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NIH Body Weight Planner Added to USDA SuperTracker Food and Activity Tool

Body Weight Planner screen shotThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institutes of Health have partnered to add the NIH Body Weight Planner to USDA’s SuperTracker online tool as a goal-setting resource to help people achieve and stay at a healthy weight. Created in 2011, the SuperTracker tool empowers people to build a healthier diet, manage weight, and reduce risk of chronic disease. Users can determine what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities, and weight; and personalize with goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling. With science-based technology drawing on years of research, the Body Weight Planner will enable SuperTracker’s more than 5.5 million registered users to tailor their plans to reach a goal weight during a specific timeframe, and maintain that weight afterward.

The math model behind the Body Weight Planner, an online tool published by NIH in 2011, was created to accurately forecast how body weight changes when people alter their diet and exercise habits. This capability was validated using data from multiple controlled studies in people. More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent complications related to overweight and obesity such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

ChemIDplus Enhanced

ChemIDplus Formaldehyde entryThe National Library of Medicine (NLM) ChemIDplus Lite and ChemIDplus Advanced interfaces have been enhanced.

  • Valid chemical names and CAS RN completions are displayed as the user types into the search box. If no data is found, suggestions are provided.
  • The ChemIDplus Registry Number field now includes the FDA UNII code.
  • The InChIKey is now directly searchable. It can be used for the interchange of structural data and as input for search engines such as Google.
  • The ChemIDplus Formula field now accepts molecular formulas with spaces between elements and their counts and without the hyphens previously required.

Examples of these new features can be seen at the ChemIDplus Help pages.

ChemIDplus is a free, web search system that provides access to the structure and nomenclature authority files used for the identification of chemical substances cited in NLM databases, including the TOXNET system. ChemIDplus also has structure searching and direct links to resources at NLM, federal agencies, U.S states, and scientific sites. The database contains more than 400,000 chemical records, of which over 300,000 include chemical structures.

Redesigned Health IT Page and New RSS Feed

NLM has announced the newly redesigned Health IT page. It showcases the useful products and tooling that NLM offers in the domain of clinical vocabulary standards and information exchange. It includes links for implementation resources, training opportunities, and research resources. The updated page has a Health IT News section with current news items. You also may subscribe to the new Health IT RSS feed to receive the news updates.

DOCLINE Quarterly Statistical Reports Now Available!

NLM has released the following DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports for April-June 2015:

  • Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-1A, 1-11A, 1-1AT)
  • Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-1B)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-2A, 1-22A)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-2B)
  • Resource Library Quarterly Report – Fill Rate (Report 2-14)
  • Loansome Doc Detailed Lender Statistics (Report 5-1A)
  • Loansome Doc Throughput Report (Report 5-1B)

Please note: Reports 1-11A, 1-1AT, and 1-22A are only distributed to libraries that have entered requests in DOCLINE for other libraries. Report 2-14 is only distributed to resource libraries. NLM will release the DOCLINE yearly statistical reports 1-8A and 1-8C for July 2014 – June 2015 at a later date.

DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports are available by going to Requests, then Reports in the DOCLINE menu. Instructions for downloading and printing reports may be found in the “Request Reports” section of the online manual (click the Help link at the top of the DOCLINE screen) or in the Reports section of DOCLINE’s FAQ page.

Metrics that Matter for Population Health Action: A Workshop

The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Population Health Improvement will be hosting a workshop, Metrics that Matter for Population Health Action, on July 30, 2015, at the Oakland Conference Center of the California Endowment in Oakland, CA. This workshop will:

  • highlight existing and emerging population health metrics sets and explore their purposes, areas of overlap and gaps
  • highlight population health metrics with attention to equity/disparities
  • discuss characteristics of metrics necessary for stakeholder action (across multiple sectors whose engagement is needed to transform the conditions for health in communities)
  • highlight population health metrics useful to addressing health beyond health care and engaging “total population health” (again, across multiple sectors)

The workshop is open to the public and will also be webcast live on the Institute of Medicine website. Register for the workshop and/or webcast, and follow the conversation on Twitter: #pophealthRT.

NLM Digitizes Unique Early English Books, Allowing Free Online Access

Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (London: Printed for John Garway, 1660).The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces the release through its Digital Collections of nearly 200 items uniquely held by the NLM and printed in the English-speaking world from 1552 to 1800. NLM’s participation in the English Short Title Catalog (ESTC) helped staff identify the uniqueness of these items. The ESTC is a union catalog managed by the British Library which lists books, pamphlets, and other ephemeral material printed in English-speaking countries from 1473 to 1800, containing over 480,000 items reported by over 2,000 libraries from around the world, including the NLM, British Library, Folger Shakespeare Library, and Library of Congress. The NLM holds over 9,000 ESTC items, the most for any medical library in the world.

The NLM’s new digital collection of unique English short titles includes:

As with all printed material added to NLM’s Digital Collections, these items will be included in the Internet Archive generally, and as part of the Medical Heritage Library, an international collaboration which the NLM has supported since 2010 to provide free access to historical medical literature.

The NLM’s Digital Collections currently encompass over 14,000 items spanning eight centuries and including monographs, serials, videos, and ephemeral literature. It complements PubMed Central® (PMC), NLM’s free, full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, now including 3.5 million articles spanning the early nineteenth-century to the present day. Additionally, as part of its ongoing initiative to make its historical collections widely known and available, the NLM also announces a three-year cooperation with the University of St. Andrews to identify and preserve the rarest European materials in the NLM’s historical collections. The University of St. Andrews hosts the Universal Short Title Catalog (USTC), funded by the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation. The USTC is a unique collective database which seeks to include all books published in Europe between the invention of printing and the end of the sixteenth century.

ALA’s Reference & User Services Association Approves New Health and Medical Reference Guidelines!

The latest version of Health and Medical Reference Guidelines, developed by the Reference Services Section’s (RSS) Health & Medical Reference Committee of ALA’s Reference & User Services Association (RUSA), was approved by the RUSA Board at the ALA annual conference in June, 2015. These guidelines are for all information services staff, regardless of questions or library type. Health and Medical Reference refers to questions that pertain to any aspect of health, medicine, or biomedicine, including but not limited to consumer health, patient health, public health, environmental health, complementary and alternative medicine, biomedical research, and clinical medicine.

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist staff in responding to health or medical inquiries. For staff who rarely answer medical questions, the Guidelines are intended to assist staff to be prepared and feel confident that they are providing the best possible response. For staff who regularly answer medical questions, the Guidelines are intended to ensure that reference skills are well-rounded.

Designing Questionnaires for the Mobile Age

How does your web survey look on a handheld device? The Pew Research Center reported that 27% of respondents to one of its recent surveys answered using a smartphone, and another 8% used a tablet. That means over one-third of participants used handheld devices to answer the questionnaire. The lesson learned is unless you are absolutely sure your respondents will be using a computer, you need to design surveys with mobile devices in mind. As a public opinion polling organization, the Pew Center knows effective practices in survey research. It offers advice on developing questionnaires for handhelds in its article Tips for Creating Web Surveys for Completion on a Mobile Device. The top suggestion is to be sure your survey software is optimized for smartphones and tablets. SurveyMonkey fits this criterion, as do many other popular Web survey applications.

Software alone will not automatically create surveys that are usable on handheld devices. It is also important to follow effective design principles, such as keeping it simple and using short question formats. Avoid matrix-style questions. Keep the length of your survey short. And don’t get fancy with questionnaires which include logos and icons, which take longer to load on smart devices. It is also advisable to pilot test questionnaires on computers, smartphones, and tablets, to be sure to offer a smooth user experience to all of your respondents.

HHS Education and Training Resources on Multiple Chronic Conditions for the Health Care Workforce

New training material to help provide health care professionals with education necessary to care for people living with multiple chronic conditions was launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS Education and Training Resources on Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC) for the Healthcare Workforce materials –a first of their kind– were created by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Through these new resources, HHS seeks to bolster interprofessional education and training materials for health professions students, faculty, practitioners, direct care workers, and patients and their families that address the care of persons with multiple chronic conditions. In addition, health professions education focuses on caring for patients with a single disease rather than those with multiple chronic conditions.

The resources are available online and include:

FEMA Launches New Data Visualization Tool

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a new data visualization tool that enables users to see when and where disaster declarations have occurred across the country. The data visualization tool allows users to view and interact with a wide array of FEMA data. Through an interactive platform, users can view the history of disaster declarations by hazard type or year and the financial support provided to states, tribes and territories, and access public datasets for further research and analysis. On the site, you can see compelling visual representations of federal grant data as it relates to fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance and public assistance.