With increasing use of health information technology, patients and health care providers can access consumer health information at the point they need it in an electronic health record (EHR) system.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), created MedlinePlus Connect, which links electronic health record systems to relevant health and wellness information from NLM’s authoritative consumer health Web site MedlinePlus.gov. MedlinePlus, available in English and Spanish, includes consumer health information from NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other U.S. government agencies and trusted health information providers. MedlinePlus delivers videos, news, tutorials, images, and comprehensive health information, updated daily.
MedlinePlus Connect brings patients or health care providers in an EHR to consumer-friendly information directly related to their concerns. MedlinePlus Connect accepts information requests based on coding systems already used by EHRs, and supports the health IT standards used by certified EHR systems as part of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
NLM worked with the Institute for Family Health (IFH), a group of community health centers, and piloted MedlinePlus Connect with IFH and Epic, an EHR provider. MedlinePlus Connect is easy-to-implement and free to any EHR system and its users.