|National Institutes of Health
||National Library of Medicine |
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
||Robert Mehnert • Kathy Cravedi |
|April 2, 2003
||(301) 496-6308 • firstname.lastname@example.org
"The Health Information Prescription"
Senator Tom Harkin Joins National Library of Medicine and
College of Physicians--
American Society of Internal Medicine
to Launch Patient Information Program
(Des Moines, IA)--Doctors often prescribe medication after
seeing a patient. But what if that doctor also wants to direct the patient
to up-to-date, reliable, consumer-friendly information about a health
concern? Under a pilot program to be launched in Iowa April 7th,
physicians all over the state of Iowa will be able to do just that.
The American College of Physicians- American Society of Internal
Medicine Foundation (ACP-ASIM Foundation) has teamed with the National
Library of Medicine (NLM), an arm of the National Institutes of Health, to
create the "Health Information Prescription" program. Now, doctors
throughout Iowa will have customized prescription
pads that they can use to point patients to first-rate online health
information in NLM's MEDLINEplus database .www.medlineplus.gov>.
The kickoff will take place at 9:00 a.m., on Monday, April 7th,
at the State Library of Iowa in Des Moines. This event will feature
- The Honorable Tom Harkin, United States Senator, State of
- Michael Kienzle, Practicing Physician and Member, Iowa
Chapter of the ACP-ASIM;
- Whitney Addington, MD, Chair, ACP-ASIM Foundation;
- Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, Director, NLM;
- Mary Wegner, State Librarian, The State Library of Iowa
In addition, Michael Kienzle, MD, will write Iowa's first
information prescription for United States Senator Tom Harkin. Dr. Kienzle
will also be on hand after the program to write information prescriptions
for members of the press. Refreshments will be served at the program's
Why do NLM and ACP-ASIM Foundation consider this project so important?
"Physicians have always known that an informed patient who takes an
active role is a 'better' patient," notes NLM Director Lindberg. "We
believe that both patients and their doctors will welcome this additional
medical tool -- good medical information -- in their continuing efforts to
provide good health care. Medical and public libraries will play an
important role in the success of the 'Information Rx' project, just as
they have with MEDLINEplus itself," he added. "We look forward to working
with the members of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in this
With contents culled from the best public and private health sites on
the Internet, MEDLINEplus has information on more than 600 health topics.
Under each, patients will find nuts-and-bolts information on symptoms,
diagnosis and treatment, current news stories, research studies, clinical
trials, helpful graphics and even interactive tutorials. There's detailed
but easy-to-read information on thousands of over-the-counter and
prescription drugs, too. And MEDLINEplus is also available in Spanish.
Why is it important that doctors steer their patients to MEDLINEplus?
Can't they just suggest they do a general Internet search?
"Unfortunately, some patients lack the knowledge needed to find good
health care information online," commented the ACP- ASIM's Dr. Kienzle.
"Also, they might not be able to guard against marketing schemes disguised
According to recent research, six million Americans go online daily to
search for information about health and disease. Additional findings show
that nearly 70 percent of patients nationwide would pay serious attention
to a website recommended by their physician.
"Used properly, the Internet can be just as helpful a healthcare tool
as the biopsy, the x-ray and the electrocardiogram," observed ACP-ASIM
Foundation Chair Whitney Addington, M.D. "That is why I hope that our Iowa
doctors will embrace the 'Health Information Prescription' program,
directing Iowans eager for good consumer health information to the gold
standard, MEDLINEplus. I think they'll find," he continued, "That, used in
conjunction with their doctor's good care, information is the best
The National Library of Medicine is part of the National Institutes of
Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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