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June 1999, Week 2


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"Nancy G. Washburne" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Nancy G. Washburne
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 08:39:23 -0400
text/plain (69 lines)
Granted there is a need...but we have to be extremely careful about disclaimers in these litigious times...even
one-on-one-word-of-mouth transactions can lead to a person assuming that the information leading to the
information wanted is tantamount to medical advice (for which, as you have stated, there is a voiced need or
perception that there is a need....) Nancy from Temple, being cautious

Rochelle Schmalz wrote:

> As the medical librarian for, and someone who has been involved with patient
> education/consumer health information for over 23 years, I feel I must respond to this posting.  I am also
> the library director for a new medical school library and former hospital librarian so I've seen both sides.
> Maybe some of these websites are in it for the money, but they also are filling an unmet need for
> information.  Under managed care many doctors simply do not have enough time to answer their patients'
> questions.  Many people do not live near a consumer health or medical library and even if they do, they
> may be unable to get there due to disability or age.  These websites are meeting a real need for
> information.  My only concern is that the information is accurate and current.
>  As the HealthCentral medical librarian I write a bi-weekly column telling people how to find health and
> medical information on the Internet. I also do some site and book selection.  In addition, I answer about
> 15 e-mails a week on how to find information; HealthCentral pays me to do this and people are not
> charged.  I do not answer specific medical questions, just how to find the information. HealthCentral
> features Dr. Dean Edell who will answer five questions per week from HealthCentral readers. I often refer
> people to him if the question is beyond my scope.  And I do suggest that people go back to their doctor
> or pharmacist when necessary.
> The e-mail I get indicates that people are so grateful that I responded, understood their concerns and
> directed them to the appropriate information. The inquiries I get are not from hypochondriacs, but
> from people seriously concerned about their or a family member's health.  Many of the inquiries ask about
> the validity of certain dietary supplements which indicates to me an empowered consumer. Personally, I
> feel privileged that I am able help people in their quest for reliable information.
> I know of one other medical website librarian and have recently seen ads for a few others.  As medical
> librarians our main concern should not be the proliferation of medical websites, but that these websites
> hire librarians to help them put out the best product.
> Rochelle Perrine Schmalz, MLS
> These comments are my own and not HealthCentral's.
> On 06/10/99 07:02:48 you wrote:
> >
> >On the B! (Market Place) page of today's Wall St. Journal, an item Titled:
> >
> >
> >
> >Opening paragrph :
> >"in the next big land rush on the Internet, the target market is a juicy
> >one: cyberchondriacs.  Famous medical centers, unknown online startups
> >and bif media companies are all jockeying to create Web sites where
> >cnsumers can find out about their health".  The article discuses
> >,,,,,
> >,,,
> >, and I know all of us can add some, too.
> >
> >Remind me of a joke I heard some time ago on Public Radio - something like
> >[log in to unmask] or www.internet.enoughalready
> >
> >Dalia Kleinmuntz                                          847/570-2664
> >Webster Library                                      FAX: 847/570-2926
> >Evanston Hospital
> >2650 Ridge Ave
> >Evanston IL 60201                                 [log in to unmask]
> >______________________________________________________________________
> >"..the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient"
> >                                                - Francis W. Peabody
> >                                                     (1881-1927)
> >
> >