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Archive for the ‘Communications Tools’ Category

NLM’s 175th Anniversary: Reflections from the Director

U.S. Medicine is a publication serving healthcare professionals working in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service. It provides a mix of news, medical updates, interviews, reports on special government topics and monthly columns. In the recently published special issue, This Year in Federal Medicine – Outlook 2012, National Library of Medicine Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, took the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate NLM’s 175 years of public service, and to look ahead to 2012 and beyond. He began by reviewing the enormous amount of electronic information generated through resources such as PubMed and MedlinePlus. He also acknowledged the role of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in promoting access to health information throughout the U.S., and the support and training that NLM provides in the areas of biomedical informatics and health information technology. Dr. Lindberg also addressed the emerging opportunities to link NLM’s health information resources with electronic health records. Even though Dr. Lindberg expects budgetary challenges for NLM in 2012 and beyond, his outlook for the future remains very positive, as he envisions that NLM’s range of services will continue to expand into new areas of biomedical research and health care.

Specific themes mentioned by Dr. Lindberg in his future outlook include the continuing growth of NLM resources, such as PubMed/MEDLINE, PubMed Central, and ClinicalTrials.gov. In addition, several new NLM resources will be released in 2012, including a Genetic Testing Registry and a database of clinical significant human genetic variants. Dr. Lindberg also expects the continued development of NLM resources related to disaster preparedness, and he noted the recent deployment of these resources in events such as the Gulf Oil Spill, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Dr. Lindberg also expects that NLM will continue to utilize and expand the range of social media tools, mobile applications, and mobile versions of its resources to reach new and diverse audiences with high quality health information. He mentioned the impressive array of social media currently used by NLM, including 13 Twitter feeds, notably @medlineplus and the Spanish-language version @medlineplusesp, six Facebook pages and a new YouTube channel. The full text of Dr. Lindberg’s remarks is available on the U.S. Medicine web site.

NLM Technical Bulletin Gets a New Look!

Beginning with the 2012 issues, the NLM Technical Bulletin has been redesigned with a new look. Even though the content will be designed and organized differently, you will still find the same useful information about new and existing NLM products and services. Published articles are not copyrighted and are freely reproducible. The redesigned homepage is divided into five sections:

Articles: detailed, new, and useful information for searching NLM systems
In Brief: short, informative articles that do not require in-depth explanation
Updated Web Resources: link directly to recently updated Web pages relevant to searching and NLM data
NLM News Announcements: topics selected especially for NLM Technical Bulletin readers
Most Popular: the top three articles readers are using

There are two separate online indexes, one covering 1997 to the present, and the other with coverage from 1979 through 1996. In addition, three specialized indexes include articles published about PubMed, Environmental Health & Toxicology, and the Unified Medical Language System, grouped together by topic.

There are three easy ways to stay current and be alerted when a new NLM Technical Bulletin article is published:

Get E-mail Updates: Receive a daily e-mail alert if an article is published or updated
Subscribe to RSS: Receive a feed for the Technical Bulletin as well as the NLM Web site
NLM-Announces: Join this e-mail list to receive a weekly notification of new or recently added content on the NLM Web site, including NLM Technical Bulletin articles

A recently published article describes the redesign and includes accompanying illustrations.

Seeking Focus Group Participants – PSR Website Assessment

The Pacific Southwest Region RML is seeking Network members who would like to help us with assessing the content in our website (http://nnlm.gov/psr/). The National Network of Libraries of Medicine will be switching to a new website content management system within the next 12-18 months.  We are taking inventory of our existing web content, and the focus groups will help us determine which web pages are useful to our members and what might suitable for archiving. Participants will have the opportunity to recommend new content for the website as well.

Three sessions will be held:

  • August 22nd at 11:00 a.m Pacific Time (AZ 11:00 a.m., HI 8:00 a.m., Guam August 23rd, 4:00 a.m)
  • August 23rd at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time (AZ 12:00 p.m., HI 9:00 a.m., Guam August 24th, 5:00 a.m.) 
  • August 31st at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time (AZ 1:00 p.m., HI 10:00 a.m., Guam September 1st, 6:00 a.m.)

If you would like to participate in a one-hour online focus group, please answer this brief survey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PSR_FocusGroups) to provide your contact information, to choose a time that works for you, and to tell us if you have used our website in the past year. Each session will have 5-6 participants, so we may not be able to accommodate all interested parties. If selected, you will receive an email confirming your participation in the focus group. Please respond to the survey by Thursday, August 18th.

NOTE: The focus group sessions will be recorded; however the recordings will only be used for RML reference and will not be published.

Thank you for your interest! If you have any questions, please contact Melina Duenas, 310-825-1200, mduenas@library.ucla.edu.

Announcing MedlinePlus RSS & Content Sharing Enhancements

NLM has released several exciting enhancements that improve users’ ability to share and consume MedlinePlus content:

RSS feeds are now available for every health topic page on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español, offering nearly 1,800 feeds for English and Spanish combined that are customizable to your specific interests.  You can subscribe to the health topic RSS feeds using the RSS reader/aggregator of your choice. Links to the feeds are available on all health topic pages, the MedlinePlus RSS Feeds page, and via your browser’s RSS auto-detect feature.

In addition to the new health topic feeds, MedlinePlus now offers two new English RSS feeds allowing you to subscribe to all new links added to MedlinePlus and all new NIH links added to MedlinePlus. These new feeds are available on the RSS Feeds page under the heading “General Interest RSS Feeds.” For Spanish-language users, there is a new RSS feed that contains all new links added to MedlinePlus en español. This new feed is available from the Spanish RSS Feeds page.

NLM also unveiled enhancements to the print, email, and AddThis share icons on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español health topic pages. These icons are now located above the topic summary, and the Facebook and Twitter sharing options are more prominent, making it easier for you to share content in these very popular social networks.

Examples of the new RSS feeds and the improved sharing features can be seen on the health topic pages listed below:

If you have specific questions about these enhancements, please use the “Contact Us” link that appears at the top of every MedlinePlus page.

Health DATAbytes: A New Blog with Tips to Improve Community Health Using Data

Health DATAbytes is an online conversation featuring health experts and advocates providing examples of using data to make healthy changes to benefit communities and address health disparities. The blog postings are designed to help people with a wide range of data expertise to better understand and use data to seek funding, plan and evaluate programs, or advance public policies to promote healthier communities. In addition to the expert commentary, Health DATAbytes provides data tips and tricks, and links to upcoming data training sessions. Blog postings reflect a broad range of health topics. Recent listings include the health effects of living near major roadways, neighborhoods lacking healthy food outlets (food deserts), and the effect of state budget cuts on support services for the elderly and disabled.

Health DATAbytes is a new initiative from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, as part of its Health DATA (Data. Advocacy. Training. Assistance.) Program. The aim of this program is to make data easily understandable to a wide variety of public health and health advocacy personnel, as well as members of the general community. Another goal of the program is to increase capacity of these groups to locate and present credible data related to particular health programs.

iPhone and iPod Touch app for Health Hotlines

NLM’s Health Hotlines is available as an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It is also compatible with the iPad. Health Hotlines is a compilation of organizations with toll-free telephone numbers to assist the public in locating health-related information, and it is searchable by key word or may be browsed by subject category. It is derived from DIRLINE, NLM’s Directory of Information Resources Online, which contains descriptions of almost 9,000 health and biomedical organizations and resources. Some of the subject areas included in Health Hotlines are AIDS, cancer, diseases and disorders, maternal and child health, aging, substance abuse, disabilities and mental health. Health Hotlines is also available on the NLM Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites.

Indian Health Service Creates Best Practices Inventory

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is developing an inventory database of Best Practice, Promising Practice, Local Effort, Resources, and Policies occurring among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, schools, work sites, health centers/clinics, and hospitals. The database is available through the IHS Online Search, Consultation, and Reporting (OSCAR) System. The purpose of the inventory is to assist the AI/AN communities with getting the information and health services they need and highlighting the great work being done in the field. Users have the option of searching the database or submitting content electronically.

Use the “Add This” Button to Share NewsBits & Latitudes articles

Add This Widget On the upper right of our web page is the “Add This” social bookmarking widget. It allows you to share our NewsBits and Latitudes articles on popular social networking sites — or any other web sites — such as Facebook and Twitter. Just click on the button and choose from a list of popular services.

Learn About QR Codes

Alison Aldrich, Technology Outreach Coordinator at the NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region, published a terrific article last week in PNR’s “Dragonfly” newsletter called “QR Codes: They’re Everywhere.” Head on over to Dragonfly to read the article and try out this fascinating technology: http://nnlm.gov/pnr/dragonfly/2010/06/08/qr-codes/.

Follow, Fan and Connect with NLM

Check out all of the ways that you can communicate with NLM using social networking services like Facebook and Twitter on NLM’s “Follow, Fan and Connect with NLM” page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/socialmedia/index.html.

The page includes Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, and e-mail lists.