OHSU Opens New Health Information Library

03/03/00    Portland, Ore.

Patients and Families Gain On-Campus Access to Consumer Health Information

The doctors deliver the diagnosis and sometimes it's not favorable. Unexpected results bring many concerns. The doctors do their best to answer the barrage of questions from concerned patients and families but often more questions arise.

In order to accommodate patients and their families, Oregon Health Sciences University opened the Health Information Library on the main floor of OHSU hospital. In the library, patients are able to get simple and straightforward information they need to properly understand their health issues and possible medical alternatives or solutions.

"The challenge is not to overwhelm the consumer with complex scientific information unless they ask for it," said Barbara Glidewell, OHSU director of patient relations. "To this end we have succeeded and are excited to offer this consumer health library for patients and their families."

The patient-friendly HIL offers a wide array of consumer health resources including books, newsletters, brochures, Internet health information, videos, research assistance and access to computers. Health information is also available for those who speak Spanish only and a fair number of the brochures on hand are bilingual.

"The beauty of this facility is that information is available and in terminology that is understandable," said James Scott, M.A., M.L.I.S, HIL library coordinator. "We also assist persons that don't have access to computers. Now all consumers may access medical information using computer based technology at the HIL."

The library is open to all hospital patrons who need health information. It is not a circulating library, which means books or videos cannot be checked out, but information from the Internet can be printed and materials can be copied.

Since the library opened in January, the facility has averaged 25-30 visits per day. All HIL services are free of charge.