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Archive for the ‘Non-NLM Resources’ Category

NLM and Wellcome Library Establish Agreement to Make 150 Years of Biomedical Journals Freely Available Online!

Representatives of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Wellcome Trust recently signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to make thousands of complete back issues of historically-significant biomedical journals freely available online. The terms of the MOU include a donation of £750,000 ($1.2 million) to the NLM that will support coordination of the three-year project to scan original materials from NLM’s collection at the article level, and Wellcome’s work to secure copyright clearances and permissions for electronic deposit from publishers. NLM will undertake conservation of the original material to ensure its preservation for future generations. Key journals charting the development of modern medicine over the last 150 years will be digitized in their entirety and made available on the National Institutes of Health life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC) and its European counterpart, Europe PMC. The project builds on the Medical Journal Backfiles Digitization Project (2004-2010) and will contribute substantially to the current PMC archive of over 3 million articles from medical journals.

Part of the project will concentrate on mental health journals, supporting a major archive digitization program also being undertaken by the Wellcome Trust. Journals to be digitized include Mental Health, Mental Hygiene, and the Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology. Other journals have been selected for their general relevance, such as the Indian Medical Gazette, the British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review and the Transactions of the Epidemiology Society of London. In addition to images and searchable text, NLM will also create article-level citations for PubMed. Digitization is expected to start in late 2014 and to be completed by 2017. Material will be added to PMC and Europe PMC as it is digitized.

The Wellcome Library is one of the world’s leading libraries of medical history, housing 2.5 million items of extraordinary range and diversity, and a growing collection of contemporary biomedical information resources relating to consumer health, popular science, biomedical ethics and the public understanding of science. The Wellcome Library is part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

New SurveyMonkey Mobile App Available!

SurveyMonkey recently launched a mobile app for the iPad and iPhone, providing the ability to create, send, and monitor surveys from a phone or tablet device. The app is free, although you need a SurveyMonkey account to use it. With the new app, there’s no longer a need to rely on a computer to design and manage surveys. The app also allows convenient viewing of data from any location with Internet access. Another notable benefit is that the analytic reports are optimized for mobile devices and are easy to read on small screens. Although there is not yet an Android app, all SurveyMonkey pages and surveys are optimized for any mobile device, so surveys are easy to take regardless of the operating system used.

NLM Value Set Authority Center Publishes Annual Update for 2014

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), has published the annual update for the 2014 Eligible Hospital Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Value Sets. The update includes revised value sets to address deleted and remapped codes in the latest terminology versions, as well as new codes for addressing CQM logic corrections and clarifications. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates these electronic reporting specifications annually to ensure that the specifications align with current clinical guidelines and terminologies, and that they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released 2014 CQM Value Sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the Value Set Authority Center requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria. The NLM update of the VSAC coincides with the CMS posting of the official updated 2014 Eligible Hospital Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs).

The following additional resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 CQMs:

Maximizing Questionnaire Response Rates

The American Medical Association has specific recommendations for its authors about questionnaire response rates included in the JAMA Instructions for Authors. One of the guidelines is that survey studies should have sufficient response rates (generally at least 60%) and appropriate characterization of nonresponders to ensure that nonresponse bias does not threaten the validity of the findings. However, response rates to questionnaires have been declining over the past 20 years, as reported by the Pew Research Center in The Problem of Declining Response Rates. Fortunately, suggestions about increasing questionnaire response rates are available in two recent AEA365 blog posts that are open access:

Additional useful advice, such as making questionnaires short, personalizing your mailings, and sending full reminder packs to nonrespondents, is included in this open access article: Sahlqvist S, et al., “Effect of questionnaire length, personalisation and reminder type on response rate to a complex postal survey: randomised controlled trial.” BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011, 11:62.

Free Images for Evaluation Reports!

The current trend in evaluation reporting is toward fewer words and more images. There are a number of companies that offer high-quality, royalty free photographs at minimal cost. Stockfresh, for example, charges as little as $1 per image. However, no-cost is even better than low-cost. Freelancers Union, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting freelance workers, recently published a list of the best websites for no-cost images. If you are looking for free images for your presentations or reports, check out their article, which also describes the difference between public domain, royalty-free and Creative Commons-licensed images.

Exhibit evaluations with QuickTapSurvey

Exhibiting is a popular strategy for health information resource promotion, but exhibits can be challenging events to evaluate. Survey platforms for tablets and mobile phones can make it a little easier to collect feedback at exhibit booths. The NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) has explored QuickTapSurvey, which seems well-suited to getting point-of-contact responses from booth visitors. The application allows creation of short, touch-screen questionnaires on Apple or Android tablets. You simply hand the tablet to visitors for their quick replies. The same questionnaire can be put on multiple tablets, so you and your colleagues can collect responses simultaneously during an exhibit.

When you have an Internet connection, responses are automatically uploaded into your online QuickTapSurvey account. When no connection is available, data are stored on the tablet and uploaded later. You can use QuickTapSurvey’s analytics to summarize responses with statistics and graphs, and can also download the data into a spreadsheet to analyze in Excel. QuickTapSurvey is a commercial product, but there is a limited free version. The application is fairly user friendly, but it may be worthwhile to experiment with it before taking it on the road. Further information about QuickTapSurvey, including the different pricing options, is available on the web site.

A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators: The American Evaluation Association (AEA) 365 Blog!

Do you want to know more about great assessment resources, tools, and lessons learned from others with an interest in evaluation? Check out the American Evaluation Association (AEA) 365 blog, where anyone (not only AEA members) can subscribe via email or really simple syndication (RSS) feed. The established blog guidelines place a cap on contributions with a maximum of 450 words per entry. You will know at a glance what the subject is (Hot Tips, Cool Tricks, Rad Resources, or Lessons Learned) from the headers used within the entries, and all assumptions of prior knowledge and experience with evaluation and organizations are avoided, with clarification of all acronyms and no jargon allowed.

A handy tip is to scroll down the right sidebar of the website to locate subjects arranged by the AEA Topical Interest Groups (TIGs). Some of these that are likely to be of interest to National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) members are Data Visualization and Reporting, Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations, Health Evaluation, Integrating Technology into Evaluation, and Nonprofits and Foundations Evaluation. Examples of recent items of potential interest include Conducting a Health Needs Assessment of People With Disabilities, with shared lessons learned from the needs assessment work done in Massachusetts, and the “rad resource” of Disability and Health Data System (DHDS), with state-level disability health data available from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

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.

Evaluation Terminology: Free Resources

Kylie Hutchinson is a Credentialied Evaluator and consultant to non-profit organizations, specializing in the areas of program planning and evaluation. She regularly presents webinars for Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation about topics such as the vast and often jargony world of evaluation terminology. As part of Hutchison’s research, she has consulted online evaluation glossaries, such as the OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management and the US Environmental Protection Agency  Program Evaluation Glossary, and counted thirty six different definitions of evaluation methods within them. What accounts for so much variation? Common reasons include the perspectives and language used by different sectors and funders such as education, government, and non-profit organizations.

A helpful tip when working with organizations on evaluation projects is to ask to see copies of documents such as annual reports, mission and vision statements, strategic planning, and promotional materials, to learn more about the language they use to communicate about themselves. This will assist you in knowing if modifications in assessment terminology language are needed, and can help guide discussions on clarifying the organization’s purpose of the evaluation.

Hutchinson identified several common themes within the plethora of evaluation methods and created color-coded clusters of them within her Evaluation Terminology Map, which uses the bubbl.us online mind mapping program. She also created a freely available Evaluation Glossary app for use on both iPhone and Android mobile devices and has a web-based version under development. For additional resources to better understand health information outreach evaluation, be sure to visit the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) Tools and Resources for Evaluation LibGuide.

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