The Encyclopedia has been established in multiple phases:
Phase 1: Mock-up Phase
The goal of this phase was to explore issues related to graphic designs, ergonomics, functionalities and content production workflows. Moreover, all services were presented on a mock-up website in order to stimulate and focus the discussions between all project teams. This phase was outsourced to HON and was accomplished in December 2010. The main deliverables of the project include:
- A graphic and ergonomics concept for the Encyclopedia's website.
- An illustrated set of potential content and services.
- Identification and evaluation of potential content sources.
- An analysis of the workflow for coordinated content management including authoring, validation, translation , editing and quality assurance.
Elements of the site include general services, localized services and personalized services. The general services include:
- An Encyclopedia of health topic including articles on complementary and preventive medicine.
- A medical dictionary.
- An easy information access through key criteria (age, gender, etc.)
- Health related news through syndication.
- Health tutorials.
- Video streaming and podcast.
- Tools for improving accessibility.
The localized services include a directory of health associations, hospitals, clinics, health services and health professionals in the Arab World.
The personalized services include:
- Subscription to specific information services.
- Mobile phone access.
- Social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Personal health tools.
With regard to the source of content, the project team has decided on relying on health information produced by WHO, NHS and PEI, in addition to health information produced by Arab health professionals. Agreements were signed between the Encyclopedia and these organizations for content syndication. See below under 'Lincenses' for more information.
Phase 2: Establish Core Database and Publish first version of the Encyclopedia.
In this phase, the Encyclopedia covered a limited number of health topics. This included most of the services, such as video stream and multimedia, and a directory of disease, directory of drugs and articles on complementary and preventive medicine. In this phase a directory of most associations, hospitals, clinics and health professionals in the Arab World has been created. The first version of the Encyclopedia has been launched online upon successful execution of this phase.
Phase 3: Enhancement of Services.
As the number of visitors and the involvement of health professionals increases, more health content will be added. This phase is a continuous process and started immediately after phase 2.
Phase 4: Promotion of Scientific Research.
Promote scientific research through the encouragement of research centers to represent their findings to serve health professionals. The Encyclopedia will include: statistics (epidemiology), scientific articles, case studies, clinical trials and on-going research in health area. As phase 3, phase 4 is also an ongoing process.
The medical and health information available on this website is licensed to be used by several partners of the NGHA. The following partners have licensed the Encyclopedia to use their information:
- Patient Education Institute (PEI) provides the written content and the X-Plain tutorials.
- National Health Service (NHS) choices provides the video’s.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) provides the dictionary and the mesh.
The medical and health information from these licensors is evidence-based knowledge derived from peer-reviewed scientific research and from the direct experience of clinicians, other health professionals, patients and the wider public.
Furthermore, the medical and health information derived from these licensors has been checked initially for accuracy, accessibility, balance and tone. For more information about the exact editorial policy of the licensors, check their websites:
The editorial process of the Encyclopedia is as follows:
Phase 1. Medical and health information is provided by NGHA’s licensors to Encyclopedia.
Phase 2. The medical and health information is created or edited.
Phase 3. The English content is validated.
Phase 4. The English content is translated into Arabic.
Phase 5. Media files are reviewed
Phase 6. The Arabic content is validated.
Phase 7. In some cases a final verification by external sources is executed.
Phase 8. A final verification by the editor is executed.
Phase 9. The production is published on the website by HON.
Medical and health information from NGHA’s licensors is (if needed) translated, reviewed and updated by the editorial board and the translators of the Encyclopedia. Following the approval of the content and translation of the text by the
National Health Council, HON places the information online and is in charge of the maintenance of the website.
Regular reviews, at least once a year, are pursued by the editorial board to strive to keep the medical and health information accurate, consistent and up-to-date.
Content Team Leader: Dr. Abdulrahman Al Sughayr MD, MSc, PMP