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PubMed Health Reappears

Have you check out PubMed Health lately? No? Me neither, until last week after I mentioned it during a presentation. I decided to see if there were any updates on our friend, PubMed Health. I had not seen any recent posts about the source, and of course I had not heard anything from NLM or NIH about the new resource.

So what is new? Well the homepage for one.

Image of PubMed Health homepage from March 2, 2011

Image of PubMed Health homepage from September 25, 2011

The new homepage features PubMed Health’s main goal: “Clinical Effectiveness.” Interestingly enough, originally PubMed Health labeled this “Comparative Effectiveness.” Why the change? I looked to see if I had any information on comparative effectiveness, and I found some information from a previous post. I do not have an image from the original PubMed Health pages about comparative effectiveness research but the definition is still available on the CDC’s website.

Comparative effectiveness research is designed to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatment options. The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care. 

If you look on the new tab on PubMed Health that explains “Clinically Effective” the definition is very similar. PubMed Health has actually taken the definition and simplified it. At the bottom of the page it states ‘clinically effective’ is also referred to as ‘comparative effectiveness reviews.’ Really? Like it was on PubMed Health not too long ago?

It even appears that this information has been developed for consumers more than for health care professionals. The page goes into great details explaining each step of how information becomes clinically effective including details about clinical trials and systematic reviews.

At first I thought PubMed Health was becoming a ‘point-of-care’ (think UpToDate) tool for clinicians available for free. Now as I review the site it seems to be more of a consumer tool with some information for clinicians.

Although, I am still confused about why PubMed Health does not link back to MedlinePlus. When I last reviewed the site it seemed to link more to MedlinePlus than it does now.  PubMed Health even has a medical encyclopedia. Why the duplication?

Of course I would understand more if there was an official release or update from NLM or NIH. I haven’t seen one since I last reviewed the PubMed Health saga in late July, but if I missed it please let me know.

I do really like the “Behind the Headlines” section. This is a section that is desperately needed for consumers– which was evident with the recent Dr. Oz report on apple juice. NLM should promote this new feature. Although, I think it should also provide more information about this site and promote it in general.

What do you think? Have you seen the changes to PubMed Health?

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Comments on: "PubMed Health Reappears" (1)

  1. [...] March 2011, then in July I published a short blurb in JMLA, and finally PubMed Health reappeared in September on this [...]

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