Every week is ‘Health Information Week’ when you are a Clinical Librarian but this week gives us chance to bring health information to a wider audience. We have always thought that the ability to find reliable, quality health information online would help in reducing the need for 'in person' services such as GP appointments and presentation at A&E.
This week (4th July) we will be visiting public libraries and demonstrating how best to find health information online and how to evaluate it as quality and reliable rather than opinion or fake news.
Checking symptoms online can be a scary experience but Patient Info (formerly EMIS) has a symptom checker and is a reliable source of patient information. It also has a 'for professionals' section. Health forums on this site are clearly marked so you don't mistake them for clinically authored topics.
It doesn’t hurt to remind people that if they aren't sure whether a condition warrants a visit to their GP or to a Pharmacist then the NHS website can advise on what immediate action to take as well as suggesting trusted organisations for support.
The BBC have created a good 10-step guide for spotting misleading health news. There is no secret that doctors aren’t telling you and newspapers will always use the most extreme end of the evidence for their headline.
Please don’t forget that all staff (inc. community and GPs) have access to UpToDate where you can find all the latest evidence on any condition or treatment. Simply access it from any Trust computer using the start-up menu (this is important as it contains a password free link) or you can access from elsewhere using the link above and your Athens username and password.
For more information please get in touch:
Library & Knowledge Service
Tel: 01625 66 1362