KINGSPORT – Patients who want a better understanding of a multitude of medical conditions and procedures now have an additional resource from an organization that has prided itself in helping the region be proactive and informed about its health.
Wellmont Health System has created an online health library, which gives patients and others in the region access to a wealth of knowledge with just a few keystrokes. Available for free in the health and wellness section of www.wellmont.org, the library reinforces Wellmont as the go-to source for everything from sprains and strains to major heart and cancer conditions.
The library is a component of Wellmont LiveWell, a community initiative launched in July that is geared toward improving the health status of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The program urges the area’s residents to commit to important habits, such as regular exercise, healthy diets and maintenance of proper blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and offers many ways to accomplish these new benchmarks.
“We want our patients and the community to be up to date about the latest medical information, so they can take appropriate preventive measures to avert minor and serious illnesses,” said Dr. Stephen Combs, a medical doctor who serves as chief executive medical officer of Wellmont Medical Associates and medical director of LiveWell. “But if someone has been diagnosed with a medical condition, we want to empower them with facts that will help them make well-informed decisions that meet their needs.
“That is what is so beneficial about this new health library. It gives everyone in the region an easy and accurate way to obtain information that could change their lives for the better.”
A person who goes to the library will immediately have access to an index of diseases, conditions and injuries. They are listed from A to Z, with information dispensed in English and Spanish. People can also search via a category, such as the respiratory and circulatory systems.
When someone clicks on a specific disease, condition or injury, he or she will receive a definition, causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnoses, treatments and preventive measures, as well as additional resources, such as the American Cancer Society, that might be helpful.
The library has a plethora of interactive tools, such as healthy living calculators, health risk assessors, detailed explanations of the anatomy and videos and animations. This online resource also contains a rich collection of articles on a bountiful supply of medical topics.
It can also help someone understand basic and complex medical terms. Simply go to the dictionary on the health library, plug in a word and the definition will appear.
The library features a medications database that helps someone understand many elements of a drug, including why it is prescribed, how it should be used, what other applications are available for it, what precautions are necessary, what happens if the person forgets a dose and what side effects are possible.
The health library is a companion to Wellmont Nurse Connection, a 24/7 outreach that gives residents of the region a chance to talk by phone with registered nurses about major and minor health matters. It also dovetails with the Wellmont Health Coach, a mobile vehicle that enables people to receive potentially life-saving screenings.
“This library provides a virtually endless amount of information that will help people in our region participate more fully in their health care,” said Judy Rasnake, Nurse Connection’s executive director.
“Our physicians, nurses and other medical professionals bring plenty of expertise to the table when they see patients. But when our patients increase their knowledge about a disease or illness, the partnership between them and their care provider becomes stronger. Both are able to share what they know, increasing the likelihood of an optimal result for the patient.”