JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Virtual Naval Hospital: a digital library for naval primary care providers and patients

M P D'Alessandro, D M D'Alessandro, M J Hendrix, R S Bakalar
Military Medicine 1998, 163 (11): 775-80
9819540

OBJECTIVE: To deliver optimal patient care and promote wellness, naval providers and patients require convenient access to medical information from isolated duty stations. The Internet can lower barriers to accessing information. The goal of this study was to determine the technical feasibility of using the Internet to deliver medical information to isolated naval points of care.

METHODS: A digital library for naval primary care providers and patients with an integrated, problem-based interface was developed. The Virtual Naval Hospital (http:/(/)www.vnh.org) was evaluated from sea, undersea, and shore.

RESULTS: The digital library was a popular resource. Access to it is currently limited because few ships have Internet access.

CONCLUSIONS: The technical feasibility of delivering a digital library of medical information to the deckplates was proven. The digital library will realize its potential when satellite-based access to the Internet becomes available. In the interim, the digital library will also be distributed on CD-ROM.

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