MedlinePlus – Health System

MedlinePlus's "Health System" page provides access to information about many aspects of healthcare and the healthcare system at large. Topics include health insurance, medical ethics, financial assistance, finding medical care, health fraud, and patient rights. This MedLine section is recommended for people trying to understand and navigate the healthcare system.

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Review Date: 11/15/2018


Ease of Use

This MedlinePlus page is simply an alphabetical list of topics that explore various components of the healthcare system. Clicking any one of the 27 topics listed here leads to a page with a brief summary and links to additional resources. This organization requires users to constantly jump back and forth from page to page. Otherwise all the relevant materials are easily accessible.

Visual Design

The landing page only provides a list of topics. No images or multimedia to engage the reader. And the material lacks topic headings that would benefit the visual appearance. MedlinePlus already features a dull graphic design; this page brings the quality down to the most basic level.


Users will find many topics to help them understand the healthcare system, and many high-quality resources to learn more. The materials assembled here come from a wide variety of sources, most of them from respected perspectives in the field. Not all pages are fleshed out with the same depth, but overall this is a small complaint given the wealth of information.


MedlinePlus is a government-backed health resource relying on content from authoritative organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities. The currency of web pages linked here varies, but MedlinePlus appears to be regularly updated.


  1. Links to useful information to help users understand the healthcare system
  2. Highly credible website with government sponsorship and relying on materials generated by authoritative organizations


  1. Resources for finding healthcare are limited
  2. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced
  3. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information


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

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, videos, images, journal articles, expert finder tool, health check tools, medical encyclopedia

Languages: English, Spanish