Florida Physicians Prescribe “Information Rx”

After a doctor sees a patient, he or she often prescribes medications. But, what if a doctor also wants to direct that patient to up-to-date, reliable, consumer-friendly information about a health concern? Under a pilot program launched in Florida, physicians from six counties are being encouraged to refer their patients to trustworthy consumer Web sites.

The American Medical Association Foundation (AMAF) and the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation have teamed up with the National Library of Medicine to encourage Florida physicians to point patients to first-rate online health information in NLM’s MedlinePlus database, and the Fisher Center Foundation’s Web site. The pilot program, called the Information Rx project, was launched in six Florida counties with a demonstration hosted by Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL).

“Part of a physician’s job is to explain illnesses, diagnoses, and treatment to their patients,” said Cecil Wilson, MD, a member of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. “NLM’s MedlinePlus provides authoritative, user-friendly, and commercial-free information that doctors can use to supplement information provided in the office or clinic.”