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Archive for the ‘Informatics’ Category

An Update of RxNorm Webcast

Upcoming Webcast

The next UMLS Webcast will be on September 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm ET. The topic is “An Update of RxNorm” presented by Dr. Stuart Nelson, Head of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) Section. The Webcast will cover:

  • Inclusion of National Drug Codes from RxNorm content providers First DataBank (National Drug Data File Plus) and Micromedex (RED BOOK®)
  • New term types for RxTerms functionality
  • Current Prescribable Content Subset

For information on RxNorm, see the RxNorm homepage. For information on the subset, see the Current Prescribable Content Subset homepage.

The Webcast link is It will be archived and linked from the UMLS Webcasts Web page.

From MEDLARS Management Section

Valerie Florance Talks About NLM Grants

Valerie Florance, PhD, Director of NLM’s Division of Extramural Programs, was featured in a March 9, 2011 article in NLM in Focus. Extramural Programs is the only part of NLM authorized to award grants. In 2010, NLM made 185 awards, totaling nearly $50 million in a mix of new and continuing grants. Forty-one of the new awards, totaling $37 million, were made with American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

In the interview, Dr. Florance discusses the goals of NLM’s extramural programs, the five types of NLM grants available, future directions for the field of biomedical informatics, and how librarians fit into that vision. She also addresses outcomes-based measurement of grant success.

NLM in Focus is an electronic newsletter featuring behind-the-scenes looks at the National Library of Medicine, and showcasing its programs and services, research projects, and staff talents. RSS subscriptions are available for NLM in Focus, to provide notification whenever new stories are posted. More information is available on the FAQ page.

NLM Invites Applications to Train Biomedical Informatics Researchers

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) invites applications from US educational institutions that wish to provide training for research careers in biomedical informatics. Since 1975, NLM has been the leading federal sponsor of research training in biomedical informatics.

Awards will be made for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral education in a range of informatics areas including:

  • Health care/clinical informatics: Applications of informatics principles and methods to direct patient care, such as advanced clinical decision support systems and multimedia electronic health records, to the provision of informational support to health care consumers. Special tracks might be proposed for nursing informatics, dental informatics, imaging informatics, or other appropriate clinical themes.
  • Translational bioinformatics: Applications of informatics principles and methods to support “bench to bedside to practice” translational research, such as genome-phenome relationships, pharmacogenomics, or personalized medicine. Special tracks might be proposed in health effects of environmental factors, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), or other similar areas.
  • Clinical research informatics: Applications of informatics principles and methods to support basic clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research. Special tracks might be proposed in areas such as biostatistics, in-silico trials, merging and mining large disparate data sets that mix images, text and data.
  • Public health informatics: Applications of informatics principles and methods to build integrated resources for health services research, for decision support in public health agencies, to support regional or global health research, or syndromic surveillance. Special tracks might be proposed in areas such as health literacy, information design for consumers, health effects of climate change.

Organizations funded by NLM to do this training are responsible for defining an appropriately rigorous curriculum, selecting a diverse cadre of high-quality trainees, and providing research mentoring training in the responsible conduct of research and other resources that help trainees transition to successful research careers.

For details about the solicitation including deadline, scope and levels of support available, please see the funding opportunity announcement: NLM Institutional Training Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics (T-15)

Apple’s iPad on Medical Rounds

Are you interested in how physicians might use Apple’s iPad device on rounds in the hospital? See an interesting article recounting one physician’s experience here: The article discusses privacy and security issues as well as the usability of the iPad during rounds.

EHR Meaningful Use and Standards Published

The Department of Health and Human Services has published the final version of the rules for EHR “meaningful use,” as well as EHR standards and certification criteria for electronic health records.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a summary of the meaningful use rules.

Electronic Health Record Resources

During the March 24 MLA webcast entitled “Now’s the Time: Understanding the Electronic Health Record Maze and the Health Sciences Librarians’ Role,” speaker Jan Willis recommended several websites to access information about electronic health records:

MEDLINE/PubMed Search & Electronic Health Record Information Resources

Health Information Technology and Health Data Standards at NLM

HHS Health Information Technology

In addition, you can access the Twitter page for the webcast at There you’ll find interesting comments from webcast viewers as well as many more links to valuable information about EHRs and PHRs.

EHR “Meaningful Use” Rule Resources

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the “HITECH Act,” which established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have updated a web page containing links to resources about the electronic health record “meaningful use” rule: see Links include a proposed definition, proposed requirements, and an FAQ.

Public Health Informatics Competencies

The CDC has published a document containing recommended public health informatics competencies. The purpose of competencies is to “enable public health professionals to leverage the power of modern information technology in the science and practice of public health.” See:

2009 Report on Health Information Technology Adoption

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published a new report on the rate of electronic health record adoption in hospitals. The report is entitled, “Health Information Technology in the United States: On the Cusp of Change, 2009.” The report discusses: “needed integration steps between performance measurement initiatives and HIT. Other topics covered include: adoption of electronic health records in U.S. hospitals, and specifically among hospitals that care for the poor; state roles in the advancement of HIT; and recent federal initiatives related to HIT.”

The report is available for download from

NRHA Quality and Clinical Conference handouts

Last week, I attended the National Rural Health Association Quality and Clinical Conference. The NRHA has made the handouts from the conference available at Topics include electronic health records, telemedicine, and models for rural health care.