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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Major New Versions of the REMM Web Site and Mobile REMM App Released!

New on REMM, April, 2014:

  • Key changes are noted below.
  • Many more updates and changes appear throughout REMM.
  1. Managing Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS): Interactive tool: completely redesigned, with clinical assessments, treatment suggestions, suggestion for referral venues
  2. Top 10 Items for Radiation Emergencies: new page
  3. How to Perform a Radiation Survey
  4. Target Levels for Decontamination of People
  5. Biodosimetry Bibliography: new page, improved navigation, many new references
  6. Radiation Units and Conversions: new interactive tools for unit conversions
  7. Understanding Radiation: new videos incorporated and new sections
  8. Radiological Dispersal Device: new guidance about safety and response perimeters
  9. Training and Education: new offerings from several US agencies
  10. Multimedia Library: new elements in many sections
  11. Emergency Contacts: updated for many US government agencies
  12. REMM bibliography: many new entries

New on Mobile REMM, April 2014, App Version 2.0.1:

  1. App has been completely redesigned for easier use and faster navigation
  2. Dose Estimator: faster data entry for vomiting and lymphocyte depletion kinetics tools
  3. New tools from REMM now available on Mobile REMM
    • Scarce Resources for Interactive Triage Tool for Use after IND Detonation
    • SALT triage system for radiation emergencies
  4. Updated emergency contact information
  5. Mobile platform compatibility updated
    • iPhone and Androids compatibility remains up to date.
    • Newer BlackBerry operating system, BlackBerry 10, is now supported; but older ones (BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier) are not.

The REMM Team strongly suggests updating any versions of REMM previously downloaded to computers, USB drives, or mobile devices.

NLM’s TOXNET and TOXMAP Now Include TRI 2012 Data

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) TOXNET TRI and TOXMAP now include the TRI 2012 National Analysis data, the most current final information available. The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a resource of the US EPA, is a set of publicly available databases containing information on releases of specific toxic chemicals and their management as waste, as reported annually by US industrial and federal facilities. This inventory was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986. TRI’s data, beginning with the 1987 reporting year, covers air, water, land, and underground injection releases, as well as transfers to waste sites. In agreement with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, source reduction and recycling data is also included in TRI.

21,024 facilities reported to the TRI program in 2012 as required by EPCRA, with almost 80,000 submissions. A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported is available on EPA web site. TOXMAP maps on-site TRI releases and also includes EPA Superfund data.

New DIMRC Topic Page: Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response!

A new topic page is available from the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), Influenza: Pandemic Preparedness and Response. The page focuses on flu outbreaks that exceed the predicted prevalence of seasonal flu, threaten to overwhelm medical resources, and could affect the everyday functioning of communities. The page highlights resources that health professionals and emergency planners may find useful in planning for and responding to pandemics; an important part of all-hazards planning for many institutions and government agencies. DIMRC provides topic pages on a wide range of disaster types and related topics, including a page on Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus.

Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Data Book: A Report to the Communities

Cover of Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Data BookA comprehensive health and lifestyle analysis of people from a range of Hispanic/Latino origins shows that this segment of the U.S. population is diverse, not only in ancestry, culture, and economic status; but also in the prevalence of several diseases, risk factors, and lifestyle habits. These health data are derived from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a landmark study that enrolled about 16,415 Hispanic/Latino adults living in San Diego, Chicago, Miami, and the Bronx, N.Y., who self-identified with Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or South American origins. These new findings have been compiled and published as the Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities.

The numerous findings described by the HCHS/SOL researchers confirmed some existing knowledge while also uncovering some new health trends. Among the items highlighting Hispanic diversity:

  • The percentage of people who reported having asthma ranged from 7.4 (among those of Mexican ancestry) to 35.8 (among those of Puerto Rican ancestry).
  • The percentage of individuals with hypertension ranged from 20.3 (South American) to 32.2 (Cuban).
  • The percentage of people eating five or more servings of fruits/vegetables daily ranged from 19.2 (Puerto Rican origin) to 55.0 (Cuban origin). Also, men reported consuming more fruit and vegetables than women.
  • Women reported a much lower consumption of sodium than men among all Hispanic groups represented in the study.

The full report, in English and Spanish, is available on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) has Updated Haz-Map with 481 New Agents

Screenshot of Haz-Map homepageHaz-Map now covers over 9170 chemical and biological agents and 241 occupational diseases! NLM has updated Haz-Map with 481 new agents, including 23 agents causing occupational asthma. Fifteen new hazardous job tasks linked to jobs and industries were also added in this update.

Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It currently covers over 5997 chemical and biological agents and 235 occupational diseases.

NLM to Promote infoSIDA & Latino Health Awareness on Valentine’s Day

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will be promoting the infoSIDA website through a multi-platform media outreach effort culminating in a Twitter discussion on Valentine’s Day. The outreach efforts include two radio public service announcements that will air on Spanish radio stations nationwide. In addition, Fedora Braverman and Jean-Paul Rock will serve as the main NLM Spanish spokespersons, conducting interviews on infoSIDA and other Spanish-language consumer resources from NLM. Both will be featured on Bienvenidos a América (BAA), a weekly call-in radio show focused on providing immigration resources to Latinos. BAA airs weekly on Thursdays from 11am-12pm Pacific Time and is on 111 Spanish stations nationwide.

In addition to being on the air, the NLM specific segment on BAA will be streamed live on Thursday, January 30th online at bienvenidosradio.com. Finally, the online resources of infoSIDA will be shared and discussed in a Twitter “Tweet Up” on February 14, 2014, Valentine’s Day. NLM will be inviting all Latino-serving institutions, health and AIDS service organizations to participate and share resources for how to continue to keep loved ones healthy. Valentine’s Day is the holiday where we remind loved ones of how much we care about them and their well-being. This holiday serves as the perfect backdrop to raise awareness about health issues affecting our loved ones and the resources that are available to learn more about prevention and treatment. Twitter users are invited to follow or join the conversation by using the hash tag #infoSIDA2014.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22% of the diagnoses of HIV infection among adults and adolescents in the United States and six dependent areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands) from 2008 to 2011 were in Hispanics/Latinos. The rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is almost three times that of white men (39.9 vs. 15.9 per 100,000), and the rate among Latinas is more than four times that of white women (11.8 vs. 2.6 per 100,000). Statistics like these and a need to reach vulnerable populations were a driving force in NLM recognizing the need to speak directly to Latinos on the issue of HIV/AIDS, in a culturally relevant manner.

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

Continuing Education Course Materials for MLA Disaster Information Specialization Available from NLM!

MLA Disaster Information Specialization Program logoDisaster health information courses and supporting materials are now available from the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) at the National Library of Medicine. The courses are open to anyone at no cost and are approved for Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education credit. Completion of a series of courses may be used toward the MLA Disaster Information Specialization certificate. The application fee is $55 for MLA members and $75 for non-members. To earn the Basic certificate, students complete the following required 15 hours of courses:

An additional 12 hours of courses can be used toward the Advanced level certificate:

Course materials may be used and adapted by anyone giving presentations or classes on this content. When using or adapting materials, please give credit to the original course authors and NLM. DIMRC would like to hear about the use of these course materials and what they can offer (improve) that would make it easier to teach this material. If you are interested in being an online or classroom instructor for one or more of these courses, please send your name, title, organization, city, and state/country to Katie Chan.

Many thanks to MLA for coordinating the initial development of courses and for hosting the course materials and registration on their web site (with funding from NLM)!

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.

WISER for Windows 4.5 Now Available!

The National Library of Medicine’s WISER for Windows 4.5 is now available. This new version of WISER fully integrates Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) content and updates the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) content to 2012.

Here’s a closer look at what’s new in this release:

  • Full integration of CHEMM content, which includes:
    • New hospital provider and preparedness planner profiles, along with a customized home screen for all WISER profiles
    • Acute care guidelines for six known mass casualty agents/agent classes
    • The addition of a wealth of CHEMM reference material
    • CHEMM Intelligent Syndromes Tool (CHEMM-IST), a new Help Identify tool designed to diagnose the type of chemical exposure after a mass casualty incident
  • ERG content is now updated to the 2012 release. This includes the full ERG 2012 tool.

WISER for Windows 4.5 can be downloaded directly from the WISER website.

Coming Soon

Look for these exciting additions in the coming months:

  • WebWISER 4.5, which includes CHEMM integration, ERG 2012 updates, and more
  • WISER for Android 3.1, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform