To keep FPM fresh and relevant to your needs, we're continually making small adjustments to the journal's content, but every few years, we also take the time to look at what we're doing from top to bottom in what we've come to call a “re-visioning” of the journal. We study the reader research we have done and carry out more with the re-visioning in mind; we conduct an environmental scan; we review the design and layout of the journal; and we make it new again.
Since our last major re-visioning took place in 1998, we decided it was high time for another one, and we've been working on it all year. Soon you'll see the results: A new look for FPM, some new departments, and a strengthened focus on coding and documentation and high-quality patient care in addition to information technology and meat-and-potatoes practice operations. Each issue will offer a greater variety of feature articles. Watch for the renewed FPM, coming in September.
Online changes to come
The changes won't be limited to the print issue. FPM's slender, easy-to-read issues constitute the peaks of a mountain range of useful information available through FPM's Web site (https://www.aafp.org/fpm/), and we're working on improvements to that resource at the same time.
Surprisingly few readers take advantage of this growing online storehouse of tools and advice from past articles, though. It's available free of charge to all readers of the journal, whether they are AAFP members or not. It offers nearly eight years of the full text of FPM plus a “Toolbox” containing dozens and dozens of decision support guides, coding references, flow sheets and other tools that have been published in the journal.
As a result of changes already underway, FPM online will soon have a new, improved search engine to help you find the articles you need quickly. When the work is complete, your search results will be sorted with topic and title matches (the ones most likely to be useful) at the top. One change already implemented gives each article a list of useful links to related articles and other resources.
The Web site is still a work in progress; we hope to make it even more useful in the coming months as we rebuild the site from the ground up with a variety of additional features and a more user-friendly design.
The last diary entry
One aspect of our re-visioning of FPM that I do regret is that we'll be losing “Practice Diary,” the department that Sanford J. Brown, MD, has contributed regularly for more than six years. I know this will disappoint readers who look forward to Dr. Brown's wry commentaries on practice and life, but unfortunately we can't have it all. To make room for an expanded feature-article section, we had to make trade-offs, and this is one of them. We'll miss the spice of Dr. Brown's Diary in FPM, so please make sure you read his last chapter in this issue.
Change is never easy. When you see the next few issues of FPM, however, I hope that you will recognize substantial improvements in the journal and continue reading it for years to come.