Chickasaw Health Information Center (CHIC) offers public access to the world’s largest medical library so anyone can better inform themselves regarding specific health topics. It is credible, up-to-date and backed by the best information is available. There is no cost to access the service and it is open to the public.
Published December 2, 2018
ADA, Okla. — The Chickasaw Health Information Center (CHIC) offers public access to the world’s largest medical library — the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) — with the purpose of helping everyone better inform themselves regarding a diagnosis or specific health topic.
There is no cost to access the service. Anyone can use it, and the health information provided is the most up-to-date, data-driven insight that health science can provide.
“This project is an important step in providing crucial information that will help create and increase awareness and understanding of individual health issues,” said Governor Bill Anoatubby.
By providing access to credible resources, the Chickasaw Nation is hoping to help build a healthier community and reduce the health disparities faced by many Native Americans today.
There are three points of access: a website, a smartphone application and on-site kiosks.
The website CHICresources.net can be accessed anywhere via an internet browser on personal computers, tablets and smartphones. The mobile application is available as a free download from Apple and Android app stores.
Public kiosks at Chickasaw health clinics in Ardmore, Tishomingo and Purcell give community members an in-person method of tapping into CHIC. Four such kiosks are also available in the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada.
This public service is the result of collaboration between the Chickasaw Nation, the National Library of Medicine and Computercraft, a Chickasaw-owned company.
Janice Kelly, the acting deputy associate director of the National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services, helped create CHICresources.net. She offered examples of when the website or kiosks might prove useful.
“When you get a new diagnosis and want to learn more about that condition, you can use the Chickasaw Health Information Center to find information,” Kelly said. “If you are having surgery and want to know more about pre-operative preparations or postoperative care, you can research that information on CHIC.”
She said users might also look up possible side effects for a new prescription or learn about lab test values and desirable ranges.
“CHIC provides quality health information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus, PubMed and Clinical Trials databases to answer health questions,” she said.
CHIC pulls information from some of the same medical resources physicians themselves turn to professionally.
PubMed is a search engine full of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. In addition, ClinicalTrials.gov is a web-based resource providing insight regarding clinical studies to patients, researchers and health care professionals.
Accessing CHIC resources is a more top-down process than seeing a physician, but the two work hand in hand.
A visit to the doctor’s office often involves a patient explaining symptoms, being examined, the doctor gathering details and perhaps making a diagnosis. When using CHIC resources, a person starts with a diagnosis or condition and digs deeper into the details.
Learning more about one’s condition or illness can help in ways past just intellectual curiosity.
Receiving a new diagnosis can be a confusing and scary experience, leaving a patient with many questions. CHIC helps fill in the gaps, so anyone can answer their own questions and discover new topics to address with their physician.
Being better informed can offer a sense of understanding and confidence. When plotting a path to better health, having a firm grasp on the best medical information currently available can help plot the course.
Developers have also added a child-centric portal to the website called Kid’s Corner (located under the “Community Health and Wellness” tab). It is a space for children to play games and watch videos while learning about the community, health and environment.
No one is ever alone when exploring the information CHIC provides, because help is available by phone or in person.
If visiting an on-site kiosk in Ada, Ardmore, Tishomingo or Purcell, dedicated CHIC coordinators like Ron Frazier are stationed at nearby welcome desks and can offer guidance.
“Someone is always here to help find the answers,” Frazier said. “I’m glad to help in any way I can.”
Lisa Sheppard (Tishomingo), Chris Sampson (Ardmore) and Lisa O’Donnell (Purcell) also offer guidance at their respective locations.
To find out more, contact Alicson.Scott@Chickasaw.net or (580) 436-3980 ext. 80021.