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Update Regarding MedlinePlus Go Local

The following is a message from the National Library of Medicine regarding MedlinePlus Go Local.  This news was announced on a Go Local conference call earlier today. There is a link to the Power Point slides that were presented on the call at the end of this message. The slides illustrate the evaluation efforts of NLM to reach their decision.

“Colleagues—Since 2001, the National Library of Medicine has supported Go Local web sites across the United States. The goal of Go Local was to connect users to health services in their local communities. This seemed like a natural extension to MedlinePlus, which provides health information. In 2001, Go Local was a unique service.

Over the past nine years, the Internet has evolved. Search engines that people use daily, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, bring health services listings to users. These sites include provider-level directory information and can collect user reviews that Go Local cannot. Health insurance sites give insured users local practice details, such as hours, fees, parking, and quality ratings based on provider or facility performance measures. To include this granularity in Go Local would not be feasible.

The changed Internet environment, coupled with declining use, has led to a decision by NLM to phase down and end its support for the MedlinePlus Go Local program.  Resources are tight throughout our profession and as the internet has moved forward, it no longer makes sense to use scarce resources to compete with machine-based indexing used by the search engines.

NLM is grateful to the hundreds of people whose time, labor, ideas and patience went into creating Go Local. For many years we could proudly point to Go Local as a unique and valuable service to so many people in this country. We will be working with our partners around the country as they make decisions about what to do in their local areas.”

Here is a link to the Power Point presentation from today’s conference call:  http://nnlm.gov/pnr/funding/NLM_GoLocal_Announcement_2-18-10.pdf

We will continue to update the Pacific Northwest Region as we get updates from the National Library of Medicine. Thank you to the participants in current Go Local projects in the Pacific Northwest and to those who have expressed interest in considering hosting Go Local.

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