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Finns eagerly search for health information on the Internet

2.1 million articles read at the health care library in February.


2.1 million articles read at the health care library in February

The online health care library has proved that reliable, independent and up-to-date health care information is in great demand. Since it was launched for the general public in January 2007, nearly 200 Finnish municipalities have integrated the health care library search window into their own regional health care websites.

The website is the most extensive Finnish health care databank available online. The three most popular articles are on diabetes, ear infections, and heart failure. The most commonly-used search terms are diabetes, blood pressure, and fever. Other frequently-sought topics are depression, asthma, dizziness, and cancer.

The most important feature in the health library is the reliability of its information. The core of the service is the continually-updated database provided by Duodecim Medical Publications. It is based on textbooks, proven medical guidelines, and scientific research used by medical practitioners. The high quality of articles is also evident in a clear, straightforward writing style, which makes them more accessible to the general public.

The health care library is constantly improved

The Terveyskirjasto health care library is used by both health care professionals and the public. It is currently being integrated into the Terveysportti website for professional users, so that doctors and nurses can make use of the database in their daily work. Patients could, for example, be instructed to familiarise themselves with relevant articles, or articles can be printed out for the patient during consultation for further reading.

“American experience and research studies have shown that patients appreciate if their medical practitioners can help them find reliable, scientifically sound information on what professional judgment is based upon,” says Pekka Mustonen, Managing Director of Duodecim Medical Publications Ltd.

“Our aim is to integrate Terveyskirjasto search windows into the local web services of municipal health care providers. Nearly 200 municipalities have already done this. As online services are becoming more common, easy access to reliable information better supports self-care and timely seeking of medical counsel.”

Sitra has marked its 40th anniversary by providing the contents of Duodecim’s Terveyskirjasto health care library to the general public free of charge until the end of 2007.

“There is a clear demand for this service, and the number of visitors on the website has been a positive surprise. We will gather feedback next autumn on the content and feasibility of the service. The aim is to integrate the content into the interactive electronic basic health care services,” says Hannu Hanhijärvi, Executive Director of Sitra’s Health Care Programme.

Further information

Terveyskirjasto health care library: »

Duodecim Medical Publications
Pekka Mustonen, Managing Director, tel. +358 50 595 9730

Sitra’s Health Care Programme
Hannu Hanhijärvi, Executive Director, tel. +358 9 6189 9440

Elina Antila, Communications Consultant, Kuule Oy/Sitra’s Health Care Programme communications. tel. +358 40 548 3838