Gathering Medical Information: MerckMedicus and MerckSource

SEPTEMBER 01, 2007
Julie M. Gerhart, RPh, MS

Pharmacists today face increased demands on their time, yet they still must make time to provide their patients with vital health care information. Further complicating matters is the growing number of Internet resources available to pharmacists. Although the number of resources is not necessarily problematic, locating resources that are credible and useful can be a time-consuming process, not only for pharmacists, but for patients. Two online resources available through Merck & Co Inc can help health care professionals and patients find reliable medical information more easily and quickly.

MerckMedicus is a no-access-fee Web site created for health care professionals who are seeking a single comprehensive site with trustworthy information and resources to make their time online more efficient. This Web site contains content from unbiased sources and is free of advertising. On MerckMedicus, pharmacists can find such medical information as the following:

  • Customizable patient handouts that can be printed or e-mailed
  • Medical news
  • Full-text journal articles
  • Merck Manuals
  • National guidelines
  • Clinical tools
  • Medical texts
  • Many other practice-centered information resources

MerckMedicus also contains pages geared toward 20 different specialties? including cardiology, gastroenterology, HIV, infectious diseases, pediatrics, and hematology/oncology?enabling pharmacists with specialty practices to customize MerckMedicus to reflect their practice focus. The specialty pages offer pharmacists textbooks, journals, news, disease primers, and interactive patient tools specific to their area of practice, thereby improving efficiency of their time online.

Pharmacists are not alone in having challenging time demands and in seeking worthwhile information on the Internet. Patients also turn to the Web to find credible resources that explain their health care conditions. For patients, pharmacists can recommend MerckSource, a site that provides unbiased health information to consumers. MerckSource offers a variety of core health tools and resources, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Like MerckMedicus, MerckSource is a free site that does not contain any advertising or product recommendations.

Some health resources available to patients on MerckSource are as follows:

  • Health Centers, with information tailored for men, women, children, and caregivers
  • Information Resources, such as questions to ask one?s health care provider, quick access to support groups, and symptom checkers
  • Virtual Body Tour and 3-Dimensional Medical Animations that provide an up-close look at more than 140 body systems, processes, and health conditions
  • Easy-to-use Health Tools, including health trackers, disease risk assessments, calculators for weight and body mass index, and other important health information
  • Free Newsletters, e-mailed directly to the patient about conditions of interest

MerckSource also allows patients to customize the information they receive with topics important to them and their families, allowing them to learn about multiple conditions, scan breaking medical news, and prepare for visits with health care providers.

MerckMedicus and MerckSource are part of a more-than-a-century-long commitment to providing unbiased health information to patients and health care professionals that began in 1899 with the publication of the first Merck Manual. MerckMedicus and MerckSource assist Merck & Co Inc in helping pharmacists to reach our common goal: putting patients first.

To register as a MerckMedicus user, visit www.merckmedicus.com and click on the ?Register Now!? button. For MerckSource, visit www.mercksource.com and click on ?Register Now!?



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