Staying current on evidence-based medical practices is crucial to nursing. In a time when the convenience of Google and Wikipedia can expose patients and health care practitioners to inaccurate medical information, HEAL-WA.org provides a reliable alternative. This digital library combines the convenience of a search engine with a massive collection of authoritative clinical research from the latest e‑journals, databases and e‑books.
From a computer or mobile device, a HEALWA user can access the latest research on, for example, safe patient handling or opioid abuse, point-of-care diagnostics for diabetes or the flu, printable patient handouts in English and Spanish, and free opportunities to earn continuing education credits.
All nurses licensed in Washington state have access to HEALWA. Created by an act of the Washington State Legislature in 2007, and administered through a collaboration between the University of Washington Health Sciences Library and the Washington State Department of Health, HEALWA is the only resource of its kind in the entire country. And for nurses, registering for a HEALWA account is free.
HOW TO SIGN UP #
Registering takes about five minutes and requires your license number and the email address you use to communicate with the DOH.
- In a web browser, navigate to www.heal-wa.org and click the “Getting Started” link near the center of the homepage.
- Select the option to “Create a UW NetID.” Then enter your last name, date of birth and license number (including the letters).
- HEALWA will send a message to the email address you entered to verify your identity. You’ll be asked to create a username and password.
- Create a username and password.
- Start using HEALWA!
To log in next time, click the “Log In” link in the top left of the homepage. To log, out simply close the browser window.
HOW TO SEARCH THE COLLECTION #
After registering for a HEALWA account, the next question we often hear is, “How do I find what I’m looking for?” To take the guesswork out of searching, we’ve created “Toolkits” and “Where to Look.”
To use the toolkits, click the blue “Toolkits” button on the left side of the homepage. You’ll find resources grouped according to professional license. The RN toolkit includes Nursing Reference Center, DynaMed (a great alternative to UpToDate), Patient Education Reference Center, CINAHL Complete and more.
Feel free to use any profession’s toolkit! Once you’re logged in, all HEALWA’s resources are available to you.
If you know what sort of information you need but not where to find it, visit the “Where to Look” page. It’s nestled in the “Help” section, which can be found from the homepage by clicking the “Help” link in the top right, then “Where to Look” along the left side of the page. Here you’ll see resources listed according to information need, like drugs, mental health conditions and alternative medicine.
HEALWA TUTORIALS #
For help navigating the HEALWA collection, take a HEALWA webinar. To sign up, visit the “News” section on HEALWA’s homepage. Attendees earn one Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) credit.