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NLM Announces "MedlinePlus Connect" — Linking Electronic Health Records to MedlinePlus Health Information

In keeping with its mission to provide reliable health information to consumers, the National Library of Medicine announces the debut of MedlinePlus Connect (http://medlineplus.gov/connect), a free service that allows electronic health record (EHR) systems to link users to MedlinePlus. MedlinePlus is an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families and health care providers, and delivers information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness. MedlinePlus has hundreds of health topic pages that bring together information from the National Institutes of Health, other US government agencies and authoritative health information providers.

MedlinePlus Connect accepts requests from EHRs based on diagnoses (problem codes) and medications. NLM has mapped MedlinePlus health topics to two standard diagnostic coding systems used in EHRs. When any EHR submits a request to MedlinePlus Connect, the service returns the closest matching health topic(s) as a response.

For problem code requests, MedlinePlus Connect supports:

MedlinePlus Connect also links any EHR system to drug information written especially for patients. EHR systems can send MedlinePlus Connect a request for a medication code, and the service will return link(s) to the most appropriate drug information. MedlinePlus drug information is the AHFS® Consumer Medication Information and is licensed for use on MedlinePlus from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, ASHP, Inc.

For medication requests, MedlinePlus Connect supports:

The API for using this service conforms to the HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) Knowledge Request URL-Based Implementation specification which you can download from this page, http://www.hl7.org/dstucomments/index_expired.cfm. NLM is working on adding laboratory test responses to MedlinePlus Connect. We will also support an XML-based Web service at a future date.

General information is available on the overview page. For the technical how-to's, see the technical details page. To stay up-to-date on developments with MedlinePlus Connect or to talk to other organizations that are using it, join NLM's free email list. Use the Contact Us link to send the MedlinePlus Team questions or feedback.

The National Library of Medicine, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is the world's largest medical library

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