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Archive for 2014

July 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

Illustration of a family under a shaded canopy at the beach.Check out the July issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Sun and Skin: The Dark Side of Sun Exposure
    People enjoy the sun. Some have even worshiped it. Sunlight is essential to many living things. But sunlight also has a dangerous side. It can harm your skin and even your eyes. The good news is you can take some simple steps to protect your body from sun damage and still enjoy the sun’s healthful effects.
  • Fight Off Food Poisoning: Food Safety for Warmer Weather
    In warm-weather months, who doesn’t love to get outside for picnics, backyard gatherings, and of course delicious foods? But high temperatures raise your chance of getting sick from things you eat. Learn how to handle food properly to avoid the misery of food poisoning.
  • Physical Activity Helps Seniors Stay Mobile
    A carefully structured, moderate physical activity program helped vulnerable older people maintain their mobility. The new study shows that many frail older people can reap rewards from regular physical activity.
  • Kidney Failure and Its Treatment
    Your kidneys help keep you healthy by maintaining the right balance of water and other substances inside your body. But if your kidneys start to malfunction, you might not realize it for a long while. Kidney disease usually doesn’t make you feel sick until the problem is serious and irreversible—a condition known as kidney failure.
  • Featured Website: Bionic Man
    How can technologies help heal our bodies and prevent disease? This interactive “bionic man” links to simple descriptions and longer articles about 14 promising tools—such as a robotic leg and an artificial kidney—being developed with NIH support.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

Winter 2013 issue of NIH MedlinePlus Salud is Available!

Cover of Winter 2013 issue of NIH MedlinePlus SaludThe Winter 2013 issue of NIH MedlinePlus Salud features timely information on the dangers of skin cancer, how to manage the growing problem of asthma among Hispanics, and tips on taking your medicines safely and on time. The cover features Jessica Alba, whose childhood asthma was so bad that she had to be hospitalized multiple times. Fellow students teased her because the breathing machine she had to use now and then was so loud. That led to a commitment to helping achieve a cleaner environment to help reduce environmental triggers. Other celebrities who have struggled with asthma include Diane Keaton, Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan, Jerome Bettis, Pink, and many others.

One of NIH MedlinePlus Salud’s goals is to increase the health literacy among the fast-growing Hispanic population across the U.S. One way to do this is to have electronic editions of each issue — in Spanish and English — that can be read and interacted with on the Internet from any computer, smartphone, and tablet. Additionally, print subscriptions are available at no charge for those who prefer to read a physical magazine.

For more free, reliable, up-to-date health information, visit MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español.

NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program 2014-2015 Call for Applications!

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has announced the 2014-2015 opportunity for the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and AAHSL, with an application deadline of August 1, 2014. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is focused on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries. Fellows will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in a variety of learning settings, including exposure to leadership in another environment. They will be paired with mentors who are academic health sciences library directors. In addition to the individual relationship with their mentors, fellows benefit from working collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. Experienced program faculty and mentors will provide content and facilitation for the cohort. The program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community to minimize disruption to professional and personal schedules. The sponsors will provide financial support for a small cohort of fellows and will underwrite travel and meeting expenses. Sixty-one fellows have participated in the program since its inauguration in 2002. To date, twenty-six fellows have been appointed to director positions.

The one-year program design is multi-faceted, involving three in-person leadership institutes; attendance at an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting; a yearlong fellow/mentor relationship; webinars and discussions on issues related to library leadership; and two weeks of site visit to the mentor’s home library. Candidates for fellow should have a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries, as well as significant management experience. Applications are welcomed from professionals working in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings. Details about the program design, schedule, and application process are available in the program brochure.

CDC Launches Blast Injury Mobile App!

CDC Ad for Blast App in Google Hangout

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the release of a new CDC Blast Injury mobile application, which may be downloaded for free from the iTunes store. The program is designed to assist in the response and clinical management of injuries resulting from terrorist bombings and other mass casualty explosive events. The application provides clear, concise, up-to-date medical and healthcare systems information to assist healthcare providers and public health professionals in the preparation, response, and management of injuries resulting from terrorist bombing events. CDC is hosting a Google+ Hangout on Monday, June 30, at 8:30 AM PDT to discuss this new tool.

Check with NLM Before Discarding Journals

The National Library of Medicine’s Journal Donation System makes it possible for libraries to determine whether NLM needs any volumes of the print journals they plan to discard. The system can be used by DOCLINE and non-DOCLINE libraries to offer any title, including titles not owned by NLM. The system can be accessed directly through the web site or by searching “Journal Donation System” on NLM’s home page. In the system, click on “Help” for detailed instructions. For additional assistance, contact NLM at (301) 496-0081 or NLMJournalDonation@mail.nlm.nih.gov. NLM will pay shipping for needed volumes. For donations of pre-1871 journal volumes, contact the NLM History of Medicine Division.

Since the beginning of the online donation system in April 2009, over 10,000 gifts have been added to the NLM collection. With the help of libraries planning to discard journal volumes, NLM can build on the success achieved to date.

NLM VSAC Publishes Annual Update for 2014 Eligible Professional CQM Value Sets

The National Library of Medicine Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has published the annual update for the 2014 Eligible Professional Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Value Sets. The update includes revised value sets to address deleted and remapped codes in the latest terminology versions, as well as new codes for addressing CQM logic corrections and clarifications. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) update these electronic reporting specifications annually to ensure that the specifications align with current clinical guidelines and terminologies, and that they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released 2014 CQM Value Sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the Value Set Authority Center requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria. The NLM update of the VSAC coincides with the CMS posting of the official updated 2014 Eligible Professional Clinical Quality Measures.

The following resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 CQMs:

  • NLM: Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) Provides downloadable access to all official versions of vocabulary value sets contained in the 2014 Clinical Quality Measures.
  • AHRQ: United States Healthcare Knowledge Database (USHIK) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Web site with 2014 eCQMs and other health information technology resources. This site provides a number of formats for viewing, downloading, and comparing versions of eCQMs and their value sets.
  • CMS: eCQM Library Guidance for understanding and using Eligible Hospital and the Eligible Professional Clinical Quality Measures.
  • ONC: Clinical Quality Measure Feedback System ONC encourages the EHR technology developer and user communities to provide feedback regarding the implementation, structure, intent, and data elements pertaining to CQMs.
  • Questions? Contact NLM Value Set Authority Center Help.

NLM Mourns William G. Harless, PhD, Creator of the First Natural Language Computer Patient Simulation Model

William G. Harless, President and CEO of Interactive Drama Inc. and former National Library of Medicine employee and contractor, passed away this past May. Dr. Harless’ contributions to the NLM were many, including the creation of the first voice-activated interactive video patient simulation model in the mid-1980s. As Director of NLM’s Technological Innovations in Medical Education (TIME) Project, he received the 1986 NLM Regents Award for Scholarship or Technical Achievement and an award in the category of Best Educational Achievement at the University of Nebraska, both for the development of his model which combined voice recognition, interactive video, and computer technologies.

Bill Harless held a PhD degree in psychology and learning theory. He also had held faculty positions at five major universities and the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, where accredited doctorate degrees are awarded from a multidisciplinary, experientially based curriculum. He developed the first natural language computer patient simulation model at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago in the early 1960s. Dr. Harless published over 50 articles on natural language interactive simulation as a learning strategy and was a recognized expert in the field. In 1991, he was awarded a patent for his voice-controlled video simulation model. He was awarded a second patent in 1996 for his dynamic prompting system. In 2005, a third patent was awarded on a method of distributing his model over a computer network, and in 2010 he was awarded a patent for his method for analyzing natural language text to yield a meaningful response to a free-speech inquiry.

June 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

Illustration of a girl blowing into a peak flow meter while sitting alongside her mother. Check out the June issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Managing Asthma: Learn To Breathe Easier
    Most people have little trouble climbing a flight of stairs or taking a brisk walk, but these simple activities can be tough for someone with asthma. Although there’s no cure, you can breathe easier by knowing how to keep the condition under control.
  • Patient’s Own Cells Helped Fight Cancer
    An experimental therapy developed at NIH used a patient’s own immune system to attack and shrink her tumors. With further research, this type of immunotherapy might be used to treat many common cancers.
  • Videos and Eye Health Resources for Kids
    Ever wonder how optical illusions work? Are you curious about colorblindness? Do you have an inquisitive mind? Curiosity is a key ingredient to becoming a scientist.
  • Featured Website: Know Stroke
    Trouble walking, weakness on one side, trouble seeing, trouble speaking. Get to know these warning signs of stroke so you can get fast medical attention, which is key to successful recovery. This site has educational videos, brochures, and other materials to help you learn more about stroke.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

How to Use Hashtags to Increase Social Media Presence

If you have determined that the use of social media channels is appropriate for your organization, you will quickly encounter hashtags, which are user-controlled categories prefaced with a pound sign. Hashtags were once limited to Twitter but are now used on most social media sites, including Facebook and Google+. Conversational, concise, and consistent use of up to two hashtags per social media message can result in double the amount of user engagement compared to messages without them. For more statistics specific to Twitter and user engagement, Buffer’s blog provides an excellent overview.

What are some of the ways to show that hashtags increase user engagement with your organization’s message? Look for performance indicators of reposts (the use of ‘Share’ on Facebook or retweets on Twitter), replies (comments under the message from Facebook followers, replies to the tweet from Twitter users), the number of clicks to any links included in your message (ideally to your organization’s website and resources), and hashtag usage frequency. For tips on how to track these performance indicators and additional statistics regarding hashtag creation and use, check out this helpful infographic.

AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web Sites Now Optimized for Display on Mobile Devices!

AIDSinfo and infoSIDA on mobile devices

AIDSinfo, a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently updated its AIDSinfo (English) and infoSIDA (Spanish) Web sites. They are now automatically optimized for display across all devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Visitors to the AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web sites will now be able to access all of the content on any device they are using. AIDSinfo offers access to the latest, federally approved HIV/AIDS medical practice guidelines, HIV treatment and prevention clinical trials, and other research information for health care providers, researchers, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and the general public.

NLM decided to create a responsive design Web site, a site that automatically adjusts to any device, because of a shift in the ways that people are accessing the Internet. Between 2010 and 2014, mobile traffic to the AIDSinfo Web site increased tenfold, and almost 90% of health care providers surveyed on the AIDSinfo Web site have Internet access at the point of care, and of those, more than two-thirds use a mobile device when seeing patients. With this redesign, health care providers, researchers, people with HIV/AIDS, their family and friends, and anyone who visits the Web site will now be able to access the HIV/AIDS medical practice guidelines, drug database, fact sheets, clinical trials search, HIV/AIDS glossary, and all of the other features in an easy-to-navigate format no matter what device they are using.

If you have saved the mobile site URLs (http://m.aidsinfo.nih.gov/ and http://m.infosida.nih.gov/) as a Bookmark or Favorite on your tablet or smartphone, you will be automatically redirected to the responsive design Web site. Please send your questions or feedback about the responsive design Web site to: ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov.