Virtual Hospital: 400+ Links to Patient Education Materials!

By Carol J. Mulvihill, B.S.N., R.N.,C., Editor of Connections Quarterly

Virtual Hospital or VH, is a continuously updated digital health sciences library available via the Internet. It was founded in 1992 as a public service of The University of Iowa, Department of Radiology, Electric Differential Multimedia Library.

The introduction to the Virtual Hospital Tour on their award-winning web site states:

"The Virtual Hospital is designed to lower barriers to accessing authoritative information. The Virtual Hospital is based on the philosophy that learning is an apprenticeship, and that apprentice learners -- health care providers and patients - need convenient access to authoritative information. The Virtual Hospital delivers information to health care providers at the point-of-care to help them take better care of their patients and delivers information to patients at home to help them live healthier lives."
--Excerpt from The Virtual Hospital Tour

What does Virtual Hospital have to do with college health?

Hospital care and college health care are not necessarily similar in their approaches to health care delivery. But Virtual Hospital's philosophical belief and commitment to provide health information to both providers and patients to enhance quality of care and healthier living are certainly compatible with college health goals and objectives. As such, Virtual Hospital becomes a valuable information resource for us and for our patients.

Check Out the Annotated List of Patient Education Materials

Virtual Hospital features an Annotated List of Patient Education Materials at
This single web page contained 402 links on March 21, 1998 when I counted them. It includes interesting patient information handouts from a wide variety of credible medical resources. For example, a large number of really great patient information handouts from the National Cancer Institutes are available here. Handouts from the American Academy of Family Practice and the American Academy of Otolaryngologists are also plentiful on this web site.

The information is organized under the following categories: anesthesia, cancer, dermatology, dietary, emergency medicine, family practice, hospital dentistry, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, pathology, pediatrics, physical therapy, radiology, surgery, and miscellaneous.

The exhaustive resource list of patient education materials includes the following gems:

Please note: The Virtual Hospital web site is copyrighted. This does permit making a printed copy of health information for personal use, provided the source and authors are credited on the copy.

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