Building online clinical communities

Clinical Communities are a set of networking websites that link health professionals by therapy area. The Communities provide news, resources, e-learning, and member interviews. Joining a Clinical Community helps members raise their profile, keep up-to-date, share ideas and link up with peers.

3000 healthcare professionals are members of Oyster’s Clinical Communities, currently available in Liver Disease, Gastoenterology, Immununolgy, Haemtatology and MS.

Identify a target audience

Clinical Communities offer the perfect opportunity to identify and bring together everyone working within a therapy area – clinicians, specialist nurses, GPs and other professionals working across the UK who share the same specialist interest.


For professional bodies and patient groups, Clinical Communities provide a valuable member service. For pharmaceutical sponsors, Clinical Communities demonstrate a commitment to a therapy area and provide support to HCPs working in that area of medicine.

Quality information

Clinical Communities offer high-quality information. A panel of Clinical Editors, all key opinion leaders in their field, oversee each Clinical Community, and our in-house editorial team of trained journalists builds strong links with members to make sure content meets their needs.

Outstanding editorial content means users engage with the sites over the longer term; some are daily visitors. Members refer colleagues to content, creating organic growth in membership and identifying new professionals with an interest.

Bespoke components

Clinical Communities have a common core platform, but bespoke components and apps can be added to suit the needs of a particular therapy area. E-learning programmes, regular journal reviews and conference reports are just some of the ways in which Oyster keeps clinicians up-to-date on latest developments, research and best practice. Clinical Communities apps update members on the go.

Data reporting

Clients are provided with monthly data reports, which pinpoint popular content and pages within the Clinical Community in order to identify trends, hot topics and educational needs. Six years’ experience in providing this service has made us experts in providing online content to ensure returning traffic and long-term user engagement.

Contact us if you would like discuss establishing your own Clinical Community.


Research in haematology continues at a pace and standard of care for our patients is changing all the time - initiatives like these help busy clinicians and scientists to digest the more important and relevant developments.

Dr Graham Collins Clinical Editor Blood Club

The Clinical Community is the site I go to keep up to date with the latest goings on in the IBD world. It’s also a great way of finding people - you can search the members section to find people who work in certain hospitals. And of course there’s Learning Zone, which is great for new nurses but just as valuable for oldies like me to get ideas for audit, service improvement and more.

Helen Ludlow Clinical Editor Crohn’s and Colitis UK CC

I would recommend the MS Today Clinical Community. There are good tools to download, you can keep up to date with the latest research papers, and the e-learning is informative and easy to use. I like the iPhone app, it’s easy to look things up on the go, the site is great to use with an iPad too.

Alison Carolan Member of MS Today
BASL Clinical Community

BASL Clinical Community

Audience: The Clinical Community offers an added benefit to members of BASL. The Learning Zone is open to hepatology nurses.

Medium: online

Sponsor: The British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL); nurse e-learning sponsored by MSD and Janssen.

Aims: To offer BASL members a secure place to network, share resources and keep up-to-date on latest developments in research and practice. To provide nurse e-learning that responds to the educational needs of time-poor nurses working in hepatology, whether experienced or newly qualified.

Outcomes: The BASL Clinical Community has grown from 281 members at launch, in October 2011, to 940, in March 2013. There are 196 nurses registered to use the online toolkits to date. The average monthly page views are 3,294 and the average member spends around four minutes on the site per visit.