MedlinePlus's collection of personal health topics covers a broad and varied group of topics. Most help patients advocate on their own behalf, touching on subjects like health records, talking to doctors, health literacy, advance directives, and more. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for people interesting in becoming knowledgeable about and involved in their own healthcare.
The Informed Patient Institute (IPI) helps consumers identify the best websites for online information about healthcare costs/quality and patient safety. This recommended website publishes credible reviews of websites that rate and put users in touch with doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes in specific states.
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.
U.S. News Health - Best Hospitals provides annual top 50 rankings of hospitals and children's hospitals, including by speciality and procedure. The site may not be useful for most patients but is recommended for complicated patients or those with complex problems that are willing and able to travel.
Healthgrades helps users find hospitals and doctors by location, name, specialty, condition, or procedure. Visitors will be able to easily access basic information about each doctor and hospital listed, though the listings are limited. The site does allow patients to review doctors and hospitals based on personal experience, though there is a large subjective component to this feature.
Quality Check helps consumers compare hospitals and other healthcare facilities that have received a gold seal of approval from the Joint Commission. These rigorous evaluations of care quality will benefit readers who seek hard data to inform their choice of medical provider rather than consumer reviews.
The doctor-finder tool, provided by U.S. News & World Report, allows visitors to search for doctors by ZIP code, specialty, or name. Information provided for each physician includes education, contact information, certifications, speciality, awards, and more. This tool is recommended as a good starting point for patients who want to locate doctors in their area.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps users find low cost medications, patient assistance programs, and low-cost health clinics. Other resources include service animals, diabetes supplies, health insurance marketplaces, and patient advocacy. It is recommended as a great start for locating low cost medications and other cost-saving programs.
Medicare.gov's recommended "Physician Compare" tool allows users to search for doctors by ZIP code, medical condition, or physician specialty. Relevant search results can be compared by distance, education, group affiliation, and more.
Medicare.gov's Hospital Compare section is a highly recommended resource that allows users to compare hospitals in a given region. The site lists hospitals by ZIP code and publishes information on how each one performs against Medicare's quality and safety standards.