Assessing, Controlling, and Assuring the Quality of Medical Information on the Internet:  Caveant Lector et Viewor—Let the Reader and Viewer Beware

William M. Silberg; George D. Lundberg, MD; Robert A. Musacchio, PhD
JAMA. 1997;277(15):1244-1245. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540390074039.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Health care professionals and patients alike should view with equal parts delight and concern the exponential growth of the Internet (the Net), and especially its graphical, user-friendly subset, the World Wide Web (the Web), as a medical information delivery tool.1,2 Delight because the Internet hosts a large number of high-quality medical resources and poses seemingly endless opportunities to inform, teach, and connect professionals and patients alike. Concern because the fulfillment of that promise remains discouragingly distant. Technical glitches aside, when it comes to medical information, the Internet too often resembles a cocktail conversation rather than a tool for effective health care communication and decision making.

See also p 1258.

The problem is not too little information but too much, vast chunks of it incomplete, misleading, or inaccurate, and not only in the medical arena.3,4 The Net—and especially the Web—has the potential to become the world's largest vanity press.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.