New MedlinePlus: An In-depth Look


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  • Every time you turn around, you find health information. Many of the sites shown here will be familiar to you. What makes MedlinePlus different? Why is it the best place to start, in nearly every situation where you need health information?
  • Reliable
    Up to Date
    No Advertisements or Endorsements
    Easy to Use
    Information on Health Topics, Drugs & Supplements
    English and Spanish
    Interactive Tutorials, encyclopedia, dictionary, and directories
  • If you are printing information for a patron, clicking the Print button will reformat the information into a page that is much more useful for a printout, as you’ll see on the next page.
  • All of the links have the entire URL, or web address, typed out in full. It also provides the URL of the main page, so that the person can go back there if they need to access it from another computer later.
  • The Share link allows you to take the information from this page and post, share or bookmark the information to nearly 300 different services or sites. You can share on Twitter, add to bookmark services such as Delicious, blogging applications such as Wordpress and Blogger, URL shortening such as, and many more There are currently 283 services and sites listed under the Share link, check it out!
  • New MedlinePlus: An In-depth Look

    1. 1. Kelli Ham, MLIS Consumer Health Coordinator NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Part of the National Institutes of Health, NLM is the provider of,, and many other health information resources What is the National Library of Medicine?
    4. 4. Online Health Searching 88% of online searchers look for health information Over half of online health searchers later discussed information with their doctors Half of all searches are based on discussions with doctors Harris Poll, “Cyberchondriacs” on the Rise? August 4, 2010
    5. 5. What are the top sources consulted for health information? Health professional = 86% Friend or family member = 68% Internet=57% Books or other print material=54% Insurance provider=33% Other source=5% Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project The Social Life of Health Information, June 2009
    6. 6. Health Information is Everywhere! How does MedlinePlus differ from popular search engines and commercial health sites?
    7. 7. About Debuted in 1998 with 22 health topics, now there are over 800 topics Designed to be appealing and easy to use Not a search engine, but a current collection of the best links to health information Adheres to strict quality guidelines No advertising or collection of personal info
    8. 8. MedlinePlus In a Nutshell • Over 800 health topics in English and Spanish • Drug and herbal supplement information • Videos and animations • Health Check tools • Easy-to-read Materials • Multiple Languages • Medical Dictionary & Encyclopedia • Health News
    9. 9.
    10. 10. Search Tips Key word versus phrase searching - renal cell cancer = 985 results • - “renal cell cancer” = 24 results Boolean searching ( OR, NOT ) - ”weight loss” NOT surgery - “weight loss” “gastric bypass” (AND is the default) Use the asterisk to search for word variations - lymph* (lymphoma, lymphatic, lymphedema)
    11. 11. Designed for Everyone People use different search strategies Type keywords in search box Scan list of topics Click on meaningful icons or visually appealing images Browse pages No matter how someone searches, they will find information on MedlinePlus!
    12. 12.
    13. 13. When formatted for printing, the URLs are spelled out
    14. 14. Clicking the speaker icon will play an audio pronunciation
    15. 15. MedlinePlus Magazine A quarterly publication of the Friends of the National Library of Medicine. Get a free subscription!
    16. 16.
    17. 17. NIH MedlinePlus Salud comes out twice a year Bilingual format on facing pages
    18. 18. Reality Check One out of _____ American adults reads at the 5th grade level or below. The average American reads at about the 8th grade level, yet most health care materials are written above the ____ grade level.
    19. 19. Reality Check One out of 5 American adults reads at the 5th grade level or below. The average American reads at about the 8th grade level, yet most health care materials are written above the 10th grade level. Source: Partnership for Clear Health Communication, National Patient Safety Foundation
    20. 20. Health Literacy Defined Ability to obtain and understand health information, and to act on that information 1 in 3 adults have Basic or Below Basic skills
    21. 21. MedlinePlus Offers Easy-to-understand Information Easy-to-read Resources Plain language information from government agencies and health organizations Interactive Tutorials with audio, images, and text at 6th grade level How to Write Easy-to-read Tools to help recognize elements of easy-to-read resources Helpful information for writing understandable information
    22. 22. Medical encyclopedia entry
    23. 23. Medical encyclopedia images
    24. 24. Medical Encyclopedia – Patient Instructions
    25. 25. Source: American Society of Health System Pharmacists
    26. 26. Drug Record in Spanish
    27. 27. Just Added! Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version 100 English and Spanish monographs Herbals, dietary supplements, and how they work Effectiveness ratingsfor different indications Safety concerns, including precautions ,warnings and possible interactions with medications, foods, and other herbs and supplements Extensive lists of references, with links to PubMed
    28. 28. Herbs and Supplements Record
    29. 29. Videos and Cool Tools
    30. 30. From A.D.A.M Features brief video with transcript Requires QuickTime (free download)
    31. 31. Health Check Tools and Games  Assess your risk for health conditions  Have fun learning about your health  For all ages
    32. 32. Example: Health Check Tool Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
    33. 33. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Example: Health Check Tool
    34. 34. Food Detectives Fight Bac – Partnerships for Food Safety
    35. 35. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    36. 36.
    37. 37. HealthDay Videos – MedlinePlus News
    38. 38. Content optimized for small screens Works on smart phones and other mobile devices In English and Spanish
    39. 39. 01/30/15
    40. 40. Training Programs for Seniors
    41. 41. English: Spanish:
    42. 42. Take-away Points 1) Help your patrons be informed health information searchers 2) Encourage them to ask questions 3) Be an advocate for health
    43. 43. Questions?
    44. 44. Thank You! Kelli Ham, MLIS Consumer Health Coordinator NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library (800)338-7657