Archive for April, 2013
The federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed a free resource to help health care providers learn more about the evidence supporting eight quality improvement strategies. “Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science” (CQG Series) is a new series of eight evidence reports that focus on various aspects of health care quality. This series not only expands the topic terrain beyond that covered in the initial 2004-2007 collection of reports, but also marshals the knowledge of eight Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs), with the goal of applying and advancing the state of the science for improving the health care system for the benefit of all patients. AHRQ’s evidence reports offer an unbiased analysis of available research on specific health care topics. The individual reports are:
- “Bundled Payment: Effects on Health Care Spending and Quality” 12-E007-1
- “The Patient-Centered Medical Home” 12-E008-1
- “Quality Improvement Interventions to Address Health Disparities” 12-E009-1
- “Medication Adherence Interventions: Comparative Effectiveness” 12-E010-1
- “Public Reporting as a Quality Improvement Strategy” 12-E011-1
- “Prevention of Healthcare–Associated Infections” 12(13)-E012-1
- “Quality Improvement Measurement of Outcomes for People With Disabilities” 12(13)-E013-1
- “Improving Health Care and Palliative Care for Advanced and Serious Illness” 12(13)-E014-1
To order the set, request publication OM 13-0014 from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 25, 2003, the National Library of Medicine launched Genetics Home Reference (GHR), a free online resource about human genetics created for patients, families, and the general public. The Web site provides a bridge between the public’s questions about human genetics and the rich technical data that has emerged from the Human Genome Project (observing the 10th anniversary of its completion on April 25th) and other genomic research.
GHR provides consumer-friendly summaries of genetic conditions and their associated genes, gene families, and chromosomes. The site also features a primer called “Help Me Understand Genetics,” an illustrated introduction to fundamental topics in human genetics; including mutations, inheritance, genetic testing, gene therapy, and genomic research. Additionally, GHR offers helpful background information, including a glossary of genetic and medical terms and links to numerous other quality resources. A “Spotlight” feature on the GHR home page highlights important observances and discoveries in the field of human genetics, and draws attention to useful learning tools and clinical resources.
When it was launched a decade ago, Genetics Home Reference featured 19 condition summaries and 16 gene descriptions. Today, GHR offers easy-to-read summaries of about 850 genetic conditions, more than 1,060 genes, more than 80 gene families, all of the human chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. New summaries are added regularly. GHR currently receives about 43,000 visitors per day and 39 million hits per month, suggesting that it continues to be an important and useful health resource!
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has released a free, mobile web app of its Emergency Response Guidebook 2012 (ERG). The new safety tool will provide the nation’s emergency responders with fast, easily accessible information to help them manage hazardous material incidents. The mobile ERG will make it easier for firefighters, police and other emergency first responders to quickly locate the information they need, thanks to an electronic word search function, and will ensure easy reading even during nighttime emergencies. The 2012 version of the ERG includes new evacuation tables for large toxic gas spills and standard response procedures for gas and liquid pipeline incidents.
PHMSA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Library of Medicine (NLM) joined forces in producing the two free ERG mobile applications. Links to download this software are available from the Apple iTunes website at ERG 2012 for iPhone and from the Google Play website at ERG 2012 for Android. In addition, a version of the ERG is available in NLM’s Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) application. An instructional video for learning how to use the ERG 2012 is also available on PHMSA’s website.
NLM’s TOXNET TRI and TOXMAP now include the 2011 Toxics Release Inventory data, the most current US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data available. The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a resource of the EPA, is a set of publicly available databases containing information on releases of specific toxic chemicals and their management as waste, as reported annually by U.S. industrial and federal facilities. This inventory was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). TRI’s data, beginning with the 1987 reporting year, covers air, water, land, and underground injection releases, as well as transfers to waste sites. In agreement with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, source reduction and recycling data is also included in TRI. 20,927 facilities reported to the EPA TRI program in 2011, with almost 80,000 submissions. A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported can be found on the EPA web site. TOXMAP maps the TRI chemicals reported to the EPA as required by EPCRA. TOXMAP covers on-site TRI releases only, and also includes EPA Superfund data.
NLM has released the following DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports for January-March 2013:
- Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-1A, 1-11A, 1-1AT)
- Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-1B)
- Detailed DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-2A, 1-22A)
- Detailed DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-2B)
- Resource Library Quarterly Report – Fill Rate (Report 2-14)
- Loansome Doc Detailed Lender Statistics (Report 5-1A)
- Loansome Doc Throughput Report (Report 5-1B)
Please note: Reports 1-11A, 1-1AT, and 1-22A are only distributed to libraries that have entered requests in DOCLINE for other libraries. Report 2-14 is only distributed to resource libraries.
DOCLINE statistical reports are available by going to Requests, then Reports in the DOCLINE menu. Instructions for downloading and printing reports may be found in the “Request Reports” section of the online manual (click the Help link at the top of the DOCLINE screen) or in the Reports section of DOCLINE’s FAQ page.
Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA has announced the launch of It’s Only Natural, a new public education campaign that aims to raise awareness among African American women of the importance of and benefits associated with breastfeeding and provide helpful tips. Breastfeeding offers mothers and their babies a healthy start. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80% of all women in the United States; regardless of status, race, or income, start out breastfeeding. Among African American women, the breastfeeding rate is almost 55%; up from just 35% in the 1970s. However, while these rates are improving, breastfeeding rates among African American women remain lower than the rates of other ethnicities in the U.S., particularly among those living in the south.
This gap may indicate that African American mothers face barriers to meeting breastfeeding goals and need additional support to start and continue breastfeeding. It’s Only Natural was specifically designed to provide materials that reflect the experience of African American mothers, and was developed to equip them with practical information and emotional support from peers, as well as tips and education about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to make it work in their own lives. All of the material is uniquely crafted for African American women, including:
- Video testimonials from new mothers talking about the challenges they have overcome, providing breastfeeding tips, sharing their individual stories, and much more;
- Articles on a variety of topics ranging from laws supporting breastfeeding to how to fit breastfeeding into your daily life;
- Two fact sheets, which contain proper holding and latching techniques, as well as information on managing discomfort and how much milk is enough; and
- Radio public service announcements.
To learn more about the campaign, visit It’s Only Natural.
Effective March 31, 2013, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) began use of RDA: Resource Description and Access for all original cataloging of modern material, replacing the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition (AACR2). Bibliographic records distributed by NLM will continue to contain a mix of RDA and AACR2 records, since NLM will accept AACR2 copy without upgrading these records to RDA. Any new authority records created by NLM will follow RDA guidelines, regardless of the rules used to create the bibliographic data. For more information, visit the RDA section on the NLM Cataloging homepage.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has a deep interest in the publishing models used by scientific journals, from the viewpoints of practical and efficient use of titles that are indexed for MEDLINE, and the clear and accurate preservation of the scientific literature for use by future generations. NLM has been a partner in the development of a Recommended Practice that will provide guidance on the presentation and identification of electronic journals, an undertaking of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). The recommendations will ensure long-term online accessibility to scholarly journals even after title and publisher changes.
On March 27, 2013, NISO announced the publication of a new Recommended Practice: PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (NISO RP-16-2013). This Recommended Practice was developed to provide guidance on the presentation of e-journals, particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices, to publishers and platform providers, as well as to solve some long-standing concerns of serials, collections, and electronic resources librarians. In addition to the recommendations, the document includes extensive examples of good practices, using screenshots from various publishers’ online journals platforms; a discussion of helpful resources for obtaining title history and ISSN information; an overview of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and key points for using it correctly; an explanation of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI®), the registration agency CrossRef, and tips on using DOIs for journal title management; and a review of related standards and recommended practices. The PIE-J Recommended Practice and a brochure summarizing the recommendations are available from the NISO PIE-J workroom Web site.
The National Library of Medicine has announced that Extensible Markup Language (XML) data from the IndexCat™ database is now available for free download. Released with a Document Type Definition (DTD) that allows researchers to validate the data, this new XML release includes the digitized content of more than 3.7 million bibliographic items from the printed, 61-volume Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, originally published from 1880 to 1961. The XML describes items spanning five centuries, including millions of journal and newspaper articles, obituaries, and letters; hundreds of thousands of monographs and dissertations; and thousands of portraits. Together, these items cover a wide range of subjects such as the basic sciences, scientific research, civilian and military medicine, public health, and hospital administration.
The NLM release of the Index-Catalogue in XML format opens this key resource in the history of medicine and science to new uses and users. It is one of the monuments of the Library’s longstanding, systematic indexing of the medical literature, an effort which William Henry Welch (1850-1934), the great pathologist and bibliophile, considered to be “America’s greatest contribution to medical knowledge.” This indexing, begun by John Shaw Billings in the nineteenth century at the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, United States Army (known today as the NLM), eventually created two distinct products: the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, United States Army, and the Index Medicus, forerunner of MEDLINE®, and now the largest component of PubMed.®
Released alongside the IndexCatalogue XML are an integrated XML file and associated DTD for two collections developed from the electronic database of A Catalogue of Incipits of Mediaeval Scientific Writings in Latin (rev.), by Lynn Thorndike and Pearl Kibre (eTK), and the updated and expanded version of Scientific and Medical Writings in Old and Middle English: An Electronic Reference (eVK2), edited by Linda Ehrsam Voigts and Patricia Deery Kurtz. Also available via the online IndexCat, these resources encompass over 42,000 records of incipits, or the beginning words of a medieval manuscript or early printed book, covering various medical and scientific writings on topics as diverse as astronomy, astrology, geometry, agriculture, household skills, book production, occult science, natural science, and mathematics, as these disciplines and others were largely intermingled in the medieval period of European history. The NLM release of these resources in XML format joins many other freely downloadable resources, including the XML for MEDLINE®/PubMed® data, which includes over 22 million references to biomedical and life sciences journal articles back to 1946, and, for some journals, much earlier.
The release also coincides with the NLM’s participation in “Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities,” an interdisciplinary symposium exploring the intersection of digital humanities and biomedicine, being held April 10-12, 2013, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Office of Digital Humanities, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland, and Research Councils UK. Shared Horizons will create opportunities for disciplinary cross-fertilization through a mix of formal and informal presentations, combined with breakout sessions designed to promote a rich exchange of ideas about how large-scale quantitative methods can lead to new understandings of human culture. Bringing together researchers from the digital humanities and bioinformatics communities, the symposium will explore ways in which these two communities might fruitfully collaborate on projects that bridge the humanities and medicine around the topics of sequence alignment and network analysis, two modes of analysis that intersect with “big data.” All Shared Horizons sessions will be live-streamed with a monitored back channel for the public to post/tweet comments. Recordings of all talks will also be posted to the Shared Horizons website, with the ability to comment pre- and post-event.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Outreach and Special Populations Branch has funded three innovative outreach projects in information dissemination for family and women’s health by public libraries and information centers. The NLM recognizes public libraries as strategic partners in increasing the awareness and utilization of NLM and National Institutes of Health (NIH) resources, and meeting NLM long range goals of health literacy, informing citizens, and reducing health disparities. All projects have a component on family health, and also target women as the main information gatherer and health decision influencer in the family.
Three libraries were funded, including one in the Pacific Southwest Region:
- Forsyth County Public Library, Winston-Salem, NC
- Petersburg Public Library system, Petersburg, VA
- Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ
The Pima County Public Library’s Heath Initiative Project aims to build capacity for women’s health literacy awareness, including self-health, family health, health care decision making, being the family health care giver; and resources, including those from the National Library of Medicine, for healthy living. The main objective is to support the library’s health literacy initiative and Health Information Literacy team in developing a toolkit that includes sustainable programming, partnerships, and resources for library community engagement.
Congratulations to all the awardees!