Health information at your finger tips? There is more goodness to the electronic health record (EHR) than the general public is aware of. The U.S National Library of Medicine (NIH) offers an extremely helpful website entitled Medline Plus http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ This site advises of Health information inclusive of symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention on more than 800 illnesses, diseases, wellness issues and health conditions. It also offers information concerning prescription drugs, over the counter medications, supplements and herbal information which includes information of dosage, side effects and special precautions. Medline Plus also offers health related videos as well as allows one to add the site in favorites as well as your RSS reader, email updates and twitter. The information is updated daily, offering the latest health related topics and health news.
How useful is this tool to the general public? It can save you life and it can save you money should a condition related symptom occur that overwhelms your life. We do not always take into account that our bodies tell us that there is a problem. All too often we learn to accommodate a symptom until it is out of control, and then we call the doctor to hear, “Why did you wait so long to make an appointment?” Medline plus offers so much more to our well being that physicians are appreciative to the very existence of the website. A vast amount of physicians, clinics and hospitals utilize this web tool as well. Some physicians and clinics offer handouts to this very site in order to offer their clients better patient care. Within this site, you can check your own health with quizzes as well as calculators, download the information and take it into your physician for a more thorough examination. Your physician can quickly evaluate the information and determine what treatment or tests may become a factor relative to your complaints. Unfortunately, we do not always think of all that we should tell a physician when we are sitting face to face with them. However, within the comfort and privacy of your own home you can sit at the computer and offer all pertinent information, print it out and take it along on your scheduled physicians visit.
Fear of a test, procedure or surgery? No longer should this be unsettling to your mind. The site offers videos and explanations concerning expectations and related information to just about every test, procedure or surgery utilized in medicine today. It should no longer be a mystery to why a physician concludes a treatment for you or your loved one. It is human nature to be concerned it is also human nature to further question our concerns. Utilizing the public health information within this site grants answers to further health related concerns. Another helpful factor is the unanswered questions that we have; concerning others, where HIPPA laws shut out further personal information concerning someone we care about. How often have you walked from a hospital room after visiting someone that you dearly care about, them having just advised you of a test, procedure or surgery they are about to have? Of course under HIPPA laws this information can no longer be discussed with you; unless of course, you are authorized within the patient’s agreement for this to be so. More so than not, you will find comfort in the direct ability to come home and plug in the information the patient has offered and read to why this certain treatment may be a necessity for that individual. Now this has become a learning tool that adds comfort without breaching personal information. Providing you choose to utilize this site and read about the National Institutes Health website, you will quickly understand that it is set up for patients, their families and friends in order to bring you free information any time, anywhere in a language that you can understand.