Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MedlinePlus launches local health search

MedlinePlus is the online health information website provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. It has a health topic search, information about prescription drugs and supplements, a medical encyclopedia, and directories for finding hospitals and doctors. MedlinePlus also has a website for Spanish speakers.

The newest addition to the MedlinePlus health website is the "Go Local" search (link via ResourceShelf blog). This search allows people to find local health resources. The basic search is available for all fifty states and just covers hospital locations.

However, the complete search has three different ways to find information. One can search by county for all types of services, search for specific type of health care provider (such as nursing homes, physicians, and pharmacies), and search for local services by topic (i.e. particular diseases or health issues). The complete search capabilities are currently available for Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, parts of Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. More states will be added over time. This could be very helpful for older adults who are looking for caregivers in their area. The search includes local counselors/therapists, home health care services, hospice care services, adult day care services, crisis services, senior centers, and support groups. This website would be a good addition to any library’s “older adult” link list.

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