About the UVa Health System Website

Definition and Purpose

The University of Virginia Health System homepage (http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/) is the official Internet site for the Health System. The purpose of the homepage is to provide a single point of entry to information and services that are provided by departments within the Health System. Defined broadly, the Health System is made up of the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Medical Center, the Health Sciences Library, and the Health Services Foundation.

The Health System homepage is structured using portals for each of the primary user audiences served. The use of distinct portals allows users to self-identify as they come to the homepage and in doing so, allow them to follow the pathway that makes the most sense given their need for information. The four portals serve consumers and patients, healthcare professionals, those interested in education and research, and Health System employees.


Health System Web development and the coordinated management of the Health System Web site is provided by the Web Development Center (WDC). The WDC is responsible for technical oversight of the Web site. Under the direction of the Health System Web Steering Committee and associated Web Working Groups, the WDC has the responsibility of defining the site's functionality, interface design, information architecture, and navigation. Areas of responsibility include the Health System homepage, all four primary portal pages and to some extent their secondary pages, and any sites integrated into the primary navigation of the site including maps, calendars, search engine, departmental site index, and directories. The WDC is also responsible for the content of these pages. Through the use of a standardized template, the WDC is responsible for maintaining consistent design and navigation across the entire Health System Web site. Content residing on specific departmental Web sites is the responsibility of the department.

Viewing Our Site

Although this site has been thoroughly tested across multiple browsers, platforms, operating systems, and monitor resolutions, viewing is optimal with 5.0 or later versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape, and Firefox 1.0 or higher. We design for optimal viewing using a screen resolution of 800 x 600. Graphics, images, and scripting used on the homepage and portal pages have been optimized for the fastest download possible.

The Health System's website is developed and managed using a Web Content Management System (CMS). Because the CMS serves as the master template delivery system, accessibility standards are supported through consistent templates made available within the CMS. The template in use today meets WC3 priority 1 and 2 accessibility levels and Section 508 standards. A document-type provided within the template's header code is used to facilitate validation and browser display.

The Health System's primary entry pages - template and copy -- are designed to facilitate the use of screen readers. The default font family and size used throughout the site was selected to optimize readability for all users including those who may be visually impaired.


In 2005, the Health System received two awards for their consumer health website uvahealth.com. In the category of best homepage the Health System received the 23rd annual healthcare advertisting award coordinated by the Healthcare Marketing Report. In November 2005, the Health System was recognized with a "Best in Class" award by Greystone.net for the category "best website marketing." The Best in Class award category is specifically designed for organizations that have used marketing techniques to drive traffic to their website, and are able to demonstrate positive results.

In November 2000, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Modern Healthcare magazine recognized the Health System the first ever "Quest for the Best" Healthcare Provider Web Site Award.

Questions or comments about this site can be sent to Web Development Center.