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Healthcare Online For Dummies
        Tips From the Authors, Howard & Judi Wolinsky

Cover of Healthcare Online For Dummies Here's a sampling of the more than 1,400 links to valuable tools relating to healthcare you can find in our book, Healthcare Online For Dummies, (Hungry Minds, Inc., $6.16).

The book is available online from amazon.com at www.amazon.com as well as your favorite offline bookstore.

Checkmark To find out about almost any health topic:
Head over to MEDLINEplus at www.medlineplus.gov. This site, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), can inform you about a particular disease, connect you with support groups and point you to the latest medical journal articles and research studies on the topic. The site also has a lushly illustrated medical encyclopedia, links to medical dictionaries and information about medications and their side effects.

Another quick pit stop is healthfinder at www.healthfinder.gov. If you want to find background on a disease or a link to a support group, go to this site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 2: Tools for Finding Health Information Online.]

Checkmark To get help deciding whether you need to see a doctor:
familydoctor.org offers in its Self-Care section lists a number of symptoms which you can click on for advice on home care and when to call your doctor. The site also has fact sheets on common health concerns, a medical dictionary, information on drugs and on alternative medicine.

Checkmark To find a medical journal article:
Sometimes you want to find out what the medical doctors are reading on a topic. To track down a medical journal article, go to NLM's Medline through PubMed at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query for summaries of articles. You can use the information from the summary to track down the complete article through your local public library. You also can order it online through the Loansome Doc document service, which you can reach at www.nlm.nih.gov/loansomedoc/loansome_home.html. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 6: Researching a Disease Step-By-Step.]

Checkmark To look up a medical term:
If you need help translating medicalese, go to MedTerms at www.medterms.com. NLM also links to several medical dictionaries at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dictionaries.html. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 6: Researching a Disease Step-By-Step.]

Checkmark To find a research study:
If you or a family member or friend are not responding to conventional treatment, consider joining a research study. You can find government-sponsored studies through NLM's ClinicalTrials.gov at www.clinicaltrials.gov. You can also find out about drug industry-sponsored studies at CenterWatch.com at www.centerwatch.com. If you request it, CenterWatch will notify you via e-mail when new studies on a particular disease are listed. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 7: Researching and Buying Medicines.]

Checkmark To find out about a medication:
You may want learn more about a medicine, such as its side effects, its interactions with foods or other medications, and so on. Go to Health Square: Prescription Drug Reference at http://www.healthsquare.com/drugmain.htm or to MEDLINEplus: Drug Information at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginformation.html. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 7: Researching and Buying Medicines.]

Checkmark To compare prices for medications:
Go to DestinationRX at www.destinationrx.com. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 7: Researching and Buying Medicines.]

Checkmark To find support online or offline from other people with similar health concerns:
Go to DIRLINE: Directory of Health Organizations at dirline.nlm.nih.gov. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 2: Tools for Finding Health Information Online.]

Checkmark To check out a medical doctor:
If you want to find out if a where a doctor attended med school, when he graduated, where he did his residency and possibly even his office hours and a map to his office, look under the DoctorFinder feature at the American Medical Association's site at www.ama-assn.org. The American Board of Medical Specialties can verify whether a doctor is board certified at www.abms.org/newsearch.asp.

If you're willing to pay $9.95, you can learn if the state medical licensing board has disciplined a doctor. The Federation of State Medical Boards offers consumers instant access to a database containing approximately 115,000 board actions taken against 35,000 physicians dating back to the early 1960s. Get your credit card ready and go to www.docinfo.org. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 3: Finding Dr. Right.]

Checkmark To check on a hospital:
HealthGrades at www.healthgrades.com gives grades on the quality of care provided by hospitals and other health organizations. To see how a hospital fared during its review by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, go to www.jcaho.org and look under QualityCheck. If you want to find the "best" teaching hospitals rated by 2,550 medical specialists, go to usnews.com at www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/tophosp.htm. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 4: Locating the Best Hospital.]

Checkmark To check on a nursing home:
Nursing Home Compare at www.medicare.gov enables users to get the background on homes and to view their inspection reports. [You can find more on this topic in Chapter 17: Seniors' Health.]

NOTE: We are official For Dummies authors. We co-authored Healthcare Online For Dummies. But this is not an "official" Dummies page from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., our publisher.


You can reach Howard and Judi Wolinsky by email at: wolinsky@wolinskyweb.net
Visit our other sites at WolinskyWeb.net, including:
Measure 4 Measure: Interactive sites that estimate, calculate, evaluate, translate, etc. In other words, they do the work for you.
Word Play: Sites that feature fun with words.
Map Happy: Interactive maps to get you from here to there and beyond.

Last update: 03/21/20
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