Kadlec offers more robust online health library

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldMarch 9, 2014 

Curious about the symptoms of breast cancer?

What about the ins and outs of an arthroscopy procedure? Or the signs of depression?

Kadlec Health System has a new free online health library packed with information -- from fact sheets and quizzes to podcasts and animations.

The library uses materials from Krames StayWell, a national health information company.

"It's a really nice package -- it looks at all different aspects of patient care," said Chase Walters, Kadlec's education department manager.

Jackie Godfrey, physician education supervisor, added that it's a good resource for health education in the community, noting she has seen schools in other areas use the system to enhance health lessons.

Kadlec Health System, which includes Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland and a network of services and clinics, previously offered an online health library. But the new version is more robust, officials told the Herald.

It has primers on numerous conditions and diseases, from diabetes to skin cancer, plus prevention guidelines and explanations of procedures. The page on bone marrow biopsies, for example, includes an illustration showing where the needle is inserted and a step-by-step guide of what to expect before, during and after. Search for "arthroscopy" and the first hit is an animation detailing the surgery to treat joint problems.

The health library also has information about various medications, including a drug interaction checker, along with nutrition and wellness tips and resources, a health news center and several multimedia tools and offerings, ranging from body mass index and calorie burn rate calculators to risk assessments for conditions such as coronary artery disease and postpartum depression.

One section has healthy recipes. Another has interactive "clinical wizards" on heart disease and breast cancer risk factors and healthy pregnancy.

Krames has physicians regularly review the materials to ensure it is current, and Kadlec officials also vetted the system, Kadlec staff said.

The health library is publicly accessible through Kadlec's website. Kadlec providers also use Krames materials to help with patient education and discharge instructions. Many of the materials are available in multiple languages, and they're written in layman's terms to be easily understood.

Walters said he sees the health library as an important resource. "When you're sitting in the doctor's office, you've got all kinds of things going on in your head when you just all of a sudden get told you that you're going to have to have knee surgery, or you need to watch your cholesterol, or you have a specific health risk," he told the Herald.

"When you get home and you start settling through this, you start going, 'I don't recall what (the doctor) said or what I should do.' This is where you can go back and refresh your memory, get that information that you really need to move forward and take control of your own health care."

To check out the health library, go to www.kadlec.org and click on the "Health Library" tab on the right side of the homepage.

-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald

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