National EHR service connects to patient portals

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has formally launched MedlinePlus Connect--a free service that will let healthcare organizations and providers link patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems to MedlinePlus.gov.

MedlinePlus is an online source of health information for patients, families and healthcare providers that provides information from the National Institutes of Health, federal agencies and other health information providers. It offers coverage of a range of health conditions and wellness issues.

MedlinePlus Connect will only have to be set up once by providers. NLM will maintain the vocabulary mappings and topic links. MedlinePlus Connect will accept the coding standards already in a healthcare organization's system, such as ICD-9-CM, SNOMED CT CORE Problem List Subset, RxNorm, NDC, and LOINC.

Because MedlinePlus Connect is designed to allow EHR systems to identify patient-specific education materials, the program could help eligible healthcare providers meet one of the requirements for the Meaningful Use incentive program.

Providers can integrate an EHR and personal health record (PHR) to Plus Connect and have it "spit back to the patient information about their meds or a customized package of information," Todd Park, Health and Human Services chief technology officer, said at the Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition last week in Washington, D.C., reports Government Health IT.

For more information:
- see the National Library of Medicine announcement
- view the Government Health IT article

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