Resources for More Information
If you have access to a computer and the Internet, you can find information on every health topic. If you don't have a computer, check with your local library. Most libraries have computers you can use and staff who can help you learn to search the Internet. Phone numbers are provided where available.
Resources on the Web
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)—For information and resources on quality of care, medical errors and patient safety, various clinical conditions, prevention and wellness, prescription
medicines, smoking cessation, choosing a health plan, and many other topics, go to the Consumers & Patients page at: http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/. Call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295.
National Guideline Clearinghouse™—For links to many Web sites that feature science-based health information, go to the Patient Resources page at: http://www.guideline.gov.
QualityTools—This clearinghouse for practical, ready-to-use tools for measuring and improving the quality of health care is sponsored by AHRQ and includes a weekly E-mail update service. For information for patients and consumers, health care providers, policymakers, and payers and purchasers, go to: http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The government's primary source for conducting and funding clinical research. To access the main NIH Web site, through which you can access information on many health topics and link to the various Institutes that make up NIH—including the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and many others—or to search for your topic, go to: http://www.nih.gov.
ClinicalTrials.gov—The National Institutes of Health provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported research in human subjects. To browse the ClinicalTrials site or enter a specific location, condition, or other search topic, go to: http://clinicaltrials.gov.
Medicare.gov—To compare hospitals and nursing homes in your area, go to: http://www.medicare.gov. Phone 1-800-MEDICARE.
healthfinder®—This site, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers links to hundreds of sites on the Internet that contain reliable health care information. For links to many government and nongovernment sources of information on health care quality, go to: http://www.healthfinder.gov/healthcare/.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)— To locate JCAHO accredited hospitals, assisted living facilities, laboratories, and other types of health care facilities and
services in your area, go to the Quality Check page at: http://www.qualitycheck.org/consumer/searchQCR.aspx. Phone 1-630-792-5000.
URAC—To access information about URAC's health care quality accreditation and certification programs and services, go to http://www.urac.org/. Phone 202-216-9010.
National Committee for Quality Assurance—To access information about different types of health insurance, your rights as a consumer, consumer fact sheets, and other information, go to the Health Insurance section on the Consumer page at: http://www.naic.org/consumer_home.htm. Phone 1-888-275-7585.
National Association for Home Care and Hospice—To locate home care, hospice services, and other resources in your State, phone 1-202-547-7424.
American Health Quality Association—AHQA represents the national network of Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) that help physicians, hospitals, health plans, nursing homes, and home health agencies improve the quality of care they deliver. QIOs focus on the adoption of best practices to provide safe, effective and patient-centered care. To locate a QIO near you or find out more about health care quality, go to: http://www.ahqa.org/pub/189_1085_5234.cfm.
Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care—To locate outpatient health care services, such as freestanding surgery centers, radiology facilities, podiatrists, pain management clinics, and many other types of outpatient facilities accredited by the Association, go to: http://www.aaahc.org. Phone 1-847-853-6060.
American Medical Association (AMA)—To access AMA's "DoctorFinder," with
information about virtually every licensed physician in the United States, as well as links to other helpful information, go to: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3158.html. Phone 1-800-621-8335.
American Osteopathic Association (AOA)—The AOA "Find a Doctor" service allows you to search for licensed osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) in
the United States by name, geographic location, or ZIP
code. To find an osteopathic physician near you, go to: http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/find-a-do/Pages/default.aspx. Phone: 1-800-621-1773 or 1-312-202-8000.
National Organization for State Medical and Osteopathic Board Executive Directors—To access the "DocFinder" physician database, which contains information from State government licensing boards on the licensing background and disciplinary information of physicians and other health care providers, go to: http://www.docboard.org.
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)—The Federation collects information on disciplinary actions taken against physicians by regulatory and licensing agencies, such as State medical boards, the National Board of Medical Examiners, various Federal agencies, and other licensing authorities. To search the FSMB Web site to learn if your physician has any disciplinary history, go to: http://www.docinfo.org. Phone 1-817-868-4000.
America's Health Insurance Plans—To access guides on health insurance coverage and links to many other sources of information about choosing a health insurance plan, go to: http://www.ahip.org/content/default.aspx?bc=41. Phone 1-202-778-3200.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners—To access information about different types of health insurance, your rights as a consumer, consumer fact sheets, and other information, go to: http://www.naic.org/consumer_home.htm. Phone 1-816-842-3600.
State and Local Organizations
State and Local Agencies—Check the blue pages of your phone book to find the State and local health departments in your area.
Local Chapters of National Organizations—Check the white pages of your phone book to find State and local chapters of national organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association. Organizations like these often can refer you to self-help and support groups and other resources in your community.
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