Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wellness #42: Staying Well

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Sometimes, even when you live a green lifestyle, eat the right foods, and exercise daily, you still need the help of a health professional to stay well. The Internet has many websites that can help you diagnose your symptoms, locate a healthcare professional, manage your medications, and keep track of your medical history.

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Use the "Symptom Checker" from the Mayo Clinic to discover the most common causes of the most common symptoms. It can give you an idea for simple self-treatment, or it can help you work with your health care professional for an accurate diagnosis of more serious problems.

This National Library of Medicine website helps you find local resources for health-related issues. Select an area from the map shown to search for health services and topics.

Drugs.com provides free, accurate and independent advice on more than 24,000 prescription drug

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s, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. Its many useful features include:
pill identification to help you identify that stray pill found in your child's backpack or in your bathroom drawer;
a drug interaction checker that lets you input the list of medications you take, and alerts you to any possible dangerous interactions.

My Family Health Portrait is a web-based tool provided by the U.S. Surgeon General. Information you provide creates a drawing of your family tree and a chart of your family health history.

A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of important information that you maintain about your health or the health of someone you’re caring for, such as a parent or a child. MyPHR.com gives details about what should be included, and suggests free or fee-based resources that help you create a PHR in print form, using the Internet, or using specialized software.


  1. Try out the symptom checker or the pill identifier. Write in general terms about how accurate the results seemed to be.
  2. Pick any medical condition or service and use the local MedlinePlus to see if there are related resources within 10 miles of your home. List what you found.
  3. Create a sample family medical history tree. Discuss how this could this be a useful addition to a genealogy study.

HCPL Staff:

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This post was brought to you by Nancy Agafitei (CC).

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