An In-Depth Look at MedlinePlus

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Transcript An In-Depth Look at MedlinePlus

Infopeople Webcast Series:
Health e-Shows
An In-Depth Look
at MedlinePlus
An Infopeople Webinar
March 4, 2008
12pm – 1pm
Kelli Ham
[email protected]
Infopeople webcasts and webinars are supported by the U.S. Institute of
Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services
and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.
Objectives
After viewing this session, attendees will:

Understand the structure and depth of
MedlinePlus

Have knowledge of health topics and
specialized content within the site

Be able to apply advanced search
techniques for better results
Agenda

Overview of MedlinePlus

Health Topics in detail

Different users – different needs

Maximizing search results

Special content and “hidden” nuggets

Tools and resources for librarians
Overview of MedlinePlus
 Brief
 Size
history
and statistics
 Basic
website structure
Health Information Everywhere!
 How
does MedlinePlus differ from
commercial health sites and popular
search engines?
MedlinePlus Is:

A trustworthy site for patients and
consumers from the National Library of
Medicine, containing resources and links
to quality health information

Often confused with MEDLINE/PubMed,
the NLM database of citations from
biomedical journals
MedlinePlus Is Not:
 Biased
A
search engine like Google
A
site that sells or promotes products
A
site that collects personal information
Brief History and Statistics
Debuted in October 1998 with 22 health
topics; now there are nearly 750 topics!
 Examples of content added since then:

Spanish pages
Extensive encyclopedia
MedMasterTM drug database
Evidence-based herbal info
Content and Design

Resources include:

Licensed content, e.g. interactive tutorials and
surgery videos


Collection of quality links to external content
User-friendly design

Mechanisms to facilitate different search styles

Repetition of design and search elements
Health topics:
746 English (19,775 links)
712 Spanish (5,860 links)
A Look Inside
(Dec 2007)
Drug and
herbal
databases:
approx 1000
monographs
ClinicalTrials:
over 51,000
Medical
encyclopedia:
approx 3700
entries; 2300
images
Health news:
Approx 15-20 new
stories added per day
Interactive
tutorials: 175 total
NIH SeniorHealth
33 topics
Surgeries:
177 videos
2 RSS feeds
Directories: Over 100 directories
covering doctors, hospitals,
clinics and libraries.
One weekly
podcast
Announcement lists:
11 daily & weekly
MedlinePlus Home Page Layout
Navigating from the Homepage
On the homepage,
the main sections
are shown on the
left-hand side.
Navigating Inside MedlinePlus

The “Search” box appears on every page

The tabs across the top are on each page
inside MedlinePlus

Note: same topics as the homepage
(except GoLocal)
Main Health Topics Page
16
Drugs and Supplements
 Two
databases in this section

Drugs  MedMasterTM

Herbs  Natural Standard
 Evidence-based
 Link
resources
to new Dietary Supplements
Labels database
Drugs and Supplements Page
Encyclopedia and Dictionary Pages
News Page
Finding Providers Via Directories
Other Resources
Resources  Databases Link
Health Topics

The “heart and soul” of MedlinePlus

Multiple search tools address different
searching styles



A-Z list for searching alphabetically
keyword search
content groupings (ethnic, age, body area, etc)
Getting the Most out of
Health Topics
 Navigating
section
 Individual

design

content
 Using
the main health topic
health topic pages
the interactive body maps
Navigating the Health Topics
Search Box
A to Z List
Other Topic Groups
Browsing and Discovery
Health Topics under “S”
Browsing the
A-Z list shows
topics related
to sleep:
Sleep Apnea
Sleep
Disorders
Snoring
Health Topic Page Example
Toggling to Spanish Page
Clicking the español
button will toggle to the
Spanish language page
Health Topic Example - Spanish
Topics by Body Location/System
Groupings by Body Location or System
Example of Body Map Image
Different parts of the
image are clickable
and will show green
highlighting when
users move a mouse
over the area
Body Map Image – cont.
Here we clicked on the
highlighted area near
“Bones”; the menu on
the right changes to
related topics
Información de salud, por favor…
Become familiar with Spanish content areas:

Health topics

Encyclopedia

Drugs and Herbs and Supplements databases

Interactive tutorials

Surgery videos – some transcripts now available

Toggle to Spanish, then search Spanish terms
Example: Drug Information
Example: Encyclopedia
English  Spanish Health Terms
Literacy and Health Literacy


Literacy - the ability to read and write
Health literacy - ability to obtain, understand
and act on verbal or written health information
Both have implications for being able to make
informed health care decisions!
Finding Appropriate Materials

Easy-to-read materials

Easy-to-understand interactive tutorials
Note: reading level inconsistent; different
organizations may use different criteria

Guidelines for creating easy-to-read
materials for your users
Finding All Easy-to-Read Materials
On Health Topics
Page:
Links to all Easy to
Read and Interactive
Tutorials
Collection of Easy-to-Read Content
Guidelines for Writing Easy-toRead Materials
Collection of Interactive Tutorials
Starting the Tutorial
Click here
to start
Sleep Disorders - Interactive
Tutorial
Health Check Tools

Fun, interactive tools for users
Search – New and Improved!

Powered by Vivisimo

Relevance ranking of results

Results sorted into subsets (Collections)

Phrase searching and Boolean logic

Highlighted search terms

Spell-checker
Making Sense of Search Results
“Collections”
are results
sorted into
six main
subsets
Check the URL for
clues about source
Smart Searching

Maximizing your efforts through smart
search techniques

Using Boolean logic and shortcut keys

Advanced search tips

More tips and tricks
Phrase Searching
Use quotes around a phrase for precise results
Using Boolean Operators

OR, NOT, -, +, *

No need to use AND; it is automatic

Use Boolean for combining concepts
Advanced Search Techniques
1.
2.
Perform a search
Look for the “Search Help” link
Search Help Page
Using the Site Map

Efficient navigation

Health Topics A-Z

Health Topics groups

Drug Information

Herbs and Supplements

Easy-to-Read materials

Interactive Health Tutorials

Health Check Tools

Low-Vision materials
Searching by Site Map
Site Map - cont.
Mining for Gold

Mining the depths of
resources within
MedlinePlus

Samples of health
questions and finding
answers
Optimizing Health Reference
Services with Special Content

What does melanoma look like?

Does gingko really prevent dementia?

Has this doctor been sued for malpractice?

My friend has Stage IV ovarian cancer. Are
there any studies for experimental drugs?
Also, she lives in Tucson - are there any
support groups there?
Where to Look for Answers

New image resource - VisualDx

Herbs and Supplements – Natural Standard

State licensing boards for MDs - DocFinder

Clinical Trials, MEDLINE/PubMed, GoLocal
Finding Images

What does melanoma look like?
1.
Search “Health Topics” for “melanoma”
2.
Go to “Multimedia and Cool Tools”
3.
Click on “Pictures and Photographs”
Melanoma Health Topic - Images
A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
Finding Evidence about Herbs
and Supplements

Does ginkgo really prevent dementia?
1. Go
to “Drugs and Supplements” tab
2. Find
the Herbs and Supplements “A-Z list”
(it’s the green bar)
3. Click
on “G”, then click on “Ginkgo”
4. Click
on “Evidence” in the table
Herbs and Supplements A-Z List
Herbs and Supplements - Records
Herb Monograph Example - Ginkgo
Show Me the Evidence
Uses based
on evidence
But how is
the “Grade”
determined?
Natural Standard
Levels of Evidence Table
Detailed
information
Detail
from Full
relevant to herbs
Record
Doctor Lookups and a Lot More!
Use the “Directories” section to:

Find a specialist in a certain city

Find specialized healthcare facilities

Find information about a specific doctor such as
education, board certifications, and legal actions
Physicians and Specialists

Find a specialist in a certain city or find
information about a certain doctor
Specialist
Directories
Doctor Finder:
American
Medical
Association
Physician Info – Legal Actions

Has this doctor been sued for malpractice?
DocFinder:
State Medical
Boards Records
Finding Specialized Facilities

Where is the nearest sleep clinic?
Clinical Trials

Are there any experimental drugs being
tested for Stage IV ovarian cancer? How
can I get in a research trial?
From homepage,
click here
Clinical Trials Search Displays
Links to Research Articles in
MEDLINE/PubMed
Click “Journal Articles” to
go to a pre-formulated
search on ovarian cancer
GoLocal for Related Local Services
Search by location to find
local services and facilities
related to the Health Topic
Surgery Videos

I’m having knee replacement surgery –
what can I expect?
From homepage,
click here
Videos of Actual Procedures

Currently 13 videos of actual knee
surgeries; transcripts available also!
Resources for You and for Users
From the “About Us” link

FAQs

Training materials for
librarians

Tutorials and more for
library users
FAQs:
Answers for You and Your Users
FAQs – More Answers
Training and Tutorials
“I Heard on the News Last Night…”

Current news from Reuters and HealthDay

Email announcements – very useful!

Search by date or topic, or use the search
box and choose results for “News”
Know the Topic before You Get
the Question
Sign up for News Announcements:
Daily, weekly and specialty topics available
1.
Go to MedlinePlus.gov homepage
2.
Click on link “Email Updates and RSS” in
lower, right-hand corner
Subscribing to News Alerts
Sign Up For News
Daily or weekly news
 Specialty topics

Free Trifold Brochures for
Users in English and Spanish
Wrap-up
 MedlinePlus
is much more than
information about diseases and
conditions
 Still
more not covered here – go
exploring!
 Please
take the time to fill out the
evaluation at the end – Thanks!
Questions and Final Thoughts
Contact Info
Kelli Ham, Consumer Health Coordinator
NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region
UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library
[email protected]