Web site aims to make med search easier

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

Those searching for health providers in Lawrence County now have only one online stop to make, thanks to a new, free database launched Wednesday.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health created Go Local Ohio-Southeast (at www.medlineplus.gov/ose), the product of and exhaustive 18-month effort, said Debra Orr, Health Sciences Reference and Community Outreach Librarian for Ohio University.

“It was an extreme amount of work,” Orr said. “It took us about a year and a half, just for our area. Right now, southeast Ohio is the only area that has a Go Local site. It takes a long, long time and we just had 18 counties.”

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The site provides a directory of health services in local geographic areas, including hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, support groups, health screening providers and many others.

The service lets users search for the type of care they need, so, for example, those looking for a new pediatrician need only click the corresponding care that they’re looking for, and they’ll be provided with a list of all the local providers, with all the relevant contact information.

There’s even Web addresses provided for those businesses and doctors that have them.

Occasionally, Go Local even provides specialists from elsewhere in the state who provide more specific care.

Those listed in the directory were not charged to be included. Orr said the Library of Medicine picked up the tab to make their site a more comprehensive tool for those living in southern Ohio. It also, they hope, will make finding the best treatment easier.

“The (Library of Medicine) was really instrumental in streamlining this. It was their idea to get a comprehensive list of healthcare providers in one area on the Web for people to use,” Orr said. “Because their Web site is free to consumers they thought this might be just an extra benefit.

More information on the service is available by calling

(740) 593-2682 or by email at orrd@ohio.edu.