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Archive for the ‘Non-NLM Resources’ Category

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

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.

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.

NIH Big Data to Knowledge Initiative Announces Funding Opportunity

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to support a U24 resource award for Development of an NIH BD2K Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium. The purpose of this FOA is to create a consortium to begin development of an NIH Data Discovery Index (DDI) to allow discovery, access, and citation of biomedical data. Letters of intent to apply are due by February 6, 2014, and completed applications are due by March 6, 2014. Budgets are limited to $2,000,000 in direct costs per year but must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The maximum project period is three years.

As part of the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, the DDI seeks to fulfill the recommendation from the Data and Informatics Working Group (DIWG) Report to the Advisory Council to the Director to “Promote Data Sharing Through Central and Federated Catalogues.” The awardee in response to this FOA will constitute a DDI Coordination Consortium (DDICC, U24) to conduct outreach, fund small pilot projects, manage communication with stakeholders, constitute and coordinate Task Forces to study relevant questions related to access, discoverability, citation for all biomedical data and assure community engagement in the development, testing, and validation of an NIH DDI. Part of this effort will be to assemble a user interface (website) through which the results of development and testing of models for an NIH DDI may be communicated.

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: