The Institute for Family Health Recognized with HHSinnovates Award

New York, NY (May 4, 2011) — The Institute for Family Health was recognized by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in an award ceremony for innovative projects developed by HHS agencies and community partners. The award recognizes the Institute’s partnership with the National Library of Medicine to create a new health education resource called MedlinePlus Connect. This year’s “Secretary’s Picks” awardees were selected from among 87 applicant projects nationwide.

The Institute, a leader in the advanced use of health information technology in the care of disadvantaged patients, partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), an HHS agency, to develop MedlinePlus Connect. This tool integrates with any electronic health record system to link patients directly from their own health information available through a patient portal to relevant health information maintained on the NLM’s MedlinePlus.gov website.  Launched by NLM in 1998, MedlinePlus provides a wide range of health information for a lay audience. Materials are written at a 5th – 8th grade reading level and are available in up to 26 languages.

The Institute’s patient portal, known as MyChartMyHealth, allows patients to view their own health record information securely online. Soon after the portal launched, patients began asking for educational materials about the information in their record. “For us, MedlinePlus was a perfect match,” said Institute President and CEO Neil Calman, M.D. “We developed MedlinePlus Connect with NLM to link clinical data in our patients’ records with the easy-to­understand consumer health information available in Medline Plus.  Our 90,000 patients have a range of health and computer literacy levels, and are often more facile in a language other than English. We needed a solution for all of our patients.”  The Spanish-language version of the Institute’s portal, MiRecordMiSalud, links directly to related health information in Spanish.

MedlinePlus Connect is now being used by health systems across the country.  Examples of health systems and electronic health record vendors now using MedlinePlus Connect can be found at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/users.html.

The National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health.  For more information about NLM and the HHSinnovates Award, visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/mplus_connect_award.html.

The Institute for Family Health is a federally qualified health center network with 26 practice sites in New York State. In 2009 all Institute centers received the highest recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance as Patient Centered Medical Homes. Dr. Neil Calman, president and CEO, serves as a member of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee of the Office of the National Coordinator representing vulnerable populations. For more information, visit www.institute2000.org.