Recommended

MedlinePlus – Blood, Heart and Circulation

MedlinePlus - Blood, Heart and Circulation leads users to information about common cardiovascular and blood disease diseases. The section contains a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety of sources of information to enable a more diverse learning experience. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list or body system. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is uninteresting having only a list of topics & systems along with a simple illustration of the circulatory system

Quality

Users will find information on only the most well known cardiovascular diseases and blood disorders. Inconsistent referencing make the veracity of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.

Credibility

MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the National Library of Medicine, American Heart Association, National Cancer Institute, and American Cancer Society. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally on the linked sites.

Pros

  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to cardiovascular disease and hematologic disorders
  2. Large subsections on "Cardiac Diseases" and "Blood Disorders" with good breadth & depth and links to a comprehensive collection of reliable & up-to-date information
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and relying on materials generated by authoritative organizations

Cons

  1. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information
  2. Combining cardiovascular diseases with blood disorders is confusing, since they have little in common and few topics seem out of place, for example eosinophilic esophagitis & gas gangrene
  3. The organization and array of topics make some conditions are difficult to find, such as sickle-cell anemia

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features:

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov