PatientINFORM is a collaborative private-sector initiative of medical publishers, health organizations, medical societies, and health information professionals. It was created in 2005 under the leadership of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), the Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.
The goal of patientINFORM is to allow patients, their family members and anyone interested in learning more about a specific disease or its treatment to access the most important new research articles through the web sites of participating health organizations or publishers. Participating health organizations provide interpretation of research articles, in the form of summaries or news items written to be understood by nonphysician, nonscientist readers, along with links to the original research articles on participating medical journals’ web sites. Participating publishers make the original research articles free to readers who follow the links from the health organizations’ sites and provide patients or caregivers with other ways to obtain relevant research articles that have not been covered by one of the health organizations.
PatientINFORM itself is not a source for medical information, but it is like a brand or a seal of approval of sorts. If you see the patientINFORM name or logo on a health organization’s web site, you’ll know that organization provides information about the latest relevant medical research along with links that allow you to read and even download or print the original research articles without a subscription or other fees. If you see it on a publisher or journal’s web site, you’ll know that publisher allows those free links from participating health organizations and that it helps patients and caregivers find and access relevant journal articles in other ways.
Information provided on participating health organizations’ web sites and even research articles from the top medical journals are no substitute for consultation with a primary or specialist physician. However, patientINFORM was founded on the belief that access to this information can educate and empower health care consumers like you who seek to use the Internet to learn more about diseases and conditions.