Gathering Medical Information: MerckMedicus and MerckSource
Ms. Gerhart is manager of pharmacy affairs at Merck & Co Inc.
Pharmacists today face increaseddemands on their time, yet theystill must make time to providetheir patients with vital health care information.Further complicating matters isthe growing number of Internet resourcesavailable to pharmacists. Althoughthe number of resources is notnecessarily problematic, locating resourcesthat are credible and useful canbe a time-consuming process, not onlyfor pharmacists, but for patients. Twoonline resources available throughMerck & Co Inc can help health care professionalsand patients find reliable medicalinformation more easily and quickly.
MerckMedicus is a no-access-fee Website created for health care professionalswho are seeking a single comprehensivesite with trustworthy information andresources to make their time onlinemore efficient. This Web site containscontent from unbiased sources and isfree of advertising. On MerckMedicus,pharmacists can find such medical informationas the following:
- Customizable patient handouts thatcan be printed or e-mailed
- Medical news
- Full-text journal articles
- Merck Manuals
- National guidelines
- Clinical tools
- Medical texts
- Many other practice-centered informationresources
MerckMedicus also contains pagesgeared toward 20 different specialties?including cardiology, gastroenterology,HIV, infectious diseases, pediatrics, andhematology/oncology?enabling pharmacistswith specialty practices to customizeMerckMedicus to reflect theirpractice focus. The specialty pages offerpharmacists textbooks, journals, news,disease primers, and interactive patienttools specific to their area of practice,thereby improving efficiency of their timeonline.
Pharmacists are not alone in havingchallenging time demands and in seekingworthwhile information on the Internet.Patients also turn to the Web to findcredible resources that explain theirhealth care conditions. For patients,pharmacists can recommend MerckSource, a site that provides unbiasedhealth information to consumers. MerckSource offers a variety of core healthtools and resources, available 24 hours aday, 7 days a week. Like MerckMedicus,MerckSource is a free site that does notcontain any advertising or product recommendations.
Some health resources available topatients on MerckSource are as follows:
- Health Centers, with informationtailored for men, women, children,and caregivers
- Information Resources, such asquestions to ask one?s health careprovider, quick access to supportgroups, and symptom checkers
- Virtual Body Tour and 3-DimensionalMedical Animations thatprovide an up-close look at morethan 140 body systems, processes,and health conditions
- Easy-to-use Health Tools, includinghealth trackers, disease risk assessments,calculators for weight andbody mass index, and other importanthealth information
- Free Newsletters, e-mailed directlyto the patient about conditions ofinterest
MerckSource also allows patients tocustomize the information they receivewith topics important to them and theirfamilies, allowing them to learn aboutmultiple conditions, scan breaking medicalnews, and prepare for visits withhealth care providers.
MerckMedicus and MerckSource arepart of a more-than-a-century-long commitmentto providing unbiased healthinformation to patients and health careprofessionals that began in 1899 with thepublication of the first Merck Manual.MerckMedicus and MerckSource assistMerck & Co Inc in helping pharmacists toreach our common goal: putting patientsfirst.