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National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus Connect Wins Coveted HHSinnovates Award

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, is pleased to announce that US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has named its MedlinePlus Connect a "Secretary's Pick" for the HHSinnovates award. MedlinePlus Connect is a free service that allows any electronic health record (EHR) system to easily link users to MedlinePlus, an authoritative, up-to-date information resource for patients, families and health care providers. MedlinePlus provides information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness.

Introducing the winners at a March 31 ceremony, Secretary Sebelius said, "We're recognizing some of the most powerful new ideas we have," with these HHSinnovates awards. Todd Park, HHS Chief Technology Officer and co-chair of the HHS Innovation Council wrote, "These winning entries represent the high value that innovation can add. They are practical, real-world applications. They deliver better service, and they enable better service delivery by other entities as well. They work to support broader Department and Federal goals. They combine individual initiative and talent with organizational muscle. And in many cases, they deliver on both near and longer-term goals."

"NLM is proud to have Secretary Sebelius recognize MedlinePlus Connect as a 2011 HHSinnovates top pick," noted NLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg. "With this honor, she confirms that it delivers on the Department's goal of harnessing technology to improve the public health. I salute the talented team that created it."

Released in November 2010, MedlinePlus Connect was first piloted by the Institute for Family Health, a federally qualified health center network that operates 26 practices in New York state. In 2002, the Institute became the first health center network in the state to have an electronic health record and practice management system. This initial pilot, supported by Epic's MyChart, a patient health information portal, was quickly followed by other health care organizations.

MedlinePlus Connect accepts information requests based on coding systems already used by EHRs, and supports the health IT standards used by certified EHR systems as part of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. MedlinePlus Connect supports the HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) standard to support any electronic health record system. A soon-to-be released XML Web service will further expand MedlinePlus Connect's flexibility.

Award Members

At the HHSinnovates Award ceremony (l. to r.): Todd Park, HHS Chief Technology Officer;  Stephanie Dennis, NLM; Ruth Lesnewski, MD, Institute for Family Health; Loren Frant, NLM; Joseph Potvin, NLM; Joyce Backus, NLM; Naomi Miller, NLM; Maxine Rockoff, PhD, Columbia University; Martha Fishel, NLM; Wei Ma, NLM; and Sarena Burgess, NLM.

View the video of the awards ceremony on the HHS YouTube channel:

For information about how your health care organization or system can use MedlinePlus Connect: //

For more about the HHSinnovates program: //