Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mining the web: useful internet resources on health, culture and diversity

Mining the web: useful internet resources on health, culture and diversity: "


For newcomers and experts in the field of cross cultural health care, there now are a wide variety of online resources to help people design, implement and assess interventions and programs for culturally diverse populations. See the list of resources shared in the November 16 webinar, as well as the power point slides


Monday, November 22, 2010

Healthy People 2020 Launch

Healthy People 2020 Launch: "


The launch of Healthy People 2020 will be Thursday, 2 December 2010, 11AM – 1PM, ET.

Webstream and in-person meeting both require registration

In Person:

Jack Morton Auditorium, The George Washington University

805 21st Street, NW

Washington, DC 20052

For more than 30 years, Healthy People has provided a public health roadmap and compass for the country. Join as the US Department of Health and Human Services unveils health promotion and disease prevention objectives for the decade. Be the first to learn what’s new with Healthy People 2020.

This event is open to the public. Early registration is strongly encouraged as seats are limited. Live web streaming will be available. Reservations must be made in advance, whether you watch the webcast of the launch, or attend in person: http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020_reg/register.aspx


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Defining Roles: Future Directions for Physicians and Nurses

Defining Roles: Future Directions for Physicians and Nurses: "The New York Times weighs in on the recent Institute of Medicine's landmark report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” [ Doctor and Patient: Nurses’ Role in the Future of Health Care, Pauline Chen, M.D., November 18, 2010. Click title for NYT article.]
'In all the discussions about adjusting the number of medical schools and training slots, rearranging physician payment schedules and reorganizing practice models, one group of providers has been conspicuously missing. The nurses.'
'The expert panel is scheduled to convene again at the end of this month, this time to discuss implementing their recommendations. They will have their work cut out for them. Critics like the American Medical Association ...warns that “with a shortage of both nurses and physicians, increasing the responsibility of nurses is not the answer to the physician shortage.” '
The Times article notes...
“When the ship seems to be going down, you’ve got to get all hands on deck.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

End-of-Life Library Receives Award

End-of-Life Library Receives Award: "By Suzanne Earle, MLS, AHIP End-of-Life Library The Hospice Institute Hospice of the Western Reserve Cleveland, OH The End-of-Life Library at Hospice of the Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio, has received the 2010 Rose & Sam Stein Award, the highest hospice honor which can be given in the state of Ohio. Library services were recognized for [...]"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Linking Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to MedlinePlus Health Information

Linking Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to MedlinePlus Health Information: "

MedlinePlus Connect

Today NLM announces MedlinePlus Connect (http://medlineplus.gov/connect), a free service that allows electronic health records (EHR) systems to link users to MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov), an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families and health care providers. MedlinePlus provides information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness.

MedlinePlus Connect accepts requests for information on diagnoses (problem codes) and medications. NLM mapped MedlinePlus health topics to two standard diagnostic coding systems used in EHRs: ICD-9-CM and SNOMED CT CORE. When an EHR submits a request to MedlinePlus Connect, the service returns the closest matching health topic as a response. MedlinePlus Connect also links EHR systems to drug information written especially for patients. For medication codes, MedlinePlus Connect accepts RXCUIs and NDCs. The API for using this service conforms to the HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) Knowledge Request URL-Based Implementation specification. MedlinePlus responds to problem code requests in either English or Spanish. Currently, it supports requests for drug information in English only. NLM is working on adding laboratory test responses to MedlinePlus Connect. We will also support an XML-based Web service at a future date.


New doctor search & rating site

According to Search Engine Land, Avvo is a site that's just expanded into listings & ratings for physicians - it's not the only such resource, but worth checking out as a consumer information trend. Avvo began by providing the same info about attorneys.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why Culture Makes A Difference Webinar

Why Culture Makes A Difference Webinar: "

Nov. 3, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Margarita Hurtado, PhD and Kay Loughrey, MPH

Sponsor: HHS/The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). Continuing Education Credits have been requested. [HealthLiteracy listserv]

The webinar is open to all


PubMed Author ID Project

PubMed Author ID Project: "From the Nov-Dec 2010 NLM Technical Bulletin: NCBI is developing a system that will address the problem of ambiguous author names within PubMed and facilitate accurate search and retrieval of a participating author’s works. The specifics of PubMed Author ID, as the system is now known, are still evolving. It is currently envisioned that authors [...]"

Friday, October 29, 2010

In recent literature

I scraped these using ticTOCs, a journal table of contents (free) web based service. I use this in addition to feeds from particular journals and my Google feed reader.

from Biomedical Digital Libraries (links are to full text):

CAMbase – A XML-based bibliographical database on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Technology mediator: a new role for the reference librarian?

from Health Information and Libraries Journal (citation and abstract only):

Urquhart, C., Thomas, R., Ovens, J., Lucking, W., & Villa, J. (2010). Planning changes to health library services on the basis of impact assessment. Health Information & Libraries Journal, (published online in advance of paper pub). doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00900.x 


Background:  Various methods of impact assessment for health library services exist, including a toolkit developed for the UK. The Knowledge, Resource and Information service (KRIS) for health promotion, health service commissioning and public health (Bristol area, UK) commissioned an independent team at Aberystwyth University to provide an impact assessment and evaluation of their services and to provide evidence for future planning.
Objective:  The review aimed to provide an action plan for KRIS through assessing the impact of the current service, extent of satisfaction with existing services and views on desirable improvements.
Methods:  Existing impact toolkit guidance was used, with an adapted impact questionnaire, which was distributed by the KRIS staff to 244 users (response rate 62.3%) in early 2009. The independent team analysed the questionnaire data and presented the findings.
Results:  Users valued the service (93% considered that relevant information was obtained). The most frequent impacts on work were advice to patients, clients or carers, and advice to colleagues. Literature searching and current awareness services saved staff time. Many users were seeking health promotion materials.
Conclusion:  The adapted questionnaire worked well in demonstrating the service impacts achieved by KRIS, as well as indicating desirable improvements in service delivery.
from Consumer Health on the Internet:
DeMarco, J. & Nystrom, M. (2010). The Importance of Health Literacy in Patient Education. Journal of Consumer Health On the Internet, 14(3), 294-301. doi:10.1080/15398285.2010.502021
Low health literacy has a negative impact on a patient's health status and use of the health care system. Patients with low health literacy levels cannot make decisions regarding their health care or follow instructions on medications and health maintenance behaviors. It is the health care provider's responsibility to ensure that patients with low health literacy levels are identified and measures are taken to ensure those patients understand their options and instructions. To educate these patients, health care providers need to develop resources that are easily understood and interview skills that can ensure patient comprehension. This review discusses the prevalence of health literacy and its impact on patients and the health care system, and provides recommendations for creating supplemental literature at the appropriate level. The use of these tools and improved physician interview skills will establish a better physician/patient relationship and continue to encourage patient participation in the health care process.
Mongold, S. (2010). Online Women's Health Resources. Journal of Consumer Health On the Internet, 14(2), 160-166. doi:10.1080/15398281003781063
This article provides general information on women's health, including the leading causes of death, prevention and awareness information, and online resources for consumers seeking answers to personal health questions. The article concludes with an annotated webliography of selected Internet resources that provide information on women's health.

NIH Introduces IMAGES, a Database of Images in Biomedical Literature

from https://www.google.com/reader/view/feed/http%3A%2F%2Fnnlm.gov%2Fmcr%2Fbhic%2F%3Ffeed%3Drss2

NIH Introduces IMAGES, a Database of Images in Biomedical Literature: "

More than 2.5 million images and figures from medical and life sciences journals are now available through Images, a new resource for finding images in biomedical literature. The database was developed and will be maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health. Images is available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/images

Images is expected to have a wide range of uses for a variety of user groups. These include the clinician looking for the visual representation of a disease or condition, the researcher searching for studies with certain types of analyses, the student seeking diagrams that elucidate complex processes such as DNA replication, the professional or educator looking for an image for a presentation, and the patient wanting to better understand his disease. [NIH News Release http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2010/nlm-28.htm]

PubMed Display Enhanced with Images from the New NCBI Images Database



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Health Information in Multiple Languages

Health Information in Multiple Languages:

Federal Citizen Information Center website that lets you order health publications in Spanish very easily, and most of them are free. http://bit.ly/bLvo3E [REFORMAnet listserv]

Multilingual Publications at NIH http://nnlm.gov/mcr/resources/community/multilingualNIH.html Order National Institutes of Health publications in non-English languages.

Consumer Health Information in Many Languages Resources

from Bringing Health Information to the Community (BHIC)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

News, Patient Education, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: October is Health Literacy Month

From an email announcement:

News, Patient Education, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: October is Health Literacy Month: "

October is National Medical Libraries Month in the U.S.

The theme for 2010 is Health Literacy

Here is a screenshot of the poster created by Medical Library Association for this event:

Image credit: Medical Library Association – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Health science librarians are in a unique position to work with patients and their families who seek current, credible and authoritative medical information in order to learn more about their recent diagnosis, review options for choosing treatments, or to anticipate changes in their lifestyle or living situations after treatment has ended (as examples).

Medical Library Association (MLA), a nonprofit educational organization with 5,000 members worldwide, has devoted time and care over the past decade to develop websites and resource guides specifically targeted at training librarians who provide information services to patients or family members. Their Health Information Literacy page can be viewed at http://www.mlanet.org/resources/healthlit/

One of the larger special interest sections sponsored by MLA is Consumer and Patient Information Section (or CAPHIS). A related program directed by MLA staff is the Consumer Health Information initiative, and in 2007, the association created a formal certificate program in that specialty for information professionals.

Open to everyone on the MLA website are topic pages about educational resources. Here are two examples: Resources for Health Consumers and Deciphering Medspeak which links to medical terminology handouts (in English or Spanish languages), online medical dictionary, a prescription shorthand guide and a list of the “Top Ten Most Useful Medical Websites” for patients.


Those pursuing research on strategies to address Low Health Literacy, Health Disparities or Health of Minority Populations, some valuable step-savers are available on the PubMed Special Queries” which provide links to pre-formulated, highly specific search statements (or search queries) that can be run singly in PubMed or combined with other relevant subject searches.

Below are screenshots from two Special Queries websites: Health Literacy and for Health Disparities & Minority Health Populations


Image credit(s): National Library of Medicine – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010


Other teaching or service organizations that offer patient-centered tutorials, podcasts or written information addressing disparities in health care delivery can be found on this very brief list:

  • From a workshop in 2008 sponsored by Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM), read a 3-page handout on teaching “Health Literacy for the Clinician Educator“at this link. There are many useful links in the bibliography section of this report.


Finally: In May 2010, a 73-page report detailing a National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was announced by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Resources, Division of Health Literacy. Following is an excerpt from that HHS website, explaining this public health initiative:

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Limited health literacy affects people of all ages, races, incomes, and education levels, but the impact of limited health literacy disproportionately affects lower socioeconomic and minority groups. “

” It affects people’s ability to search for and use health information, adopt healthy behaviors, and act on important public health alerts. Limited health literacy is also associated with worse health outcomes and higher costs…. “

” This report contains seven goals that will improve health literacy and suggests strategies for achieving them: Develop and disseminate health and safety information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable ; promote changes in the health care system that improve health information, communication, informed decision-making, and access to health services ; incorporate accurate, standards-based and developmentally appropriate health and science information and curricula in child care and education through the university level ; support and expand local efforts to provide adult education, English language instruction, and culturally and linguistically appropriate health information services in the community ; build partnerships, develop guidance, and change policies ; increase basic research and the development, implementation, and evaluation of practices and interventions to improve health literacy and increase the dissemination and use of evidence-based health literacy practices and interventions“.

Text Source: http://www.health.gov/communication/HLActionPlan/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Tagged: Consumer Health, Health Literacy, Health Science Libraries - Outreach, Medical Information for Patients, Medical Librarians as Trainers, Medical Library Association, MLA-Consumer Health Information, Patient Education


Monday, October 4, 2010

News from the National Institutes of Health

News from the National Institutes of Health: "

NIH Health Information Spotlight 10/4/2010


Healthy Lifestyles

3 out of 4 children will have at least one ear infection before age 3. How parents can help http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/Sep2010/Feature2

Research in Action

Alzheimer’s disease signature seen in spinal fluid. http://bit.ly/a7P27k

Now Online

Enhance your science curriculum: free resources for teachers http://bit.ly/kXsld

October NIH News in Health now online


Mystified by Menopause?
A Major Life Transition

The Prostate Prognosis
Don’t Ignore an Uncomfortable Problem

Health Capsules:

  • Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Helping Those You Love from Afar

  • Featured Web Site: Bone Resource Center


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Digital Stories from People who Live with Serious Diseases

Narratives of personal experience are an important addition to consumer health service. Here's once such source:

Digital Stories from People who Live with Serious Diseases: "


In Patient Voices, The New York Times features digital first person stories of the challenges patients face as they cope with various health issues, including mental illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases, and Type II Diabetes. Health Guides and blogs on each topic are offered. A great example of using first-person stories and media to improve health.

[New Routes E-mail Digest] September 27, 2010 http://newroutes.org/node/38216]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Consumer Health Information Websites with High Visual Design Ratings Likely to Be also Highly Rated for Perceived Credibility

Another of the evidence summaries, this one most pertinent to our recent module:

Consumer Health Information Websites with High Visual Design Ratings Likely to Be also Highly Rated for Perceived Credibility
A Review of:
Robins, D., Holmes, J., & Stansbury, M. (2010). Consumer health information on the web: The
relationship of visual design and perceptions of credibility. Journal of the American Society for
Information Science and Technology, 61(1), 13-19.
from Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

"Objective – To answer two research questions: 1) What is the relationship between the visual design of a consumer health information web site and perceptions of the credibility of information found on it? 2) Is there a relationship between brand recognition, visual design preference, and credibility judgments?
Conclusions – Visual design judgments bore a statistically significant similarity to credibility ratings. Sites with recognizable brands were highly rated for both credibility and visual design, but this relationship was not statistically significant. The relationship is complicated and more research is needed on what visual design cues are important to credibility judgments."

Google Scholar Out-Performs Many Subscription Databases when Keyword Searching

Here's an evidence summary from the newest issue of one of my favorite journals, Evidence-Based Library & Information Practice. Evidence summaries are important as the first efforts (of which I am aware) to systematically perform critical evaluations of our own literature. This particular work hits on questions I have had - I have found Google Scholar to be an important way in which I can discover research literature across disciplines - it's pretty much the only game in town, federated search engines notwithstanding.

Google Scholar Out-Performs Many Subscription Databases when Keyword Searching

A Review of:
Walters, W. H. (2009). Google Scholar search performance: Comparative recall and precision. portal:
Libraries and the Academy, 9(1), 5-24.
from Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

"Objective – To compare the search performance (i.e., recall and precision) of Google Scholar with that of 11 other bibliographic databases when using a keyword search to find references on later-life migration.
Main Results – Google Scholar and AgeLine obtained the largest number of results (20,400 and 311 hits respectively) for the keyword search, elderly and migration. Database performance was evaluated with regards to the recall and precision of its search results. Google Scholar and AgeLine also obtained the largest total number of relevant search results out of all the potential results that could be obtained on later-life migration (41/155 and 35/155 respectively). No individual database produced the highest recall for every set of search results listed, i.e., for the first 10 hits, the first 20 hits, etc. However, Google Scholar was always in the top four databases regardless of the number of search results displayed. Its recall rate was consistently higher than all the other databases when over 56 search results were examined, while Medline out-performed the others within the first set of 50 results.
Instructors and librarians may wish to support the use of databases that increase students’ contact with high-quality research documents (i.e.., documents that are authoritative, well written, contain a strong analysis, or demonstrate quality in other ways). The study’s findings indicate that Google Scholar is an example of one such database, since it obtained a large number of references to the relevant papers on the topic searched."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How the Future of healthcare Will Actually Work: Nuts and bolts

How the Future of healthcare Will Actually Work: Nuts and bolts: "By JOE FLOWER They are coming in fast under the radar, out of peripheral vision, in the magician's other hand—and they will change everything. New ideas, surprising networks, stealth business models that may change health care profoundly, are bubbling up..."

I think we all need to get on track with this if we're not already. Here's an interesting discussion of the future of healthcare.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Liability and the health librarian

Dean Guistini, who writes about a number of important issues in health librarianship on his blog, address the question of our liability as medical librarians. Says Dean,
How can health librarians educate users of health information not to make life and/or death decisions based on information we provide at the reference desk? Is the reliance on health librarians to provide the best information possible a reasonable expectation? Isn’t there some expectation that all patients and family members will verify the information we have provided?
Read the rest at his blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Review of: “The Kovacs Guide to Electronic Library Collection Development: Essential Core Subject Collections, Selection Criteria, and Guidelines. 2nd ed. Kovacs, Diane K.”

A Review of: “The Kovacs Guide to Electronic Library Collection Development: Essential Core Subject Collections, Selection Criteria, and Guidelines. 2nd ed. Kovacs, Diane K.”

A Review of: “Answers to the Health Questions People Ask in Libraries. Kane, Laura Townsend; McConnaughy, Rozalynd P.; and Wilson, Steven Patrick, with Townsend, David L., Medical Consultant.”

A Review of: “Answers to the Health Questions People Ask in Libraries. Kane, Laura Townsend; McConnaughy, Rozalynd P.; and Wilson, Steven Patrick, with Townsend, David L., Medical Consultant.”

A Systematic Approach to Developing an Online Medical Library

A Systematic Approach to Developing an Online Medical Library
I don't know how I have managed to overlook this journal -but I don't remember having it come up as a cite on any of my searches. An utterly annoying issue is that there's a whole year embargo on the electronic full text availability of articles! If you haven't encountered embargoes before, these are delays in online full text availability for a set period of time. Meanwhile, we do not have the paper copy... a real problem for us as readers who want to keep up with developments in medical librarianship.

Five Big Ideas that Shaped Health Reform

Five Big Ideas that Shaped Health Reform: "By BILL KRAMER During the Great Health Reform Debate of 2009-10, much of the public discussion and media analysis focused on the political battles, the legislative process and specific elements of the health reform bill. We talked a lot about..."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News, Health Science Literature: Elsevier introduces SciVerse


Sent to you by Cp via Google Reader:


Wow! For those of us who use information resources produced by Elsevier on a daily basis, it's been a bit of a shock to tune into Scopus®, SciTopics® or ScienceDirect® this week to see how different they now look. (Or as a corny analogy, that figurative, proverbial 800-pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room has decided to move house in September 2010.)

On Monday, Aug 30 2010, Elsevier announced their plans to combine and morph these sites into one platform named SciVerse Hub® (read the press release here). First, I wanted to provide some definitions from the company as to which resources will be combined by this single search engine:

Image Source: http://www.scitopics.com/faq.jsp – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

In plain terms, SciVerse Hub is an entry point for library users to simultaneously search the contents of:

  • Scopus (a subscription database indexing 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 international publishers including coverage of 16,500 peer-reviewed journals in the scientific, technical, medical and social sciences literature)
  • Science Direct (a subscription access point for searching 10 million articles from over 2,500 journals and 6,000+ e-books, reference works, book series and handbooks issued by Elsevier)
  • SciTopics.org (a free online expert-generated knowledge sharing service for the global research community)

Scirus.org® is a scientific search engine (created and maintained by Elsevier).  Scirus currently indexes 38 million websites found on open-access and mostly educational, scientific or government sites, incorporating what librarians refer to as grey literatureScirus will search these sources separately and bring back a sorted list of retrievals (with duplicate citations removed) to the SciVerse Hub site.

(Note: When I teach a Google Scholar class, considerable time is spent comparing along with the class participants why retrievals using Scirus.org to search for scientific information tend to produce "better" results than G–gle Scholar. Time well-spent, IMHO.)

Following are two screenshots from the SciVerse site:

Image Source: http://www.info.sciverse.com/what-sciverse – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

And this page:

Image Source: http://www.scopus.com/home.url - All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Note that the capability of searching each individual resource separately has been retained.


An informational video on SciVerse is well worth watching (and short at 3.5 minutes in length)… link to it here.  Another helpful reference resource: an 8-page training handout for using the new site which can be downloaded here.

In promotional materials, Elsevier refers to SciVerse as a "new knowledge ecosystem". Their information products are integral to the daily work of clinical, health science and scientific research library users worldwide. Here's hoping this migration runs seamlessly (as in: invisibly and glitch-free).

Image Source: http://www.info.sciverse.com/what-sciverse – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Medical libraries in Afghanistan

from the NY Times today:
Imagine cutting out a diseased appendix without ever having seen a Gray’s Anatomy diagram, or calculating drug doses without a Physicians’ Desk Reference, and you’ll have an idea what it’s like to practice medicine in Afghanistan.

Nearly three decades of war and religious extremism have devastated medical libraries and crippled the educational system for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Factions of the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, singled out medical texts for destruction, military medical personnel say, because anatomical depictions of the human body were considered blasphemous.

“They not only burned the books, but they sent monitors into the classroom to make sure there were no drawings of the human body on the blackboard,” said Valerie Walker, director of the Medical Alumni Association of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ms. Walker is helping lead an ambitious effort by American doctors and nurses, both civilian and military, to restock Afghanistan’s hospitals, clinics and universities with medical textbooks and other reference materials.

The project, called Operation Medical Libraries, began modestly in 2007 with a plea for books from a U.C.L.A. medical graduate serving in the Army. It has since been embraced by 30 universities and hospitals, more than a dozen professional organizations and scores of individual doctors and nurses.
See the rest of the story here

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Information literacy and nursing - new resource

From the webpage: "The ACRL IS Information Literacy in the Disciplines Committee has gathered links and citations to information literacy standards and curricula developed by accrediting agencies, professional associations, and institutions of higher education in Nursing."

ACRL is the American College and Resource Libraries Association. They also have an entire page of links to information literacy standards for professions, including those included under arts and humanities, cultural studies, professional studies, and more. Professional studies does - yes! - include Library Science! - along with a number of health professions (and please note that I have not included the entire list of professions for this category, just those most pertinent):

Professional Studies

Library Science
Physical Education & Health
Social Work

Information literacy is defined:

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." 1 Information literacy also is increasingly important in the contemporary environment of rapid technological change and proliferating information resources. Because of the escalating complexity of this environment, individuals are faced with diverse, abundant information choices--in their academic studies, in the workplace, and in their personal lives. Information is available through libraries, community resources, special interest organizations, media, and the Internet--and increasingly, information comes to individuals in unfiltered formats, raising questions about its authenticity, validity, and reliability. In addition, information is available through multiple media, including graphical, aural, and textual, and these pose new challenges for individuals in evaluating and understanding it. The uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information pose large challenges for society. The sheer abundance of information will not in itself create a more informed citizenry without a complementary cluster of abilities necessary to use information effectively.
Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:
  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
source for this quote and more information

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PubMed Health: a new site for consumer-level, evidence-based health information

From a post on the Medlib-L listserv:
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is currently developing a new site called PubMed Health, which is intended to focus on consumer-level, evidence-based health information.  Though PubMed Health is still under development, NCBI has released some of its initial content, provided by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), to be searchable through search engines such as Google.  NCBI is currently reviewing some development decisions for the PubMed Health site to determine how these particular pages are being used.  Once the site is ready for production release, PubMed Health will have its own search function as well as links to other NLM online products.  An NLM Technical Bulletin article about PubMed Health will be published once the site is ready to be launched.

PubMed Health does not replace MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov/), NLM’s premier health Web site for patients and their families and friends.  MedlinePlus continues to be expanded, including a full site redesign launched this July as well as a new mobile interface, MedlinePlus Mobile (http://m.medlineplus.gov/) that was released in January 2010.  MedlinePlus provides reliable up-to-date health information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language the public can understand.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Evidence-based cancer information on the Web for consumers

This article, published in the most recent issue of the journal Consumer Health on the Internet, is an example of collaboration across disciplinary boundaries for the benefit of consumers.The same issue includes articles about reliable web-based resources on pregnancy for women and their families and healthy heart information.

Development and Evaluation of a Cancer Information Web Portal: The Impact of Design and Presentation on User Engagement

Authors: Katherine Schilling - Katherine Schilling, MLS, EdD, AHIP (katschil@iupui.edu) is Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, 755 West Michigan Street, UL3100E, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Anna M. McDaniel, DNS, RN, FAAN (amcdanie@iupui.edu) is Assistant Dean of Research, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN 46202.a; Anna M. McDanielb


Although cancer is one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses in the United States, many consumers do not have access to reliable, state-of-the-art cancer information on the Web. The Cancer Information portal translates evidence-based disease prevention and management information for text-based and multimedia delivery for diverse and low literacy citizens. Open-ended “key informant” interviews with consumers provided feedback on content presentation, and the portal's look, feel, and navigation. Evaluation assessed the portal's (1) readability, (2) required expertise, (3) user satisfaction, and (4) user comfort. Recommendations include improvements in key design areas to increase user efficacy and strengthen the portal's identity.
Copied from the publisher's website

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Comparative Effectiveness Research - resources

Posted by Deborah Lawless on the MedLib-L listserv, the major listserv for health science librarians. Says she: "This is being discussed as part of the national health reform debate as a mechanism for improving the quality of health care and for decreasing health care spending.

I have been doing some reading on this topic, especially as to how it compares to evidence-based medicine.  Here are some articles that I found particularly helpful."

Luce, BR.  EBM, HTA, and CER:  clearing the confusion.  Milbank Quarterly,  2010, vol. 88 no. 2, pp. 256-76

Tanenbaum, SJ.  Comparative effectiveness research:  evidence-based medicine meets health care reform in the USA.  Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2009, v.15, pp.976-84.

Defining evidence-based medicine and comparative research. http://www.npcnow.org/Public/Issues/i_cer/cer_toolkit/Defining_Evidence-Based_Medicine_and_Comparative_Effectiveness_Research.aspx Accessed 8/1/2010  (I had problems accessing it today)

Sox, HC.  Comparative effectiveness research:  a report from the
Institute of Medicine.  Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009, v.151, #3,
(Sox seems to be a leader in this area)

Sox, HC.  Comparative effectiveness research:  challenges for medical
journals.  Trials, 2010, v.11, p.45
full text available at http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/11/1/45

NLM resources for informing comparative effectiveness research.  NLM
Technical Bulletin, April 21 2010, no. 373.

Rich, EC.  The policy debate over public investment in comparative
effectiveness research.  Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2009,
v.24 #6, pp. 752-7.
available full text online

Reaching Patient Safety Goals Through Collaborative Learning Support: Librarians as Partners

"To work toward achieving the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs), healthcare organizations need to develop effective ways to provide staff with patient safety alerts. It is important for organizations to establish and maintain a system for ongoing learning in patient safety.The Medical Library Association encourages librarians to become partners in the patient safety activities of their organizations.This article describes one method for librarians to apply their expertise to learning efforts."
Chastain-Warheit C. Collaborating to Promote Learning Focuses Organizations on National Patient Safety Goals. Focus on Patient Safety. 2010:13(2):5-7.


HHS Launches New Consumer Focused Health Care Website

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled an innovative new online tool to enable consumers to take control of their health care by connecting them to new information and resources that will help them access quality, affordable health care coverage.

HealthCare.gov is the first website to provide consumers with both public and private health coverage options tailored specifically for their needs in a single, easy-to-use tool. HealthCare.gov combines information about public programs with information from more than 1,000 private insurance plans.  Consumers can obtain information about options specific to their life situation and local community.

In addition, the website will provide information about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as well as other health care resources.  The website will connect consumers to quality rankings for local health care providers as well as preventive services.

The complete press release from HHS may be viewed at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/07/20100701e.html. Visit the website directly at: http://www.healthcare.gov/ .

- from http://nnlm.gov/scr/blog/?cat=2

About Evidence-Based Practices KITs: Shaping Mental Health Services Toward Recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) provide Evidence-Based Practice KITs (Knowledge Informing Transformation) to promote the use of evidence-based practices in mental health. The KITs were developed as one of several SAMHSA/CMHS activities critical to its science-to-services strategy.
- from  SAMHSA's Mental Health Information Center