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Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1993 Apr;81(2):207-16.

Using a network menu and the UMLS Information Sources Map to facilitate access to online reference materials.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


As computer technology advances, clinicians and biomedical researchers are becoming more dependent upon information from online databases and information systems. By using specially configured computer workstations and high-speed computer networks, it is now possible to access this information in a rapid and straightforward manner. To empower users by providing these capabilities, the authors are assembling a variety of network workstations to be located throughout Yale-New Haven Medical Center. At the heart of the workstation is NetMenu, a program designed to help users connect to a number of important online information systems, including a hospital order entry and results reporting system, a drug reference, bibliographic retrieval systems, and educational programs. In addition, as part of the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) project, the authors have developed a local prototype of the UMLS Information Sources Map (ISM) and a companion query assistant program to complement the NetMenu in helping users select and connect automatically to information services relevant to a particular question. The ISM query assistant draws from a listing of many online information sources accessible via local and international networks.

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