Trustworthy Medical Information
A trusted source for medical information for those involved in medical
care and others in need of a reliable medical reference. All 6 of
“The Merck Manuals” are available free online as a service
to the community: The Merck Manual, The Merck Manual of Medical
Information--Second Home Edition, The Merck Manual of Geriatrics,
The Merck Manual of Health & Aging, The Merck Index and The
Merck Veterinary Manual.
A comprehensive consumer health website offered by the U.S. National
Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. An “all-in-one”
site that includes over 600 health topics, drug information, a medical
dictionary and encyclopedia and health news. It's free, commercial-free,
and completely private.
Another service of the National Library of Medicine, it provides
access, free of charge, to MEDLINE. The site includes state-of-the-art
retrieval features such as "related articles," links to
related databases, and links to publishers' full-text articles.
A great place to search “the medical literature” with
over 15 million citations.
Institute of Medicine:
part of the National Academy of Sciences, The Institute of Medicine
(IOM) serves as adviser to the nation to improve health. As an independent,
scientific adviser, the IOM provides advice that is unbiased and
based on evidence. Their objective and authoritative information
is offered on a variety of health topics.
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Health and Patient Safety Organizations
AHRQ: The Agency
for Healthcare Research and Quality at the Department of Health
and Human Services is packed with health quality and patient safety
info. It provides evidence based information on healthcare outcomes,
quality and cost, use and access. AHRQ was formerly known as the
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
Quality Forum: The National Quality Forum was created to develop
and implement national standards for healthcare quality measurement
and reporting. The mission of the NQF is to provide meaningful information
about whether care is safe, timely, beneficial, patient-centered,
equitable and efficient.
for State Health Policy: The National Academy for State Health
Policy (NASHP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping
states achieve excellence in health policy and practice. In addition
to quality and patient safety, NASHP focuses on long-term and chronic
care, children’s’ health, cost containment and the uninsured.
Institute for Safe
Medication Practices: The ISMP is a nonprofit agency that provides
information about adverse drug events and their prevention. In cooperation
with the United States Pharmacopoeia, ISMP operates the national
Medication Errors Reporting Program (USP-ISMP MERP). Featured are
back issues of the ISMP Medication Safety Alert! which chronicles
medication error reports and provides analysis and expert recommendations
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Patient Advocacy Groups
Health Research Group: The Health Research Group’s website
at Public Citizen promotes research-based, system-wide changes in
healthcare policy and provides oversight concerning drugs, medical
devices, doctors, hospitals and occupational health. They work to
ban unreliable unsafe or ineffective drugs and medical devices and
educate consumers about the healthcare services they receive by
providing information about doctors disciplined by state medical
boards, hospital cesarean section rates, how to obtain your medical
records, and dispute resolution in Medicare HMOs.
Hospital Infections: StopHospitalInfections.org is a project
of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.
The site provides consumers with timely information about hospital
infection issues, together with information about current state
and federal legislative efforts. They also provide information about
and a mechanism for consumers to contact elected officials about
the importance of hospital infection, and the critical role of public
disclosure. We strongly support their effort!
P.U.L.S.E. America’s website offers information on the national
and local chapters of PULSE (Persons United Limiting Substandards
and Errors in Healthcare), a consumer-focused organization geared
towards education and support. Resources include a chat room, personal
stories and related links for patients’ rights. Pulse uses
real life stories and experiences in its effort to improve patient
safety and reduce the rate of medical errors in our country.
Society: The People’s Medical Society has championed the
rights of medical consumers since its founding. The Society is one
of the largest medical consumer advocacy organizations in the United
States, and has published an impressive assortment of health classics.
The Society has been an advisor to the Healthcare Financing Administration
and an important resource on hospital acquired infections for many
major news organizations.
for Medical Consumers: The Center for Medical Consumers is an
advocacy organization active in both statewide and national efforts
to improve the quality of healthcare. Its web site is committed
to broadening public awareness about the safety and quality problems
that pervade the American healthcare system. It has led efforts
to insure that healthcare institutions and professionals are held
responsible for patient safety and the quality of their care through
strong enforcement of laws and regulations.
Friends: The Compassionate Friends assist families toward the
positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any
age and provide information to help others be as supportive as possible.
The Compassionate Friends is a support organization that offers
friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents
and siblings. There is no religious affiliation and there are no
membership dues or fees.
to Patient: A Survival Guide: The whole web site was created
to help patients deal with their journey through the American medical
system. As a previous patient, the writer shares the various obstacles
that she actually encountered in the system, and offers some sound
suggestions along the way. The site is structured in a multiple
story format and the sections can be read in any order. The Tidbits
section alone is worth the trip.
Advancing Patient Safety: Consumers Advancing Patient Safety
(CAPS) is a collective voice for individuals, families and healers
who wish to prevent harm in healthcare encounters through partnership
and collaboration. CAPS draws on the owners’ tragic personal
experiences in the hope of creating a healthcare system that is
safe, compassionate and just.
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Health Policy Foundations
is a national foundation that performs independent research and
publishes papers and reports on health and social policy issues.
The site provides information on the following health policy topics:
health insurance and the uninsured, Medicare, Medicaid and other
state programs, healthcare quality improvement, minority health,
long-term care, child and adolescent health, managed care, and women's
and men's health.
Johnson Foundation: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the
largest philanthropy organization devoted exclusively to health
and healthcare in the United States. To achieve the most impact,
they prioritize their focus into four goal areas: (1) to assure
that all Americans have access to quality healthcare at reasonable
cost; (2) to improve the quality of care and support for people
with chronic health conditions; (3) to promote healthy communities
and lifestyles; and, (4) to reduce the personal, social and economic
harm caused by substance abuse — tobacco, alcohol, and illicit
The Henry J. Kaiser
Family Foundation: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation focuses
on the major healthcare issues facing the nation. The Foundation
is an independent voice and source of facts and analysis for policymakers,
the media, the healthcare community, and the general public. Kaiser’s
web site is a healthcare policy clearinghouse on a myriad of topics.
In addition, the site provides an extensive public opinion tracking
service and is also the parent site of kaisernetwork.org and State
Health Facts Online. The Foundation is not associated with Kaiser
Permanente or Kaiser Industries. This website is one of the best!
Accreditation & Advisory
Center for Disease
Control and Prevention: The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting
the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, by providing
credible information to enhance health decisions. The CDC serves
as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention
and control, environmental health, and health education activities
designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations: “JCAHO” allows consumers to check the performance of
local healthcare facilities, including hospitals, surgery centers,
and nursing homes. It also provides a place for consumers to report
complaints about the quality of care provided at such facilities.
In addition, the site provides lists of steps to obtaining safe
healthcare, and other guides that help consumers ask the right questions
before selecting a healthcare setting.
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Consumer Rights Groups
Center for Justice
& Democracy: The Center for Justice & Democracy is a
non- partisan public interest organization that works to educate
the public about the importance of the civil justice system. CJ&D
fights to protect the right to trial by jury and an independent
judiciary for all Americans. CJ&D is not connected to any business
or trial lawyer organization.
Same site as the “Public Citizen Health Policy” listed
above, but different area focuses on representing consumer interests
in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. Concentrates on
accountability in government and the rights of consumers.
for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights: The Foundation for Taxpayer
& Consumer Rights (FTCR) is a nationally-recognized, California-based
education and advocacy organization which attempts to protect consumers
interests. One of their slogans is to “provide people with
the facts, not propaganda . . . and hold the politicians and the
special interests accountable when they endanger the public.”
for Insurance Reform: Americans for Insurance Reform (AIR) is
a national coalition of public interest organizations that support
effective insurance industry reforms to control skyrocketing insurance
rates, reduced insurance coverage, arbitrary policy cancellations
Union: The Healthcare section of the site provides informative
and educational materials developed by Consumers Union's advocacy
offices on health care affordability, managed care, and healthcare
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Other Sites of Interest
Group: The Leapfrog Group is made up of more than 150 companies
and organizations that seek to purchase quality healthcare. The
Leapfrog and its members work together to (1) reduce preventable
medical mistakes and improve the quality and affordability of healthcare;
(2) reward doctors and hospitals for improving the quality, safety
and affordability of healthcare; and, (3) encourage public reporting
of healthcare quality and outcomes.
HealthGrades is a healthcare ratings, information, and advisory
services company that works to improve the quality of healthcare
nationwide. With their proprietary, objective provider ratings and
expert advisory services, they are creating a standard for healthcare
News Today: Medical News Today provides all the latest articles
and reports related to health, medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology
news and presents them to an international audience of health professionals
and consumers each and every day. The most comprehensive of all
medical news sites.
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Last updated on 11/02/04