Useful Consumer Health Web Sites

  1. for many patients, television, radio, newspapers, and the internet are a major source of health information. hardly a day goes by without some controversial and often contradictory health news appearing in the popular media. often, the latest medical breakthroughs are exaggerated by inexperienced reporters, overeager editors, and self-interested scientists.

    unfortunately, patients with a fatal disease or family members desperate for a treatment breakthrough may ignore qualifiers included in a story about a promising treatment. patients are also confused because various research studies seem to contradict each other. nurses can help patients understand these reports by cautioning them to be critical of new studies and findings.

    today, more resources than ever are available to patients and families. unfortunately, many of these sources of information, particularly on the internet, are scientifically unsound and may be unsafe. by providing patients and families with health care resources and by helping them evaluate the resources, nurses can help empower those we care for with the knowledge and problem solving skills to manage health problems and prevent further disease and disability.

    useful consumer health web sites

    centers for disease control and prevention (cdc) - - resources about general health and disease topics arranged alphabetically under "health topics a-z"

    health finder - - serves as a gateway to consumer health information, databases, web sites, support and self-help groups, and government agencies and nonprofit organizations that produce accurate and reliable information for the public

    healthweb - - helps consumers locate quality health-related internet resources

    hiv insite - - a gateway to in-depth information about various aspects of hiv/aids - - provides information from over 2,000 health care professionals at the mayo clinic to patients and the general public

    medem - - a site provided and approved by the country's leading medical societies; includes a "find a physician" section

    medline plus - - a consumer-oriented web site provided by the national library of medicine, the world's largest biomedical library

    national women's health information center (nwhic) - - serves a gateway for selected women's health information resources

    noah: new york online access to health - - one of the oldest health consumer web sites, provides high-quality and accurate full-text information to consumers

    oncolink - - a site specializing in cancer-related information for consumers

    nurseweek: education
  2. Visit VickyRN profile page

    About VickyRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,037; Likes: 6,475
    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds


  3. by   VickyRN
    these are also excellent resources for patients (compliments of daytonite):

    medicine net diseases & conditions a to z index

    medicine net symptoms & signs a to z index

    medicine net procedures & tests a to z index

    health a to z – diseases and conditions page (use the search box)

    aetna intelihealth (use the search box)

    peacehealth consumer information (use the search box)

    emedicinehealth first aid and consumer health information list of topics from a to z

    encyclopedia of surgery

    lab tests online
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jan 1, '07
  4. by   VickyRN
  5. by   chickefitz
    For those in critical care or emergency, it may also be useful to note those sites that help when you have to inform a family member or friend that they need urgently to come to the hospital. Quite often I find that hospital websites don't have information to help a family member find nearby hotels or to provide the address or even driving directions.

    One that I have used is, as they have a page built for our local hospital and they allow the hospital to link our website directly to that page. It makes it easier for the nurses on duty that have to make the calls to just refer them to the customer care section of our website.

    I'd be interested in best practices for other hospitals of how they deal with this.