Federal site gains health accreditation

The National Library of Medicine's consumer-oriented health directory is the first government Web site to get accreditation from a Washington group that promotes standards in the health care industry.

At www.MEDLINEplus.gov, the site earned accreditation from URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission.

Eve-Marie LaCroix, chief of NLM's Public Services Division, said she sought accreditation because the other 15 sites that have received URAC's stamp of approval are all commercial.
The library is part of the National Institutes of Health.

URAC assessed MEDLINEplus using 53 criteria including customer service, privacy, frequent updating and accessibility to the disabled.

MEDLINEplus covers 550 health topics of general interest, LaCroix said. Each page displays the results of a preformulated search of the library's comprehensive Medline database of research articles, plus consumer-oriented articles published by NIH and other research organizations.

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