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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

A River Runs Through It: 3 Lessons from the West Virginia Water Emergency

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

May 12, 2014

Mark Crafton, MPA, MT(ASCP)
Executive Director, Communications and External Relations

Last month, Joint Commission staff had the privilege of meeting with seven West Virginia hospitals to discuss how they handled the week-long water emergency resulting from the chemical spill in the Elk River – the primary water source for not only Charleston but the surrounding eight-county area.  The purpose of the meeting, coordinated by my friend and colleague Jim Kranz at the West Virginia Hospital Association, was to identify lessons learned that might help hospitals faced with a similar emergency in the future.  Another goal was to assess which Joint Commission standards were particularly helpful at preparing the hospitals to deal with the loss of water for consumption, equipment sterilization, laundry and dialysis, as well as which standards might need to be modified to better prepare organizations for such an event.  This entry describes some of the important themes from that disaster debriefing.

Lesson 1:  Hospitals should not only plan for emergencies that might directly impact their immediate area, but also consider emergencies that may impact their suppliers of critical services located in adjacent communities.  A couple of the hospitals at the debriefing were not under the “do not use” water directive because they received their water from a different supplier.  However, those hospitals were still impacted because their supplier of laundry services was within the impacted area.  Thus, the hospitals needed to quickly make alternate plans to ensure their supply of clean linen continued uninterrupted.  This concept of considering the impact of potential emergencies on contracted service providers adds a level of complexity to an organization’s Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, but the work is worth it, based upon the recent experience in West Virginia.

Lesson 2:  People will always gravitate to the local hospital during a community crisis.  During the onset of the water emergency, state and local public health agencies sent non-stop messages through the media, telling the community where to go (e.g., schools, churches, shopping centers) to obtain water for drinking and cooking.  Hospitals reinforced this message on their websites and through social media.  However, people still showed up at their local hospital, assuming that water would be available for distribution.  We have observed this phenomenon in virtually every disaster debriefing.  Whether it was a hurricane, power outage, tornado or act of terrorism, when in need, people will follow the blue “H” sign looking for warmth, shelter, food, electricity or in this case, water.  Disaster plans need to reflect this inevitability.

Lesson 3:  Improvisational skills are mandatory during an emergency.  For the most part, hospitals were able to quickly obtain water from various public and private sources.  However, the challenge came when trying to figure out how to get water from a tanker truck, into their piping system, and up to patient care areas throughout the hospital.  Building engineers and facility managers at the hospitals demonstrated incredible ingenuity, creativity and innovation in crafting together delivery systems that would get water to where it was needed, with sufficient pressure to operate various types of medical equipment.  In one instance, a hospital teamed up with its dialysis provider and the local fire department to pressurize the system so that patient care could continue uninterrupted.  This type of problem-solving under duress is a unique characteristic that exemplifies organizations that are able to weather the storm during any emergency.  High reliability experts would call this “organizational resiliency.”  Whatever you call it, they have it in West Virginia, and we need to figure out how to bottle it and spread it to other health care organizations.

Patricia Reynolds

Director, Bishopric Medical Library

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1700 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota FL 34239


941-917-1646 – fax

National Library of Medicine e-Clips (May 2014)

Thursday, May 29th, 2014


MedlinePlus Connect Supports ICD-10-CM Requests

MeSH on Demand Tool: An Easy Way to Identify Relevant MeSH Terms

National Library of Medicine Announces Addition of Mike Gorman Papers to Profiles in Science

New NLM Funding Opportunity: Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2014

New TOXNET Interface Coming in Spring 2014

NLM and Wellcome Library Establish Agreement to Make 150 Years of Biomedical Journals Freely Available Online

NLM Launches New Exhibition-related Resources: Online Adaptation of “Pick Your Poison,” Educational Resources for “From DNA to Beer”

NLM to Host Symposium, “The National Library of Medicine, 1984-2014: Voyaging to the Future,” May 14, 2014

NLM Value Set Authority Center Publishes Annual Update for 2014

Updates to MedlinePlus Connect Web Service Format




Drug Approval Process Insights from

Improving Patient Centered Medical Homes

Learning from the Disaster Response in the Philippines

Marijuana’s Clinical Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties

NIH MedlinePlus Magazine

Pragmatic Research from PCORI

Toward More Thoughtful Health Journalism



Answers to Tough Questions About Dying

DNA fingerprint for Hippocrates’ legendary tree

Emergency Management: There’s an App for That

Hippocrates’ ancient tree genetically ‘fingerprinted’

Historie ukryte – z półek biblioteki medycznej Offers Healthy Aging Tips

Original Tree of Hippocrates Cloned and Planted in Maryland

Science, Shakespeare, and the STEM Humanities: How Teachers Can Make the Most of the National Library of Medicine’s Exhibition Program Resources

Socializing Medicine: Spotlight on USG-NLM Virtual Intern Kristina Elliott

Surviving and Thriving:  Aids, Politics, and Culture exhibit on display in library

The Quest: Get the Lowdown on the Pills You’re Popping

The Quest:How to Get a Medical Librarian to Do Your Search for Free

The Quest: My 2 Favorite Tricks for Searching PubMed

Wellcome Library and NLM establish agreement to make 150 years of biomedical journals freely available online



NLM Hosts Symposium; Seeks Ideas in Planning for Its Future

NLM Launches New Blog; Seeks Your Ideas for Charting Its Future

Tree of Hippocrates Clone Planted in Front of National Library of Medicine





Spring 2014 Issue: NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

NN/LM Request for Information

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

In preparation for a revised Statement of Work for the 2016-2021 Regional Medical Library (RML) program, the National Library of Medicine is soliciting feedback from our Network members regarding effective approaches on how NN/LM programs can achieve the mission of providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improve the public’s access to health information.

Here is the URL detailing this Request for Information (RFI):

The closing date to submit your feedback is June 26 at 3 pm (ET). Health sciences and public libraries, health professionals, public health workers, community organizations, the general public, and other interested individuals and entities, are encouraged to submit information and recommendations.

Please consider offering your input, as well as forwarding this opportunity broadly to interested parties.


Renae Barger, Executive Director

National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR)


Health Sciences Library System

University of Pittsburgh

200 Scaife Hall

3550 Terrace Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Candidates Sought

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

The Health Sciences Libraries Consortium is seeking new members for its Board of Directors, which has oversight responsibilities for the organization and its mission to support and promote libraries across Pennsylvania. The Board of Directors meets monthly, alternating between in-person and conference call meetings. One planning retreat is held in the fall, and lasts two days. In-person meetings are currently held in Ephrata, PA, and the planning retreat is held in State College, PA. Board members serve for 3-year terms. For more information about HSLC, please visit


Librarians interested in being considered for the board are encouraged to forward a letter of interest that includes the following information: • Your name and contact information, including an email address • Your Pennsylvania library name and type (school, public, academic, special) • Reason for your interest in HSLC • Confirmation that your organization permits you to attend monthly meetings of the board • Special skills or professional relationships you would bring to the board (strategic planning, marketing, financial, member of other library profession boards, etc. Please address your letter of interest, or questions to: Joni Melnick HSLC Board of Directors 724-459-4648

Call for Public Comments: 2015-2018 National Health Security Strategy The Office of the

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is requesting public comments on a draft of the 2015-2018 National Health Security Strategy (NHSS). The purpose of the 2015-2018 NHSS is to provide strategic direction for health security system in the United States over the next four years. The draft contains a vision, goal, guiding principles, strategic objectives, priorities, and implementation activities to enhance national health security. The Implementation Plan (IP) will guide the Nation and facilitate coordination among stakeholders.

Healthy People 2020

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Please check out our latest about Healthy People 2020 and their freely available infographics (, a review of a cool new free diagramming tool with over 4,000 templates (, a new open access journal, Systematic Reviews (, and strengthening the reach and impact of community health strategies (

Nikki Dettmar, MSISEvaluation LibrarianNational Network of Libraries of MedicineOutreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC)Phone: (206) 543-3409Toll free: (800) 338-7657Fax: (206) 543-2469Email:

Teaching REMM to First Responders

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Kelli Hamm, Consumer Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific South Region (NN/LM PSR) recently had the opportunity to introduce REMM (Radiation Emergency Medical Management) to a group of first responders based in Lake County, California. This blog post by Kelli reviews her experience.

MAR Will Be Out of the Office, Attending MLA

Friday, May 9th, 2014

All MAR staff will be attending MLA in Chicago, May 15th – May 21st. So we ask your patience while we’re out of the office. We hope that if you’re attending MLA, please stop to say hello or drop by to visit us at one of our presentations, meetings, etc. We’d love to see you!

NIH News in Health

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Shedding Light on Health

Research Helps People and Pets
Veterinarians and scientists study diseases that affect both pets and people to improve medical care for humans and our 4-legged friends.

Tick Talk
Block Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
Tick-borne diseases are found in many areas across the country, and they’re on the rise. Do what you can to keep ticks from taking a bite out of you.

Health Capsules:

Exercise Brings Bone Benefits that Last

Paralyzed Men Regain Movement

Featured Website: Mental Health Topics

Fostering Resilience in Disaster Health Responders

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Join the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health’s engagement with National Mental Health Awareness month by attending our May webinar on mental health resiliency in the disaster health workforce, “Fostering Resilience in Disaster Health Responders.”

Date: May 22, 2014

Time: 1:00 PM ET


Elizabeth Brasington
Communications & Administrative Assistant, HJF
National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health