Have you participated in Healthy Searching? Please fill out this quick survey!
To inquire about hosting a Healthy Searching workshop at your library, please email Medical Circuit Librarian Angela Thor at email@example.com or Consumer Health Project Assistant Rachel Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy Searching is the CLRC’s consumer health workshop series! These workshops can teach you to find reliable health information online. The CLRC offers both patron and staff training courses to area libraries, health clinics, community centers, and more!
Have a health question? Look no further! This list from our courses contains links to credible medical websites from government, educational and professional sources. Find information on health conditions, drugs and supplements, healthcare facilities, government services and more!
MedlinePlus is a health reference resource by the National Institutes of Health. It has text, audio and video information on medical symptoms, conditions and research as well as prescription drugs and supplements. There is also a dictionary and a section on understanding medical terms.
Pill ID Wizard is a simple search engine that allows you to identify unknown pills by their color, shape or imprint.
The Question Builder is a service from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It helps you create a printable list of questions to take to your doctor visits.
This tool from the AHRQ has you answer a series of questions about which aspects of your health are most important to you. You can then give this information to your doctor to help determine which treatments will be effective without harming your quality of life.
The NYS Hospital Profile website allows you to see quality of care ratings for the hospitals in your area. Click your county on the map and choose a hospital to find out how big it is, if it will perform the procedure you need, or if it’s been cited for violations.
NYS Nursing Home Profile rates the quality of care for nursing homes in your area. Select your county to see a list of nursing homes. Select a home to see official state ratings, complaints brought against the facility, and any corrective actions taken.
Physicians Profile can help you find a doctor if you move or just make sure your physician is legitimate. Search for a doctor by name, area or services offered. Each profile contains information about the doctor’s education, practice, legal history and professional activities.
Think you’re paying too much for your medication? Now you can be sure! If your prescription is one of the 150 most frequently-prescribed drugs in the state, you can use this database to compare prices at pharmacies in your area. NOTE: Some smaller, locally-owned pharmacies have not reported their prices to the database.
NIH Senior Health has information on the major health topics seniors are concerned with. It also has videos containing health tips and stories from older adults dealing with conditions or diseases. The exercise stories section has some great profiles of healthy seniors and info on how they stay that way.
USA.gov Senior Citizens Resources is a list of government websites on different elder issues. Each link takes you to a list of government sites on that given topic. There’s sections about health, housing, education, legal and end-of-life issues, and even one for grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The National Insititute on Aging is a comprehensive source for information on issues facing older adults. Here you can find facts on diseases and conditions, read about or participate in current research, and find other sites with senior health info.
Benefits Checkup is a great resource that can help you find government health benefits. By answering a few questions about your household, income and assets, you can find benefits you qualify for and be linked to their websites quickly. While there are many resources for seniors, members of other groups can find assistance as well.
True to its name, this website can help you find health care professionals accepting Medicare in your area. The database can be searched by practice area as well as gender.
The Long Term Care Clearinghouse is a great resource for anyone suffering from or caring for someone with a chronic condition. It can help you research, find and finance care for your loved ones.
Lotsa Helping Hands uses ‘crowdsourcing’ to raise funds for families with someone suffering from a serious medical condition. A family or friend can create a profile for their loved one and make it available to everyone who uses the site or just a select few. Donors can then contribute directly from the site.
Caring.com is a resource and support center for caregivers. It has financial, health and legal information as well as a community forum for caregivers to find answers and support. Perhaps the most useful part of the site, however, is the senior care ratings database. Community members share their opinions on care facilities’ cleanliness, staff attitude, medical expertise and much more!
KidsHealth is run by Nemours Children’s Hospital, and is divided into sections for parents, kids and teens. The appearance of the pages are designed to be colorful and easy to use, and the main pages have featured questions like “How can I balance a part-time job and school” which you can click on to answer. You can switch back and forth between the three sections easily using the tabs at the top.
Healthy Children is a service of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has kids’ health info reviewed by pediatricians. An optional email sign-up lets users receive news and updates on breakthroughs in childrens’ health.
The AACAP provides mental health information for issues affecting kids and teens. Click on “Resource Centers” on the homepage to find facts on different mental health conditions.
Kids’ Quest is run by the CDC and has several different “quests” to help children learn about some of the most common disabilities. Each quest starts with a quiz to see what kids already know, and then it provides facts, websites with more information, movie and book recommendations, and ways to support people with that given disability. For younger children, you’ll probably want to look at this website together.
Rabies and Kids is a safety website, also from the CDC, designed to give older kids (around 10 and up) information about rabies prevention in a fun and easy-to-understand way. The main page has several common questions about rabies, a list of facts, and warning signs to help kids avoid potentially rabid animals. There’s also a link to a true story about a boy named Sean who was bitten by a raccoon and had to be treated.
Choose My Plate is a service of the USDA for healthy eating and fitness. There’s advice for healthy eating on a budget, getting enough physical activity when you’re short on time, but some of the most useful sections for parents might be the age-specific nutrition pages. There’s sections for pregnant women, preschoolers and school-aged children, and each of them have age-specific advice on things like getting your preschooler to try new foods or teaching an older child to eat less sugar.
SuperTracker is one of the many tools on the USDA’s Choose My Plate website. It has nutritional information for a wide variety of foods, and has “journal” services to help you keep track of your eating and exercise. With an account, you can create your own personal health plan tailored to your body type and lifestyle.
Dental health sometimes gets overlooked in favor of bigger problems, but both kids and adults can experience a lot of anxiety when they visit the dentist. The ADA created their kids’ site to help reduce that fear a little. The sections on this site have information parents can look at with their kids to keep their teeth healthy and prepare them for trips to the dentist.
BAM! uses animation to teach kids about their bodies, diseases, safety and healthy lifestyles. Body parts are often represented by human or animal characters, and there are activities and games for different age groups. Older kids can probably view the site on their own, but younger ones may need some help reading the information and understanding how the activities work.
Go Ask Alice! is a health site for older teens and young adults from Columbia University. “Alice” is the fictional owner of the website to whom users can ask their health questions. Many questions have already been answered, so it’s best to search the topics section first. There’s also a section with quizzes, games, polls and other fun activities. NOTE: May contain adult content.
My Health-E-Vet is the VA’s all-in-one online resource for veterans. By creating an account, you’ll have access to many of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ services right at your fingertips. You can keep track of your health records, find a VA facility, get help with physical, mental and emotional troubles, and connect with other veterans in your community!
Military OneSource comes from the Department of Defense, and is a good resource for active members of the military. The different information sections are listed on the tabs at the top, and include resources on life in the armed forces, health issues, helping family members adjust, financial and career help and crisis assistance. The site also has several crisis hotline numbers, which are visible on the left side of every page.
The VA has a detailed mental health site for veterans. Resources for getting immediate help are right on the main page, and the sidebar has a list of common mental health topics. There are also links for finding VA centers nearby, and anonymous screening tests for different mental health problems, such as depression and substance abuse.
The mental health section of the APA website has something for everyone, but if you select “military” from the left-hand sidebar, you’ll be taking to their armed forces section, which has informational pamphlets on mental health conditions, links to crisis hotlines and a downloadable list of mental health resources.
The RAC provides links to organizations and resources for people who live in rural areas. The “Returning Soldiers and Veterans” section has a list of frequently asked questions as well as links to military health, housing, education and family websites.
This is a section of the American Academy of Opthalmology website. It contains veteran-specific information on eye health and conditions, such as the relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and vision loss.
The Veterans’ Health Information Clearinghouse has resources specifically for New York residents, including local hotlines and state websites. Some of the sites it links to are national instead of local, but a good chunk of them are New York-specific.
This section of MedlinePlus has information on a variety of health issues for current and former members of the armed forces.
This family friendly site lists mobile apps for kids’ health entered in Challenge.gov’s national contest. Apps are separated into categories such as tools and games, and are listed by awards won and popularity.
A comprehensive list of all government mobile apps divided by category. Icons to the right of each app listing lets you know which device it’s available for.
Perhaps the most popular wellness app in existence, My Fitness Pal helps you meet your health goals by documenting daily food intake and exercise. The user-edited food database has nutritional info for thousands of meals (including popular restaurants), and the app breaks down your daily eating habits to let you know which type of nutrients you’re lacking (and which you should probably cut back on!) The exercise database is equally thorough, and gives you the calories burned for everything from walking to water-skiing. My Fitness Pal has a desktop site, and is available in app form for iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.
Any additional questions? Email Angela Thor at email@example.com.
Comments or questions are welcome.
This information is intended to be used in partnership with advice from your doctor or other health care professional. Any and all materials supplied by the CLRC are for informational purposes only. The CLRC and their personnel are not giving medical opinion, advice, or care.
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00003-C with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System.
For more information, please visit the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region.