An RN came by our library the other day looking for a particular piece of patient education information, and I found it very time consuming to pull up each appropriate site and search it. So time-consuming, in fact, that I was late for my appointment to meet with our hospital’s Director of Information Services. Can’t have that.
It didn’t occur to me until this evening, though, that a Google Custom Search Engine might be very useful in enabling the user to simultaneously search more than a hundred Consumer Healthcare/Patient Education sites recommended by the NLM and/or CAPHIS.
So I slapped one together that searches 134 URLs, and you can try it out here.
It is interesting to compare the search results of this CSE to those of Google Health Co-op. Here are the results of searching the CSE for “Ulcerative Colitis,” and here are the results of searching the Google Health Co-op for “Ulcerative Colitis” refined for Patient Information. The major difference, I think, is in what the CSE excludes. If we use the same search string in “regular” Google without the refinement for Patient Information, the fifth search result is from Wikipedia– far from authoritative.
Still, I really would like to be able to sort search results by something other than Google’s PageRank.
(Also, I need to think through the potential value of making this tool available to all clinical users at our hospital, and work out the best way to go about making it work for even those users who have restricted web access.)
Your opinions and suggestions would be sincerely appreciated- let me know what you think!
Posts on davidrothman.net about the Google Custom Search Engine service: