Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Data dashboards provide a mechanism to use visualization, rather than words, to get a quick overview of progress made towards programmatic goals, and to engage stakeholders in the evaluation process. To use data dashboards effectively, it is important to define the user group(s) involved and to select recognizable metrics from trusted sources. There are a variety of resources available to assist with producing dashboards for web sites, blogs, etc., including Juice Analytics, Tableau Software, and Google Analytics. After registering with Juice Analytics, one resource to consider is a white paper listed in the “Visualization Resources” category, called A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use. Once established, data dashboards can monitor the progress of a program, communicate progress to stakeholders, and provide early signs of problems that may be arising.
To get an idea of a final product, a good example to view is the Health IT Dashboard showing the implementation of the Regional Extension Center (REC) Cooperative Agreement Program, coordinated by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). The REC program is funded to provide technical assistance for EHR implementation to 100,000 primary care providers, through 62 nationwide sites. The dashboard charts the enrollment of primary care providers in this program, and monitors their efforts to become meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs). Dashboards could be a colorful, visual way for you to show what you do to benefit the overall institution!
NLM’s ALTBIB portal has been updated. ALTBIB provides access to PubMed/MEDLINE citations relevant to alternatives to the use of live vertebrates in biomedical research and testing. Many of the citations provide access to free full text of the article. The site’s topics and subtopics are aligned with current approaches. For example, information is provided on in silico, in vitro, and improved (refined) animal testing methods. Strategies which incorporate validated methods and other approaches are also covered.
ALTBIB also provides access to animal alternatives news sources, such as the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). The portal has an extensive collection of links to key organizations providing information on alternatives to animal testing. ALTBIB provides access to ICCVAM’s “International Acceptance of Alternative Methods, 1998-2012” and “U.S. and International Milestones in Alternative Test Method Development and Evaluations.”
In addition to the topic area PubMed searches, the ALTBIB portal includes a searchable bibliographic collection on alternatives to animal testing. This collection provides citations from published articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports published from 1980 to 2000. The bibliography features citations concerning methods, tests, assays, and procedures that may prove useful in establishing alternatives to the use of intact vertebrates. The ALTBIB bibliographic collection has not been updated since 2001, when the preformulated searches of PubMed were substituted for collecting a formal bibliography.
National Library of Medicine Acting Associate Director for Library Operations, Joyce Backus, has announced the appointment of Loren Frant to serve as deputy chief of the Public Services Division (PSD), and Kenneth Koyle to serve as deputy chief of the History of Medicine Division (HMD). Ms. Frant came to NLM as an Associate Fellow in 2004. Following her Associate year, she accepted a position in PSD’s Reference and Web Services Section as a systems librarian, where she led a team of librarians delivering Web site redesigns and database improvements. Ms. Frant served as the technical lead for MedlinePlus, and was then appointed head of the Health Information Products Unit (HIPU), a position she held until her selection as deputy chief. As the head of the HIPU Unit, Ms. Frant led all MedlinePlus strategic decisions and directed the operations for a suite of important products and services, including MedlinePlus, MedlinePlus en español, MedlinePlus Web services, and she was key to the successful launch of MedlinePlus Connect in November 2010.
Mr. Koyle is a retired Army officer, with more than 25 years of service. Since 2010, he has served as deputy chief of the US Army Medical Department’s Center of History and Heritage (AMEDD) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he has been the executive officer of the Center, and the sole active duty historian in the Army Medical Department, responsible with the chief of the Center for supervision of an 18-person staff of history, archives, and museum personnel, and administration of a $2.1 million annual budget, as well as historical research in support of AMEDD and the Office of the Surgeon General. Prior to his tenure at AMEDD, Mr. Koyle was a medical history fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where he received his master’s degree in history. He holds a second master’s degree in adult education from Penn State University.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a method called photovoice takes advantage of pictures’ compelling qualities by incorporating photography into research and evaluation. Photovoice is a participatory evaluation method in which program participants are given cameras to capture images that convey their feelings, beliefs and experiences about an issue. The method is used frequently in advocacy projects, allowing the less powerful stakeholders to communicate about issues that impact their lives.
Photovoice seems to be a particularly popular way to engage youth in projects or in evaluation. For examples of photovoice projects with teenagers, check out the two articles listed at the end of this entry. The project described in Necheles et al. used photovoice to engage teenagers in identifying influences over their own health behavior. These teens then developed materials such as posters to advocate for healthier lifestyles among their peers. The article by Strack, Magill and McDonagh presents a project in which teens identified problems in their neighborhoods through photovoice. Both articles provide abundant advice for conducting photovoice projects, including how to engage youth in analyzing photos and ideas for presenting results.
Some photovoice projects carry potential risk for participants. Participants also must be taught how to get and document consent from others who appear in their photos. Consequently, photovoice projects require above-average planning and management skills. For an excellent resource on managing photovoice projects, check out photovoice.org, particularly the organization’s methodology section.
Necheles JW et al. The Teen Photovoice Project: A pilot study to promote Health through Advocacy. Prog Community Health Partnersh 2007 Fall; 1(3): 221–229.
Strack RW, Magill C, McDonagh K. Engaging youth through photovoice. Health Promot Pract 2004;5:49–58.
The NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) recommends using evaluation questions as a foundation for evaluation projects. The questions are useful in developing data collection methods, analyzing data, and organizing evaluation reports. If you are planning a needs assessment, you can take advantage of a tip sheet that provides needs assessment questions for you: The 6Ds of Needs Assessments. This one-page document will help you identify the information needed to advocate for your project with a comprehensive, rational argument, as well as design an effective program. It was created by Kylie Hutchinson, principle evaluator for Community Solutions Planning and Evaluation. Use the 6 D’s to cover all the bases of your needs assessment:
- Deficit: What is the need requiring intervention?
- Develop: What are the existing strengths the program will build upon?
- Describe: What are the proposed participants’ characteristics, learning styles and barriers, etc?
- Desires: What are the preferences for receiving the program, e.g., format, length of program, location, etc?
- Duplication: What is the unique niche the program will address?
- Demand: Is there a demand for the program?
The July 2012 International Release of SNOMED CT is available for download. The International Release is updated each year in January and July. The recent download contains SNOMED CT files in both Release Format 1 (RF1) and the new Release Format 2 (RF2) versions. Contents of the download include SNOMED CT terminology, cross maps, subsets, User Guide (content, principles and uses), Technical Implementation Guide (design of applications using SNOMED CT), Technical Reference Guide (file layouts, field sizes, required values, data diagrams), and ICD-9-CM Cross Map. Additionally, updated RF2 to RF1 compatibility tools are available for download from the same Web page. SNOMED CT terminology will be available in Metathesaurus format in UMLS 2012AB Release, in November 2012.
On July 27, 2012, Stephanie Evergreen, eLearning Initiatives Director for the American Evaluation Association (AEA), gave a half-hour webinar about the Ignite approach to giving presentations. This approach involves a five-minute presentation, based on 20 slides, that are each shown for 15 seconds. The American Evaluation Association, which is conducting a “Potent Presentations” initiative to help its members improve their reporting skills, has made the recording and slides for this great presentation available in its free AEA Public Library.
In her short, practical webinar, Stephanie demonstrated the Ignite approach with a great presentation about “Chart Junk Extraction,” with valuable tips for creating streamlined, readable charts with maximized visual impact. Spend an enjoyable and enlightening few minutes viewing the fast-paced and interesting Light Your Ignite Training Webinar. You can even learn how to set your PowerPoint timer to move forward automatically every 15 seconds to practice your Igniting!
The My Bibliography Award View display, a tool developed by NCBI to assist eRA Commons users to comply with the NIH Public Access policy and associate their publications to NIH awards, will be enhanced in the following three ways:
- eRA Commons account holders will be able to associate any grant with citations in their My Bibliography collection, and they will be able to search for awards with the assistance of auto-complete;
- eRA users’ My Bibliography collection will be automatically updated to include citations that have been associated to the grants awarded to them;
- New filter options will be added for paper-grant associations.
Complete details, with associated screen shots, are published in the NLM Technical Bulletin.
NLM is pleased to announce its new Chief of International Programs, Dan Gerendasy, Ph.D. Dan comes to NLM from the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR), where for the last eight years his responsibilities as a Scientific Review Officer included leading reviews of major international and global health research projects and training programs. His award-winning efforts in international and global health are wide ranging and include service as CSR’s representative to the NIH International Representatives Forum, frequent briefings of foreign delegations on the peer review process at NIH, service on an Institute of Medicine working group on global health, coordination for the Director of CSR of international visits and visitors, and leadership of NIH committees and work groups focusing on global health. Dan is particularly interested in scientific capacity building in developing countries.
Trained as a molecular biologist, Dan received a BA in biology from Grinnell College, an MS in biochemistry from Northwestern University, and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Arizona. His NIH-funded research program focused on molecular mechanisms of changes in synaptic function. Dan spent twelve years at the Scripps Research Institute starting as a postdoctoral fellow and leaving as Assistant Professor, before moving to the SUNY Health Science Center at Stony Brook, and then to NIH.
The Journal of the Medical Library Association is planning to devote the October 2013 issue to papers that focus on the outcomes experienced by health sciences librarians who have taken on new roles. This issue will include invited papers summarizing the current state of the field. In addition, submissions are encouraged from those with new roles who are willing to share their successes, or failures, with their peers. To be considered for this issue, papers must be submitted by February 15, 2013. Further details on topics of interest, requirements for submission, etc. are located on the MLA web site.
The advent of both digital content and new forms of communication has made radical changes in the expectations of health science library users for access to information. Responding to the opportunities provided by these changes, some librarians and libraries have changed their focus, no longer emphasizing libraries as keepers of the information universe, but instead stressing their ability to provide expertise in support of those who work in the health information universe. A number of new paradigms have been reported at conferences and in the media: embedded librarians, e-science experts, support for translational medicine, and data curation and management. This special issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association will help us gain a better understanding of these new paradigms.
The following types of submissions are particularly welcomed:
- Brief Communications that describe evaluations of either the need for, or success of, new roles.
- Case studies that describe, in depth, new or innovative roles for librarians, such as embedded librarians, e science experts, support for translational medicine, or data curation.
- Full-length research papers investigating a research question related to new roles for health sciences libraries or librarians.