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Archive for the ‘@ the RML’ Category

Excela Health: Going to the Dogs: Pet Therapy

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Like this story? Vote for it in our Medical Librarian Month contest! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/votemedlibmonth

Submitted by: Marilyn L. Daniels, Manager|Library Services, Coordinator|Pet Therapy, Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, Latrobe, PA

In November 2014, as an adjunct to my role as manager of Library Services for Excela Health, a three-hospital health system located in Westmoreland County in western PA, I assumed responsibility for Excela’s pet therapy services. As an animal lover from an early age but a one-person department, I was thrilled yet daunted by this new role for a service initiated through Volunteer Services as part of Excela’s approach to the patient experience.

Thinking this was the time for some old-fashioned technology, I started making phone calls, learning Excela had five active pet therapy volunteers with five dogs—a Brussels griffon, a German short-haired pointer, two Shetland sheepdogs (”Shelties”), and a West Highland terrier (”Westie”). From my past experience, I have learned that repeat volunteers are motivated by several factors—factors reinforced, in part, by a 2014 survey I located on “The Able Altruist” website reported by Janna Finch (http://able-altruist.softwareadvice.com/what-motivates-people-to-become-repeat-volunteers-0614/. The three I expected would most likely play a key role for pet therapy volunteers were:

  1. schedule that suits the volunteer’s availability
  2. proof that the volunteer’s work is valuable and valued
  3. interaction with the department/service staff and with other volunteers

For those reasons, I spent the first two months getting to know my existing volunteers and their dogs. I determined what was and was not working for each volunteer, made necessary adjustments and rounded with each team to see first-hand the impact their interactions with patients, visitors and staff were having.

The librarian in me proved useful when I reviewed the existing policy, locating a 2008 article (since updated in March 2015) from the American Journal of Infection Control titled “Guidelines for animal-assisted interventions in health care facilities” as well as other information that I could use for comparison. Needless to say, as one with no previous pet therapy experience, I learned a lot!!!

By early 2015, I was ready to start expanding the program by contacting several local training facilities that provided pet therapy training/testing, inviting those with registered therapy dogs to contact me. As they did, I asked each to complete the:

  1. application all Excela volunteers are required to complete
  2. application I developed (and have since revised) which documents Excela’s health requirements for each dog and the organization through which each dog is registered as a therapy dog

Once the applications were returned, a representative for Volunteer Services obtained the screening, mandatory education, clearances and other documentation requisites needed by all Excela volunteers. These include Excela ID badges for the volunteers and their dogs, which often amuse those encountering the dogs once they begin their assignments.

When the volunteer process was completed, I met one-on-one with these new recruits and their canine(s). I determined one or more assigned locations based on their hospital preferences, and I rounded with each team for at least their first two visits. During those rounds, I was able to introduce them to the staff on their assigned area(s), alert them to signs and other particulars of those areas that will impact their visits, and observe them in action with their dogs in order to ensure a good “fit.” At other times, I made myself available for questions and concerns, assuring that the volunteers felt connected—to me and to Excela.

Additionally, I have started to receive special requests for patients in rooms not being covered on a given day or on floors not currently included in the rounds. Frequently these requests come from family members who have seen the dogs in one of the facilities. Recognizing how their own pets brighten their days, the pet therapy volunteers have been very cooperative and together with the nursing staff and the families, I have been able accommodate these requests. In fact, I am in the process of developing a policy and procedure to expedite this practice.

For February 23, 2015, which was International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, I designed a “thank you” post card and mailed it along with treats to each dog. On Monday, April 27, two of our long-standing volunteers and I taped a half-hour radio interview on pet therapy for a local radio station, WCNS, for their “Animal Talk with Tegan” segment. It aired that Saturday. On June 26, I hosted a “meet and greet” event at Rizzo’s Malabar Inn, Crabtree, PA, to provide my administrators and me with an opportunity to formally thank the pet therapy volunteers and give them a chance to meet each other and exchange stories. Although not in attendance, each dog was featured in a photo display I created so that the canine component was not overlooked at the event. Throughout the year, I also recognized each of the dogs and their humans with a birthday card for their special days.

Since July 1, each new volunteer has been completing a “Behavioral Survey,” which I developed as part of the application process for each new dog. Since therapy dogs are not required to retest annually, this survey helps me to determine if the dog is suitable for the health care setting from a social standpoint, regardless of when it was first registered.

In September, I fashioned a display for both the system quarterly leadership meeting and the physician social, where key stakeholders had a chance to see the progress of the service and interact with some of our volunteers and their dogs. In fact, at the leadership meeting, the dogs’ pictures were taken wearing pink sunglasses for a newly-released video that the health system made highlighting 3-D mammography, a new system service. The handout I developed and distributed at these events can now be used when one of the teams visits the Nurse Residency Program three times per year or when other opportunities arise to showcase the service.

As I approach my one-year anniversary coordinating Excela’s pet therapy services, more is in the works—a logo for Excela’s pet therapy services, a “Therapy Dog of the Month” program, “greeters” for CME/CE programs, collaboration with system hospice services and more. I can now understand why any article on pet therapy touts these factors as temporary benefits of a pet therapy visit for patients:

  • relieves stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue
  • lowers blood pressure
  • raises mood
  • reduces the perception of pain

I realize why families and other visitors respond so positively, knowing the temporary reprieve visits provide from the stress of loved ones’ hospitalizations. Still, as an employee myself, I have been most delighted to see the impact these teams have had on staff morale, too. When I walk down the hall with a team and hear staff acknowledging dogs by their names, indicating a fondness for these visits, it reinforces that pet therapy is a service that benefits everyone.

Having worked at Excela for more than 29 years, I have been involved in the start-up and/or restructuring of numerous programs and services but strictly from the standpoint of a medical librarian. Researching the validity or viability of a program under consideration or determining how other organizations are operating a service is an expected part of my daily role, which is gratifying. Still the literature I locate or the data I discover is handed off to others to review and incorporate into the project at hand. In this case, I have also been able to use the information I have uncovered, bringing an added dimension to my library role and enhancing my level of satisfaction for the research process.

Finally, I am pleased that the number of volunteers has increased to more than 15 and the number of active dogs is hovering around 20 with applications pending. The program now reaches into far more departments/units and waiting areas than it did a year ago, and it includes dogs as small as a 4-lb. Yorkie and as large as a 115-lb. Old English sheepdog. Yes, Library Services has “gone to the dogs”—Amelia, Bear, Bella, Booker, Canon, Dougie, Heidi, Higgins, Kane, Kasey, Kassidy, Kaylan, Kyle, Narco, Odie, Razz, Rosie, Roxanna, Riley, “little” Rusty, “big” Rusty, Stix, Stone, Tucker and Willow.   That’s a good thing—a doggone good thing!

dogs in pink sunglasses

Some of Excela’s therapy dogs

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO NOV 13 FOR HSLANJ FALL 2015 GROUP LICENSING OFFER

Friday, October 30th, 2015

PRINCETON, NJ (October 29, 2015)—More than 750 electronic resources from 15 vendors are available to all medical librarians in the Middle Atlantic Region (MAR) and Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) through the Fall 2015 Offer curated by the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) Group Licensing Initiative (GLI), and now the deadline to participate is extended from October 30 to November 13.

“There is still time for medical librarians to prepare an order,” explains HSLANJ Executive Director Robert T. Mackes. “I encourage anyone with questions to contact me—I am happy to work with them to see if the GLI can enhance their collections and save them money.”

Two factors allow participants to realize a costs savings of 15-70% off resources’ regular pricing—negotiations by the HSLANJ GLI, and the leveraging of group purchasing power since more than 120 medical and hospital librarians regularly participate. To receive a copy of the Fall Offer, please contact Robert T. Mackes (570-856-5952 or rtmackes@gmail.com). For more information, see hslanj.org.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MAR and SE/A, fully recognize and endorse the HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative as the lead organization capable of assisting libraries in their efforts to utilize multi-dimensional electronic resources. The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative is known as the first consortium of its kind in the nation.

The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative is funded in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00003-C with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. This project is also funded in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.

The SHARE Approach – Putting shared decision making into practice (Boost Box)

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Join us at this exciting presentation! Participants receive 1 MLA CE

Presenters: Kevin Progar, Project Manager, Regional Health Literacy Coalition. Kevin is an experienced facilitator, health literacy advocate, and certified by AHRQ as a SHARE Approach Master Trainer.

Description:

Shared Decision Making (SDM) occurs when a health care provider and a patient work together to make a health care decision that is best for the patient. Research shows that SDM has measurable impacts on cost, quality, and outcomes. This presentation will highlight Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s SHARE Approach, which is a free to use evidence-based model for implementing shared decision making.

Date / Time: November 10th /Noon – 1 pm (ET)

Where:   https://webmeeting.nih.gov/boost2/

Online / No Registration Required

750+ RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO LIBRARIANS IN FALL 2015 GROUP LICENSING OFFER

Friday, September 25th, 2015

More than 750 electronic resources from 15 vendors are available to all medical librarians in the Middle Atlantic Region (MAR) and Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) through the Fall 2015 Offer curated by the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) Group Licensing Initiative (GLI). Two factors allow participants to realize a costs savings of 15-70% off resources’ regular pricing—negotiations by the HSLANJ GLI, and the leveraging of group purchasing power since more than 120 medical and hospital librarians regularly participate.

To receive a copy of the Fall Offer, please contact Robert T. Mackes (570-856-5952 or rtmackes@gmail.com).

Group Licensing is a creative solution to the escalating cost of high-quality electronic resources—medical journals, books and databases. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MAR and SE/A, fully recognize and endorse the HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative as the lead organization capable of assisting libraries in their efforts to utilize multi-dimensional electronic resources. The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative is known as the first consortium of its kind in the nation.

Managed by medical librarian and HSLANJ Executive Director Robert Mackes, MLS, AHIP, the GLI is guided by a committee comprised of librarians from different-sized health facilities in the regions served. Contact Robert about scheduling a meeting or presentation about the GLI, at your next chapter, state organization or local consortium meeting.

The deadline to participate in the Spring Offer is Friday, October 30. Check the nonprofit organization’s website, hslanj.org, for more information and FAQs about the GLI.

The HSLANJ Group Licensing Initiative is funded in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00003-C with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. This project is also funded in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Medical Librarians – Tell Your Story for a Chance to Win a $1500 Professional Development Award

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

In preparation to celebrate National Medical Librarians Month we are asking you to send us your stories highlighting any programs, partnerships, or accomplishments you would like to share with your colleagues.  (Please include photos or graphics.) Submissions may include, but are not limited to the following:

Did you:

  • develop a creative way to teach research skills to healthcare professionals?
  • develop a relationship or reach out to a stakeholder, community group or organization that may be unique to what you have done in the past?
  • participate in or develop a program or project that you are proud of and would like to share with your colleagues?
  • receive an award or special recognition for the work you do?
  • develop or participate in an unique service or program for a particular patient population (examples: cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients, AIDS patients, support group, pet therapy, art therapy etc.)
  • support your organization in their journey to Magnet status?

This is your opportunity to share all that you do and to inspire others! We will post your stories on the MARquee News Blog throughout the month of October.

This year the winning submission will be chosen by you. We will be asking all of you to vote for your favorite entry.  Voting instructions will be posted after the submission deadline, October 23.

The winner will be eligible to receive a professional development award of $1500 that may be used for any conference or class that will further his/her professional development or nurture their interest in the field.

Submission guidelines:

  • Deadline for submissions: October 23
  • Send to: nnlmmar@pitt.edu now through October 23
  • Stories should reflect anything done within the last year (Oct. 2014-Oct. 2015)
  • Word count: whatever you need
  • Multiple entries may be received from the same library or library system, but they will be voted on as separate entries. It will be up to the winning library to determine who will receive the award.
  • We reserve the right to edit submissions but we will not change content.

Stay connected & watch for your story to be featured!

Work for MAR! Position Announcement: Academic Coordinator

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) invites applications for the position of Academic Coordinator for the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM MAR).   The Academic Coordinator has primary responsibility for designing and evaluating outreach and education programs aimed at academic institutions, with a special focus on community colleges, research universities and colleges/universities with programs in the health sciences, health and science education, library science, emergency management, and environmental health.  We are looking for an energetic, creative, innovative, and service-oriented individual interested in being part of a collaborative team that works together to improve access to and sharing of biomedical and health information resources, with an emphasis on resources produced by the National Library of Medicine.

A complete position announcement including job responsibilities, qualifications, salary/benefits and where to apply may be viewed at: http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/about/positions/

Feel free to share widely with applicable candidates.

Focus on NLM Resources: PhPartners.org

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Presenter: Hathy Simpson, Public Health Information Specialist, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region

Date / Time:  August 17, 2015 / Noon – 1 pm (ET)

Where https://webmeeting.nih.gov/nlmfocus/

Online / No Registration Required

Description: 

Ms. Simpson will provide an overview of public health information resources available from the public health web portal, PHPartners.org, including the Healthy People 2020 Structured Evidence Queries (pre-formulated searches of PubMed). PHPartners.org provides access to selected online public health resources from government agencies, health science libraries, and professional and research organizations.

Awardee Project Reports (Lunch with the RML)

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Join us on July 30 to learn about these exciting MAR-funded projects!

Project: Emerging Roles for Historical Medical Libraries: Value in the Digital Age
Awardee: Michelle DiMeo, formerly from Philadelphia College of Physicians and now at the Chemical Heritage Foundation
Description: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia held a conference titled Emerging Roles for Historical Medical Libraries: Value in the Digital Age as part of its 225th anniversary celebration. This conference helped to identify the emerging roles for medical history libraries and librarians in the digital age and helped them to strengthen their involvement within their institutions and the greater community.

Project: Archival Images Digitization: Telling the Penn State Hershey Story
Awardee: David Brennan: George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library, Pennsylvania State University, Penn State College of Medicine
Description: This project digitized and made accessible the collection of visual media held by the George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library. The collection consists of approximately 3,200 35mm slides and negatives and 2,900 photographic images, covering subject areas related to the history of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State College of Medicine since their inception. These collections are frequently used in support of public relations and historical documentation efforts by various units of the Medical Center, the College and Penn State University, most recently for the 40th anniversary documentary Memories and Milestones. The project applied appropriate metadata to the image collection and made a resulting repository available on the University’s ContentDM platform for use by researchers and others.

Project: Bridging the Gap II: Outreach to Improve Public Awareness and Access to Health Information
Awardee: Ophelia Morey, University at Buffalo, Health Sciences Library
Description: This project informed the target population about health information available from the partnership between the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) and the University at Buffalo Health Sciences Library (UB HSL), including increasing awareness about resources and services of the National Library of Medicine. Because of the lack of consumer health information programming at most B&ECPL locations this project targeted primarily B&ECPL adult library patrons including seniors who visit urban, suburban and rural library locations, in addition to health-related professionals who may serve these areas.

Date / Time:  July 30th / Noon – 1 pm (ET)

Where:   https://webmeeting.nih.gov/lunch2/

Online / No Registration Required

Who, What When & Where Teach-Back and Health Literacy (Boost Box)

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Presenters: Bonnie Anton, MN, RN, Project Manager, eRecord/Patient Educator, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)—St. Margaret Hospital, and  Michelle Burda, MLS  NN/LM MAR  Network & Advocacy Coordinator

Description: Want to know what Teach-back is and its use in health literacy?  Who should use this technique?  When & where it is appropriate to use?  then you will want to attend this informative session with Bonnie Anton, MN, RN, Project manager e record/patient educator. Bonnie has presented and published nationally and internationally on health literacy, social media, and implementing electronic order sets to decrease length of stay and consumer informatics.

Michelle Burda, MLS will conclude the session with Teach-back resources for continuing your education on this topic.

Date / Time: July 14 th /Noon – 1 pm (ET)

Where:   https://webmeeting.nih.gov/boost2/

Online / No Registration Required

Awardee Project Reports (Lunch with the RML)

Friday, May 29th, 2015

An Assessment of Health Information Needs of Critical Access Hospitals in Pennsylvania and New York

Presenter:  Madhu Reddy, The Pennsylvania State University, College of Information Sciences and Technology

The primary goals of the project were to identify the health information technology (HIT) and health information needs of critical access hospitals (CAHs) and to identify challenges that CAHs face in implementing and maintaining their HIT to support their information needs.

Waiting Room Education

Presenter:  Kristine Voos, CHES, Public Health Educator, Genesee County Health Department

The Genesee County Health Department (DOH) empowers its patients with education, by promoting and providing access to reliable health information via computer tablets and other supportive technology, such as a printer, during their time spent in the clinic waiting room.

iPad Technology:  Targeted Evolution of Embedded Librarian Services

Presenter:  Deborah Chiarella, Coordinator – Education Services/Senior Assistant Librarian, University at Buffalo Health Sciences Library

University at Buffalo Health Sciences Librarians experimented with embedded librarianship using mobile technology through the use of iPads to answer point-of-need reference and clinical queries. In doing so the goal was that spontaneous instruction sessions would occur outside of the physical confines of the University at Buffalo Health Sciences Library (UBHSL) creating more opportunities to reach both students and faculty, support bibliographic instruction endeavors and introduce constituents to both library databases and NN/LM tools and resources.

Date / Time:  June 25th / Noon – 1 pm (ET)

Where:   https://webmeeting.nih.gov/lunch2/

Online / No Registration Required