USE THESE THREE RESOURCES available online to help patients and their families better understand their illnesses. These databases and other resources are provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), an arm of the federally run National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Created for patients and their families and friends, this resource provides information on more than 1,000 diseases and conditions using easy-to-understand language. Users can learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out what clinical terms mean, or view medical videos. The site features a link to the consumer-friendly NIH MedlinePlus Magazine, which features articles about people from all walks of life talking about how they've handled their health challenges.
Genetics Home Reference
NLM launched this free resource in 2003 to give patients, families, and the public information about genetic disorders and the genes or chromosomes associated with them. By reviewing easy-to-read summaries of more than 1,200 genetic health conditions, patients and their families can learn more about the effects of genetic variation on human health. It also features a primer called “Help Me Understand Genetics,” an illustrated introduction to some of the basics of human genetics. A section of new and updated pages features the latest research on both common and unusual genetic diseases.
This referral program is designed to help healthcare professionals refer patients to trustworthy consumer health Web sites produced by the NLM and encourage them to consume evidence-based health information on the Internet. Healthcare professionals and librarians can order free Information Rx “prescription” pads and other materials that direct patients to MedlinePlus.gov or Genetics Home Reference resources. The Information Rx site is free of advertising, reviewed by experts, and updated regularly.