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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

The Future Is Coming: Electronic Health Records

Donald West King, M.D.

Donald West King, M.D. FNLM Chairman
Photo: NLM

Welcome to this issue of NIH MedlinePlus magazine—created and made available to help you and your family get the very best, most helpful healthcare information. No matter what the topic we cover, you can trust that it has been reviewed and approved by the experts at the National Library of Medicine as well as the other National Institutes of Health institutes and centers.

For example, if you've ever suffered from a bad back or aching joints—and who hasn't!—turn to this issue's section on healthy joints and bones, starting on page 10, for explanations and answers. Cancer is also something that has touched many of us, and you will find CBS News journalist Katie Couric's courageous story about her husband's colorectal cancer, beginning on page 2. There is also more good information in this issue on headaches (especially migraines), the dangers of hepatitis, and much more.

In addition to this issue of the magazine, we are also excited to let you know that the Friends of the National Library of Medicine is hosting a very special conference on the cutting-edge topic of electronic health records (EHR) on May 20-21, 2009, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Titled Personal Electronic Health Records: From Biomedical Research to People's Health, the conference will bring together some of the world's most creative minds in research, government, and health care.

The goal? To discuss and help shape how the newly passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $19.5 billion investment in health information technology can best save money, improve patient care, and make our health care system more efficient. Guiding the discussion will be leading government healthcare officials.

"Now is the time to get off to a strong start"

As Dr. David Blumenthal, appointed by President Obama to be National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, has noted, "As a primary care physician who has used an electronic record to care for patients every day for 10 years, I understand the enormous potential of this technology."

This is a future that all Americans will be living, and now is the time to make sure EHRs get off to a strong start. Find out more at

From the smallest health tips to the biggest pocketbook issues, we look forward to bringing you good health news you can use in NIH MedlinePlus magazine. On behalf of the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, thank you for your interest and support.

Donald West King, M.D., Chairman
Friends of the National Library of Medicine

Spring 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 2 Page Inside Cover