"...built by experienced biomedical librarians, (MedlinePlus) links consumers to full-text resources on hundreds of health topics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), national health-related government and professional organizations and associations. It provides a database of full-text drug information and an illustrated medical encyclopedia, and it includes preformulated Medline searches and links to NIH clinical trials. In addition, it directs users to dictionaries, directories, organizations, libraries, and databases that can help them find answers to their health questions...." — Miller et al, 2001
MedlinePlus® is an important source of consumer health information created by the National Library of Medicine (U.S.). Since 1998, the site has provided links to reliable health information at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), government agencies as well as health associations and organizations. MedlinePlus contains information on diseases, conditions and wellness, and provides access to a medical encyclopedia and lists of over-the-counter, prescription drugs, herbs and supplements. MedlinePlus includes interactive tutorials, anatomy and surgery videos, current health news, various directories and links to sites maintained by government agencies and other authoritative sites. MedlinePlus is built by the library staff at the US National Library of Medicine, who work with medical librarians from around the country to maintain the site.
With no direct Canadian equivalent, MedlinePlus is a useful source of information for Canadian consumers as well. Described as a "high quality, noncommercial, educational resource", MedlinePlus is an important addition to patient education. NLM focuses much of its energy on delivering information to health professionals but decided in the 1990s that the public needed better access to health information. It sought to meet this need through the introduction of MedlinePlus which debuted in 1998 with 22 English-language health topics. It has since grown to almost 1000 health topics in English and Spanish with links to information in 60 languages. Since its inception, MedlinePlus® has received awards for its quality and scores highly in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For more information, see the InformationRx program http://www.informationrx.org/. MedlinePlus® curates its own Twitter feed https://twitter.com/medlineplus and provides a mobile version to the site itself http://m.medlineplus.gov/.
NLM announced a similar aggregated health information website in 2011 called PubMed Health. It seems clearer now that PubMed Health is meant to work in tandem with MedlinePlus. In 2012, the MedlinePlus Connect service extended the reach of its consumer health service to deliver information to providers via health IT systems, electronic health records and patient portals.