the South Carolina Public Health Training Center. In this role I developed and am managing the MySPH Project, the subject of this presentation. Currently, I am a doctoral student in Health Service Policy and Management at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health with four years of project management and coordination experience in public health. My academic experience includes serving Midlands Technical College, Columbia, SC as an adjunct instructor. In addition, my professional experiences include consulting in emergency management and disaster preparedness, health services and business management.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.