Medlineplus, the online health information database service of the US National Library of Medicine (NLC), has been awarded health web site accreditation by  the quality body URAC.

The NLC-run website is part of the US National Institute of Health, and is the first government-run website to receive the URAC seal. It is the sixteenth health site to achieve URAC accreditation overall.

“We are pleased to welcome Medlineplus to the community of accredited health websites,” said Garry Carneal, URAC President and CEO. "It is significant that a website that already has such a stellar reputation feels that URAC accreditation adds value for itself and consumers using the site."

The Medlineplus web pages contain carefully selected links to web resources with health information. The site offers consumers information on more than 500 health topics, including links to trusted and authoritative information from the National Institutes of Health, other government agencies and professional organisations.

It also includes one-click searches of the enormous Medline database of medical journal articles, together with the US database.

In addition Medlineplus provides daily health news feeds from the print media, an illustrated medical encyclopaedia (from, drug information from the United States Pharmacopoeia, and directories for doctors, dentists and hospitals.

URAC health web site standards cover a number of important issues including health content editorial process, disclosure of financial relationships, linking to other web sites, privacy and security, and mechanisms for consumer complaints. The standards also contain requirements to assure that organisations have adequate internal processes and structure to monitor and maintain web site quality over time.

URAC, also known as the American Accreditation Health Care Commission, is a charitable organisation founded in 1990 to establish standards for the health care industry, and includes members from all constituencies affected by health care – employers, consumers, regulators, health care providers, and the managed care industries.

The URAC health web site standards are available to both web site owners and the public at, and include 53 specific standards and detailed descriptions of what web sites must do to achieve accreditation.