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Making Informed Decisions for Better Health

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Resources on the Web

Time constraints, comfort in asking questions, confidence in understanding the answers, or simply forgetting to ask the important questions will sometimes compel many people to look for health and medical information from sources other than their healthcare practitioners. There is a wealth of information available on the Internet that you can use to help guide your understanding of laboratory testing and the concepts described in this article. However, anyone can create a website or a blog, so it's important to get information from reliable and reputable sources, such as government agencies, professional associations, major healthcare organizations, and universities.

Lab Tests Online provides information on specific laboratory tests, diseases and conditions as well as summaries of screening recommendations that is geared toward patients and their families and friends. You can access these by visiting the homepage and using the pull-down menus or by typing text into the Search box.

Below are listed several other websites of varying levels of patient friendliness that address the topics covered in this article. They may be a good place to start when beginning to search for additional information on the web.

AACC: Resources, Evidence Based Medicine

National Institutes of Health: How To Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers 

The Joint Commission: "What Did the Doctor Say?" Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety

Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care

American Medical Association: Improving Health Outcomes

The Cochrane Collaboration

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Improving Your Health Literacy

AHRQ: Expanding Patient-Centered Care To Empower Patients and Assist Providers

Center for Medical Technology Policy

The Picker Institute: Patient-Centered Care Improvement Guide 

Informed Health Online (a German-based website)

Many healthcare organizations have teamed up with leading medical publishers to launch a website to give patients access to medical journal articles accompanied by background material to help interpret the articles and put them in context. The website is http://www.patientINFORM.org.

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