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Archive for the ‘Electronic Health Records’ Category

CDC Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grants

In January the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Library of Medicine announced that public health departments can now use funding from the CDC Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant to access journals, publications, the latest evidence and additional resources through the Public Health Information Access Project (PHIAP) of the National Library of Medicine. The mechanism was developed through the Centers for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services at the Centers for Disease Control working with partners inside CDC and outside the agency. The goal of the project is to provide low-cost access to high-value, evidence-based resources to improve public health practice in state public health departments. Costs must be tied to state work plans. To obtain access to library services for your state health department, refer to the list of state block grant contacts about including this item in the state work plan.

NLM VSAC Publishes Updated Electronic Clinical Quality Measure Value Sets for 2017 Reporting

On April 6 the National Library of Medicine (NLM) 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), published the 2016 annual update for the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) value sets for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals. Providers will use these updated eCQM value sets to electronically report 2017 quality data for CMS quality reporting programs. CMS updates these electronic reporting specifications annually to improve alignment with current clinical guidelines and code systems so that they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting. CMS has re-specified all of the updated measures using Quality Data Model (QDM) 4.2 based-HQMF version R 2.1.

Access to the VSAC suite of tools requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License.

  • Application Programming Interface (API): Programmatically retrieve value sets. Find VSAC API documentation in the VSAC Support Center.
  • VSAC Web Page: Browse and download specific eCQM value sets. Filter by specific CMS eMeasure ID, QDM Category, or Meaningful Use Measure type (EH or EP). Accessible from the Search Value Sets tab on the VSAC Web page.
  • Data Element Catalog: Data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record (EHR) technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria.
  • VSAC Collaboration Tool: Interactive and centralized collaboration among VSAC authors and collaborators. Find VSAC Collaboration documentation in the VSAC Support Center.

The updated eCQM measure specifications are available in the CMS eCQM Library and the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center.

New NLM VSAC Collaboration Tool Launched

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) has just launched VSAC Collaboration; a tool to support communication, knowledge management and document management by value set authors and stewards. VSAC Collaboration provides a central site where value set authors can post value sets for collaborative discussion. In that site, teams can share threaded discussions about the value sets, view recent value set expansions posted by site members, organize their value sets by usage and by team’s workflow needs, and receive activity and change notifications from VSAC.

VSAC Collaboration Tool training webinars and slides are available. Access to the VSAC and to the VSAC Collaboration Tool requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License.

NLM Informatics Lecture Series on November 4: Use of Clinical Big Data to Inform Precision Medicine

The next session of the National Library of Medicine Informatics Lecture Series will be held on November 4, at 11:00am-12:00pm PST, with the feature presentation Use of Clinical Big Data to Inform Precision Medicine. The speaker will be Joshua Denny, MD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. This talk will be broadcast live and archived.

At Vanderbilt, Dr. Denny and his team have linked phenotypic information from de-identified electronic health records (EHRs) to a DNA repository of nearly 200,000 samples, creating a ‘virtual’ cohort. This approach allows study of genomic basis of disease and drug response using real-world clinical data. Finding the right information in the EHR can be challenging, but the combination of billing data, laboratory data, medication exposures, and natural language processing has enabled efficient study of genomic and pharmacogenomic phenotypes. The Vanderbilt research team has put many of these discovered pharmacogenomic characteristics into practice through clinical decision support. The EHR also enables the inverse experiment – starting with a genotype and discovering all the phenotypes with which it is associated – a phenome-wide association study (PheWAS). Dr. Denny’s research team has used PheWAS to replicate more than 300 genotype-phenotype associations, characterize pleiotropy, and discover new associations. They have also used PheWAS to identify characteristics within disease subtypes.

Dr. Denny is part of the NIH-supported Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network, Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN), and Implementing Genomics in Practice (IGNITE) networks. He is a past recipient of the American Medical Informatics Association New Investigator Award, Homer Warner Award, and Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research. Dr. Denny remains active in clinical care and in teaching students. He is also a member of the National Library of Medicine Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee.

NLM Releases Two New Video Tutorials: RxClass and VSAC

The National Library of Medicine has announced the release of the first video tutorial for the RxClass Web application. The five-minute Searching and Navigating Through Drug Classes Using RxClass Application tutorial describes the RxClass major interface elements and functionalities. RxClass allows users to explore drug classes and their members, links the drug classes to drug information in RxNorm, provides a browser interface for navigating the hierarchies of drug classes, and includes a search mechanism for locating specific drug classes or drugs. The tutorial is available from a link on the Learning Resources for NLM Clinical Terminology Artifacts and Tooling and the NLM Distance Education Resources pages.

NLM has also announced the release of the first video tutorial featuring the Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) REST API. The API allows remote retrieval of value set information through URL-based calls that contain functions and corresponding parameters. The API is based on the IHE Sharing Value Sets (SVS) Technical Framework. The new two-minute tutorial Authentication with the Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) SVS API demonstrates how to perform proper authentication when submitting requests to the VSAC REST API. The authentication process uses UMLS credentials (username and password) and consists of two steps. First request a Ticket Granting Ticket (TGT), then request the Service Ticket (ST). The TGT is valid for eight hours, while the ST is valid for five minutes and can be used to submit only one API request. Users must generate a new ST for each new API request. The tutorial is available from a link on the VSAC Support Center, Learning Resources for NLM Clinical Terminology Artifacts and Tooling, and the NLM Distance Education Resources pages.

Webinar Recording Available: NIH Common Data Element (CDE) Initiatives Overview

NIH encourages the use of common data elements (CDEs) in clinical research, patient registries, and other human subject research in order to improve data quality and opportunities for comparison and combination of data from multiple studies and with electronic health records. The NIH Common Data Element Resource Portal provides access to information about NIH-supported CDEs, as well as tools and resources to assist investigators developing protocols for data collection. In addition, the session recording and presentation slides for the 90-minute webinar “NIH Common Data Element (CDE) Initiatives – Overview,” held on September 8, are available for viewing.

New NLM Resource for Nursing Standards and Interoperability

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has released a new web page, Nursing Resources for Standards and Interoperability. The page is a resource for nurses, students, informaticians, and anyone interested in nursing terminologies for systems development. It describes the role of SNOMED CT and Laboratory Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) in implementing Meaningful Use in the United States, specifically for the nursing care domain.

NLM has provided this resource in response to the position statement released by the American Nurses Association (ANA) that reaffirms support for use of recognized terminologies in coding nursing problems, interventions and observations (SNOMED CT), and in nursing assessments and outcomes (LOINC). In addition to SNOMED CT and LOINC, the Nursing Resources for Standards and Interoperability page provides information about other highly utilized nursing terminologies. The resource page provides a new two-minute video tutorial that describes how to use the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Metathesaurus Browser to find Concept Unique Identifiers (CUIs) and extract concept-level synonyms between SNOMED CT and other nursing terminologies. Additionally, links to other NLM Terminology resources and helpful resources are provided.

NLM welcomes feedback on the Nursing Resources for Standards and Interoperability page. Please send comments to NLM Customer Service.

Redesigned Health IT Page and New RSS Feed

NLM has announced the newly redesigned Health IT page. It showcases the useful products and tooling that NLM offers in the domain of clinical vocabulary standards and information exchange. It includes links for implementation resources, training opportunities, and research resources. The updated page has a Health IT News section with current news items. You also may subscribe to the new Health IT RSS feed to receive the news updates.

Assessing Patient Health Information Needs

On May 7th, the Health Information Technology section of AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) sponsored the presentation A National Web Conference on Assessing Patient Health Information Needs for Developing Consumer Health IT Tools. Featured speakers included:

  • Wanda Pratt, Ph.D., Professor, Information School, University of Washington
  • James Ralston, M.D., Associate Investigator/Physician, Internal Medicine, Group Health Research Institute
  • Patricia Flatley Brennan, Ph.D., Moehlman Bascom Professor, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Madison

The presenters described projects to improve communication of safety concerns among hospitalized patients, promote effective management of patients with diabetes, and improve asthma care in children. Presentation slides from the talks are now available on the Health Information Technology website.

San Francisco General Hospital Library Receives NLM Grant to Reduce Health Disparities!

Congratulations to Stephen Kiyoi, Library Director at San Francisco General Hospital, who is a Principal Investigator on a newly awarded three-year, $300,000 NLM Information Resource Grant to Reduce Health Disparities (G08) from the National Library of Medicine. The project, Patient Engagement with Personal Health Records, will support the research and development of better ways to engage safety net patients with personal health records.

Partnering on the grant are Courtney Lyles, PhD, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, from the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP). The CVP is an internationally recognized leader in health communication and health policy to reduce health disparities, with special expertise in the social determinants of health. The team will also partner with Yemila Alvarez, Community Outreach Manager at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). SFPL will help disseminate and scale project interventions across its 27 branch locations.