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Healthcare professionals face a paradox; they are overwhelmed with information but cannot find a particular piece of information when and where they need it. Creation of the National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) is an attempt to harness internet technologies to solve this information paradox. The aim of the NeLH is to provide easy access to best current knowledge to improve health and health care, patient choice, and clinical practice. Key internet tools to be used in the NeLH include a web browser to view the internet, hypertext links between documents, search engines to find information, alerts to warn users automatically about new information, and personalisation to allow users to customise the website to suit their needs. The metaphorical architecture of the NeLH will comprise an atrium with help desks and virtual branch libraries, know how (guidelines and audit), knowledge (best current evidence), NHS Direct Online (information for patients), and knowledge management (training in better presentation and use of knowledge).


Journal article


British Medical Journal

Publication Date





1476 - 1479