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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

National Library of Medicine (NLM) has Updated Haz-Map with 481 New Agents

Screenshot of Haz-Map homepageHaz-Map now covers over 9170 chemical and biological agents and 241 occupational diseases! NLM has updated Haz-Map with 481 new agents, including 23 agents causing occupational asthma. Fifteen new hazardous job tasks linked to jobs and industries were also added in this update.

Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It currently covers over 5997 chemical and biological agents and 235 occupational diseases.

NLM to Promote infoSIDA & Latino Health Awareness on Valentine’s Day

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will be promoting the infoSIDA website through a multi-platform media outreach effort culminating in a Twitter discussion on Valentine’s Day. The outreach efforts include two radio public service announcements that will air on Spanish radio stations nationwide. In addition, Fedora Braverman and Jean-Paul Rock will serve as the main NLM Spanish spokespersons, conducting interviews on infoSIDA and other Spanish-language consumer resources from NLM. Both will be featured on Bienvenidos a América (BAA), a weekly call-in radio show focused on providing immigration resources to Latinos. BAA airs weekly on Thursdays from 11am-12pm Pacific Time and is on 111 Spanish stations nationwide.

In addition to being on the air, the NLM specific segment on BAA will be streamed live on Thursday, January 30th online at bienvenidosradio.com. Finally, the online resources of infoSIDA will be shared and discussed in a Twitter “Tweet Up” on February 14, 2014, Valentine’s Day. NLM will be inviting all Latino-serving institutions, health and AIDS service organizations to participate and share resources for how to continue to keep loved ones healthy. Valentine’s Day is the holiday where we remind loved ones of how much we care about them and their well-being. This holiday serves as the perfect backdrop to raise awareness about health issues affecting our loved ones and the resources that are available to learn more about prevention and treatment. Twitter users are invited to follow or join the conversation by using the hash tag #infoSIDA2014.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22% of the diagnoses of HIV infection among adults and adolescents in the United States and six dependent areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands) from 2008 to 2011 were in Hispanics/Latinos. The rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is almost three times that of white men (39.9 vs. 15.9 per 100,000), and the rate among Latinas is more than four times that of white women (11.8 vs. 2.6 per 100,000). Statistics like these and a need to reach vulnerable populations were a driving force in NLM recognizing the need to speak directly to Latinos on the issue of HIV/AIDS, in a culturally relevant manner.


JGIM Commentary Calls on Physicians to Advance Health Literate Organizations

The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a commentary this month, “Physicians’ Roles in Creating Health Literate Organizations: A Call to Action,” that gives physicians guidance on their role in implementing health literate health care organizations. Physicians’ responsibilities to address health literacy are not restricted to improving the clinical encounter, declared authors Cindy Brach, Benard Dreyer, and Dean Schillinger. For health care organizations to become health literate, physicians must also be willing to serve as health literacy champions.

The authors detail actions physicians can take to implement each of the Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations, as described in an Institute of Medicine discussion paper by Brach, et al, published in 2012. The article also points readers to the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit to help physicians lead their practices in implementing health literacy universal precautions.

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

Illustration of a woman clutching a tissue near her face while talking with her doctor, who has a prescription pad handy.Check out the February 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:

  • Gripped by Gout: Avoiding the Ache and Agony
    Sudden, painful swelling at the base of the big toe is often the first warning sign of gout. It can affect other joints as well. The good news is, most types of gout are treatable, especially if caught early.
  • Distracted Driving Raises Crash Risk
    Video technology and in-vehicle sensors showed that distracted driving, especially among new drivers, raises the risk for car crashes and near crashes. The study also found that drivers eat, reach for the phone, text, or otherwise take their eyes off the road about 10% of the time.
  • Caring for a Seriously Ill Child
    When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, it can be difficult for the entire family. It’s important that your child, your family, and you get the support and care you need during this challenging time. A special type of care called palliative care can help.
  • Featured Website: NIDA for Teens
    Teens, and adults who care for them, can learn about addiction and drug abuse at this updated site from NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Designed for viewing on smartphones, tablets, and computers, the site’s free, interactive resources include a teen blog, videos, educator guides, and lots of easy-to-read information about the science behind drug abuse.

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!

ONC Releases Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides. These guides are a suite of tools that include checklists and recommended practices designed to help health care providers and the organizations that support them assess and optimize the safety and safe use of EHRs. Each SAFER Guide has extensive references and is available as a downloadable PDF and as an interactive web-based tool.

The release of the SAFER Guides marks an important milestone in the implementation of the HHS Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan, which was issued in July 2013. The SAFER Guides complement existing health IT safety tools and research developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and ONC. AHRQ’s Patient Safety Organizations (PSO) have explicitly identified health IT as a high priority area because of the enormous impact EHRs are having on patient safety right now. PSOs are charged to help their members improve patient safety, and the SAFER Guides give them an evidence-based tool to do so.

Rigorously developed by leading health IT safety and informatics researchers and based on the latest available evidence, expert opinion, stakeholder engagement, and field work, each SAFER Guide addresses a critical area associated with the safe use of EHRs through a series of self-assessment checklists, practice worksheets, and recommended practices. Areas addressed include:

  • High Priority Practices
  • Organizational Responsibilities
  • Patient Identification
  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) with Decision Support
  • Test Results Review and Follow-up
  • Clinician Communication
  • Contingency Planning
  • System Interfaces
  • System Configuration

Upcoming ACA Events and New Resources!

Registration is still open for the WebJunction Health Happens in Libraries: Health Information Resources for Library Staff webinar. Alan Carr and Kelli Ham of the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region will discuss their collaborative efforts with public libraries regarding the Affordable Care Act and other popular health information topics. They will be joined by Milly C. Lugo-Rios from Santa Ana Public Library, and together share strategies for strengthening your own library’s health information services, to improve the health literacy of your community. The webinar will be held on January 22, 2014 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST.

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is continuing their Google+ Hangout Series on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Chinese (Mandarin). Almost one in seven Chinese Americans lacks health insurance and Chinese Americans are also among the highest limited English proficient populations in the nation. During the Hangout, there will be a live question and answer period with Mandarin-speaking representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They will respond to questions and provide information on how to obtain health care coverage through the new Marketplace. The Chinese language Hangout will take place on January 23, 2014 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM PST.

Tribalhealthcare.org provides consumer education materials and training tools for community representatives, to support American Indians and Alaska Natives in understanding their rights and opportunities associated with health care reform. The archived webinar of Health Insurance Marketplace for American Indians and Alaska Natives provides basic information to Tribal Leaders, Tribal Health staff, and Urban Indian Clinic staff about the new insurance options available to individuals and families through the Health Insurance Marketplace, including the special provisions and unique opportunities for American Indians.

The Kaiser Family Foundation continues to develop robust resources related to health care reform. Their comprehensive list of frequently asked questions may be useful to library staff and patrons alike, and includes a search feature. The For Consumers section contains information useful for patrons, including a series of one-page papers explaining how the Affordable Care Act will affect different groups of people.

For the latest ACA news, training events, and resources for librarians, keep an eye on the NN/LM PSR ACA LibGuide! Updated regularly, it contains both national and state-specific information on ACA resources.

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

Illustration of an older man with his family and pet dog on a walking trail.Check out the January issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research:

  • Dealing with Dementia: When Thinking and Behavior Decline
    Forgetfulness, confusion, or having trouble remembering a name or word can be a normal part of life. But when thinking problems or unusual behavior starts to interfere with everyday activities—such as working, preparing meals, or handling finances—it’s time to see a doctor. These could be signs of a condition known as dementia.
  • Avoiding Anemia: Boost Your Red Blood Cells
    If you’re feeling constantly exhausted and sluggish, you might have a condition called anemia. Anemia is a common blood disorder that many people develop at some point in their lives.
  • Insights into Brain Injury
    Scientists have uncovered new details about what happens in the brain after a concussion. The findings point to possible ways to reduce the harmful effects of these injuries.
  • Who Needs a Knee Replacement?
    If you or someone you know is considering knee replacement, a new resource can help you understand how it works, how to prepare for surgery, and what to expect in recovery.
  • Featured Website: 2014 Multicultural Health Planners
    Let NIH help you get healthier in 2014. These free multicultural planners, called A Year of Health, provide information about staying healthy and managing conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. Planners are targeted to African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American populations.

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!

New Project Announced for Collecting Health Data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Populations!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched the first-ever, large-scale national health survey to collect detailed health information for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) households; the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey. The information will be collected through the National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, and is the nation’s largest in-person, household health survey. Never before has there been a study of this scale to assess the health needs of NHPIs, and this type of survey has long been called for by the NHPI community. This important effort will help improve understanding of the health concerns faced by this community and to identify areas of opportunity for the federal government to better address these concerns.

The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders National Health Interview Survey will include a sample of approximately 4,000 households. Data collection for the survey begins in February 2014 and findings will be available in the summer of 2015. The data will help public health researchers to produce reports on a wide range of important health indicators for the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders comprise just 0.4% of the total U.S. population, which makes it difficult to include them in sufficient numbers in most national population-based health surveys. The lack of reliable health data for this population has made it difficult to assess their health status and health care utilization. However, the available data for this population indicates that they experience significant health disparities when compared to other groups, such as lower utilization of health care services and higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

New AHRQ Tool to Assess Patient Education Materials!

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has just released a new tool to help professionals choose more understandable and actionable materials; the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Patient educational materials, such as brochures, medical instructions, and audiovisual aids, are often complex and lack clear information about what the patient should do. AHRQ’s PEMAT and User’s Guide provides a systematic method to evaluate and compare the understandability and actionability of patient education materials. By selecting health materials that score better on the PEMAT, you can be more confident that people of varying levels of health literacy will be able to process and explain key messages, and identify what they can do based on the information presented.

Additional tools for improving health literacy are available from AHRQ’s website, including:

December 2013 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

Illustration of human silhouettes, of different sizes and shapes, atop a background of the DNA double-helix.Check out the December issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research:

Personalized Medicine: Matching Treatments to Your Genes
You’re one of a kind. Wouldn’t it be nice if treatments and preventive care could be designed just for you, matched to your unique set of genes?

A Burning Issue: Handling Household Burns
Accidental burns can occur just about anywhere in your home, and they’re not always caused by fire. Take steps to prevent household burns, and learn how to treat them properly to avoid lasting problems.

Health Capsules:

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!