About MedlinePlus Connect

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About MedlinePlus Connect

MedlinePlus Connect allows patient portals, electronic health records (EHRs), and other health information technology (IT) systems to link to relevant, authoritative consumer health information from MedlinePlus.gov and Genetics Home Reference (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/).

Since it was first announced in November 2010, MedlinePlus Connect’s use has steadily increased, and it has been well received by the industry. In March 2011, MedlinePlus Connect received the coveted “HHSinnovates” award from the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, recognizing NLM’s achievement and investment in harnessing technology to improve the public health. NLM anticipates that use and recognition of MedlinePlus Connect will continue to grow as adoption of health IT becomes more widespread and prevalent.

More Information

  • Sign up for the MedlinePlus Connect email list: http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/ emaillist.html

  • Examples of MedlinePlus Connect in use: http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/ users.html

Questions? Comments?

For questions or comments, contact the MedlinePlus Connect team at http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/contact/,

or call your local Regional Medical Library at

(800) 338-7657.

MedlinePlus Connect Quick Facts

  • MedlinePlus Connect provides easy access to authoritative consumer health information for patients and providers.

  • NLM provides MedlinePlus Connect at no cost to an organization and requires no licensing or registration to use the service.

  • MedlinePlus Connect leverages existing coding standards that may already be in use at an organization.

  • MedlinePlus Connect supports the Health Level 7 (HL7) Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) standard, which facilitates the integration of information resources into health IT systems.

  • Because MedlinePlus Connect helps EHRs identify patient-specific education resources, it may assist eligible health care providers in meeting one of the criteria for meaningful use of health information technology.

Funded under contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00009-C with UCLA and awarded by the DHHS, NIH, National Library of Medicine. Last revised: June 2014

This resource is freely available at: http://nnlm.gov/training/resources/mpconnect.pdf

MedlinePlus Connect is a free service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This service allows health organizations and health IT providers to link patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems to MedlinePlus.gov, an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families, and health care providers.



How MedlinePlus Connect Works

edlinePlus Connect puts high-quality, context-relevant health information into the hands of patients and health care providers at the point of need by delivering information packages tailored to patients’ diagnoses, medications, and laboratory tests.

To achieve this level of customization, MedlinePlus Connect relies on coding standards already in use by health care organizations and health information technology (IT) systems. These standards include:

  • ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, Clinical Modification);

  • ICD-10-CM (International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, Clinical Modification);

  • SNOMED CT® (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine, Clinical Terms);

  • RXCUI (RxNorm Concept Unique Identifier);

  • NDC (National Drug Code); and

  • LOINC® (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes).

MedlinePlus Connect Web Application Demonstration

Upon receiving a request, MedlinePlus Connect leverages these coding standards through manual mappings and search-based processes that tie the codes to relevant patient health information from MedlinePlus.gov and Genetics Home Reference.

MedlinePlus.gov brings together information from National Institutes of Health (NIH), other U.S. government agencies, and reputable health information providers. It covers a wide range of conditions and wellness issues, and includes key resources to inform patients about their health: overviews, information on symptoms and treatments, recent health news, clinical trials, and much more.

MedlinePlus Connect currently supports requests for information on diagnoses, drug information, and lab tests in English or Spanish. MedlinePlus Connect is intended for use within the United States health care system and cannot support coding systems not used in the United States.

Implementing MedlinePlus Connect

Any health IT system or service that uses one or more of these coding standards can implement MedlinePlus Connect. EHR, patient portal, or other health IT system vendors can offer MedlinePlus Connect as a feature or option to their clients. Alternatively, health IT system purchasers or coordinators for hospitals, clinics, provider offices, or other facilities can implement MedlinePlus Connect directly, depending on their administrative rights in their systems.

To provide maximum implementation flexibility, NLM makes MedlinePlus Connect available as a web application or a web service. MedlinePlus Connect needs to be set up only once in a health IT system, because NLM maintains the code-based mappings, topic links, and retrieval technologies.

Additional technical information for developers and demonstrations of the MedlinePlus Connect web application and web service are available online at http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/ technical.html.

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