Web Health Links
Finding Reliable Health Information on the Internet
What about using Google or some other search engine?
If a search engine is used, lots of results are generated. It is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Many results may be from organizations with a strong bias or financial interest in your linking to their website.
How can I tell if a website has good information?
Look for one of the two logos below at the bottom of the first page of a website:
The first signifies certification by the Health on the Net Foundation http://www.hon.ch a non-governmental organization that accredits other websites as being honorable sources of health information. The second is a private company that has certification from URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization. Either logo is the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for internet health information.
Are there some particularly useful websites?
Here are some useful health information websites recommended by Orcas Medical Center:
Medline Plus This is the website of the National Library of Medicine in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. http://medlineplus.gov
There are several major sections to this website:
- Health topics (over 750) listed A to Z http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthtopics.html
- A more comprehensive encyclopedia is written by ADAM.com, a proprietary website that also has unbiased, evidence-based information. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html
- A good place to look up medications is provided by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginformation.html
- Medical Library Association’s top ten most useful sites for health consumers http://www.mlanet.org/resources/medspeak/topten.html
- The MLA’s top one hundred health websites to be trusted can be reviewed at http://caphis.mlanet.org/consumer/index.html
Other general sites include:
- WebMD http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/hp.asp
- Merck Manual Home Edition http://www.merck.com/mmhe/index.html
- Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com
More specialized websites include the following:
- Centers for Disease Control: (an agency of the United States) is particularly good for international travel concerns, vaccine information, and information on infectious diseases. http://www.cdc.gov.
- Immunization Action Coalition: This is an excellent source for immunization information. If you know of anyone who is getting information on immunization elsewhere, please encourage them to look at this website as well. http://www.vaccineinformation.org
- American Diabetes Association: Good information and resources on diabetes is available. It includes prevention, treatment, and nutrition. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics
- Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension: This is known as the DASH diet and is useful to people who want to improve their nutrition with the goal of blood pressure reduction and hypertension prevention. It is provided by the National Institutes of Health. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/introduction.html
- Cancer information is available from the National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
- AIDS and HIV information from the University of California at San Francisco. http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu