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Table of Contents: 2012 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER No. 388

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MedlinePlus Connect Medication Responses: Enhancements to Web Service and Support for Spanish Replies

Dennis S. MedlinePlus Connect Medication Responses: Enhancements to Web Service and Support for Spanish Replies. NLM Tech Bull. 2012 Sep-Oct;(388):e4.

2012 October 16 [posted]

The National Library of Medicine recently released two enhancements to MedlinePlus Connect. MedlinePlus Connect now returns responses for medication information in Spanish. Also, the MedlinePlus Connect Web service delivers more targeted information when responding to medication information requests. MedlinePlus Connect is NLM's service for patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems to link to patient-friendly and context-relevant information from MedlinePlus. It responds to code-based requests, and delivers information for patients that relates to a specific diagnosis, medication or lab test. Previous articles describe MedlinePlus Connect’s launch focused on diagnosis and medication responses, and the addition of lab test response support and a Web service.

Medication Responses via MedlinePlus Connect Web Service
In September 2012, NLM enhanced the MedlinePlus Connect Web service response for medication code requests. Previously, the MedlinePlus Connect Web service returned a link to a search results page with the best matches from the MedlinePlus drug information. Now, the enhanced Web service returns direct links to relevant drug information pages on MedlinePlus. Specifically, the XML includes the following:


With this enhancement, the MedlinePlus Connect Web Service delivers the same results in the Web service that are returned in the MedlinePlus Connect Web application. Full technical details are available on the MedlinePlus Connect Web Service page.

Medication Responses Available in Spanish
Starting in October 2012, MedlinePlus Connect returns requests for medication information in Spanish. This complements MedlinePlus Connect’s responses for diagnosis and lab test information, which were already available in both English and Spanish.

MedlinePlus Connect processes requests for Spanish medication information differently from requests for English medication information. For Spanish medication information, MedlinePlus Connect responds only to NDCs or RXCUIs. It does not use text strings, which are accepted for requests for English medication information. It is possible to have a response in English and not in Spanish.

Full details on sending requests for medication information, either to the MedlinePlus Connect Web service or the Web application are available on the technical information page.

By Stephanie Dennis
Public Services Division

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