EBSCO Information Services provides two main sources of content: proprietary and licensed.
To the extent possible, EBSCO Information Services' proprietary health information: 1) is evidence-based, 2) reflects national clinical practice guidelines, 3) is free of racial, gender, or other bias, and 4) undergoes a rigorous, multi-layered review before it reaches customers. Proprietary content is developed using a number of medical sources:
- Professional journals
- Government health agencies
- National healthcare associations
- Academic departments
- Newswire reports
All of EBSCO Information Services' proprietary content is written by in-house writers/editors or contract writers. All in-house staff writers/editors have degrees in public health, health communication, or related fields and are under the supervision of a Medical Director, who is a licensed physician. Contract writers are either healthcare professionals with experience writing for a consumer audience or hold advanced degrees in health journalism, public health, or related fields.
Proprietary content is reviewed on a scheduled basis by in-house physicians, which includes the Medical Director, and by members of the EBSCO Information Services Medical Review Board, an external review board consisting of licensed physicians and allied healthcare professionals.
The EBSCO Information Services Medical Review Board is comprised of physicians or medical professionals (RD,
RN, etc.) with expertise in a wide range of areas, including oncology, psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics,
internal medicine, orthopedics, geriatrics, cardiology, family practice, genetics, infectious disease, and
health policy. They are experts in their respective fields, and have affiliations with some of the finest
medical and research institutions in the world. Information regarding the EBSCO Information Services Medical Review Board is
available online or upon request.
All Medical Review Board members are required to submit evidence of professional credentials and licensure to EBSCO Information Services. Medical Review Board members are required to notify EBSCO Information Services in a timely manner of any adverse change in licensure or certification status. In response to adverse changes in licensure or certification status, EBSCO Information Services may implement corrective action, including cancellation or non-extension of the employment agreement.
No member is placed in the position of providing clinical services.
Proprietary content is medically reviewed and/or revised on a scheduled basis, depending on the nature of the content and how rapidly it is likely to change. In addition, procedures are in place to ensure that "emergency" updates, such as a drug being removed from the marketplace, occur within 1 week of the original announcement.
A Medical Review Board member will survey existing records to determine if updates or changes are needed as a result of new scientific findings in the area. Records
that have no new information will be identified and updated with the Medical Reviewer’s name, credentials, and most recent review date. Records that do require update will be updated or changed by the Medical Review Board as needed, based on new scientific findings in the area.
These records will then be updated in our collection with the Medical Reviewer’s name and credentials, as well as any applicable references used and most recent review date.
Content is also updated continuously as important evidence that is sufficient to change consumer health information. Consumer Health leverages the systematic surveillance
of literature process of other EBSCO Information Services point-of-care products to update the content.
Content in the Consumer Health falls into three categories. The following is the update schedule for each
category of content:
- Medical Topics—This content includes condition fact sheets and procedure facts sheets. Topics are scheduled for review within a 12-month period. Articles are updated if they have become outdated. These articles may be
updated more frequently as a result of new studies that impact the patient information
contained within the fact sheet format.
- Wellness Content—This content includes lifestyle and support articles. This content
is scheduled for review within a 24- or 36 month period depending on content. Outdated articles are updated, rewritten, or
removed from the collection.
- Historic/Timeless Content—This content includes current research in top journals,
interviews, recipes, and more. This collection of articles is reviewed by medical
professionals as part of the creation process. This content is not updated nor is it updated very
frequently, as it reflects a historic/timeless content type (interviews, summaries of research,
etc.), and therefore does not require a regular review/update.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Content
EBSCO Information Services provides extensive information in the area of complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM). Encyclopedic CAM content (Natural & Alternative Treatments (NAT)) is written and reviewed by physician experts in the field of
CAM, cited extensively, and updated regularly. No claims of therapeutic benefit are made without
adequate citations from the medical literature.
EBSCO Information Services licenses certain content sources from third-party vendors. Due diligence is performed
before an agreement for distribution rights is negotiated with the content supplier.
Before licensing any content from third-party providers, EBSCO Information Services determines that, at a
minimum, the content source is: (1) evidence-based and consistent with national practice guidelines
(where applicable), (2) reviewed and updated by the licensee according to a regular, pre-determined
schedule, and (3) free of racial, gender, or other biases. EBSCO Information Services assesses whether its
licensed content sources continue to meet these standards on an ongoing basis.
EBSCO Information Services’ licensed content is provided by the following vendors:
AHFS Consumer Medication Information, published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists contains drug information monographs written in lay language for consumers. AHFS is available in Spanish and is updated monthly.
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary
Provides definitions of more than 55,000 medical terms.
Consumer Health News
A selected medical news service that provides consumer health information updates on a daily basis.
Currently provided through a partnership with HealthDay News.