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Archive for January, 2013

iPadxtravaganza: The Great PNR iPad Collaborative Learning Project

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The iPad, a tablet computer produced by Apple, in the few years since its introduction to the market in 2010 has become not only an incredibly popular device generally, but has also become established within the medical community.  Providers use iPads for charting, to share information with patients and medical librarians use iPads while rounding with teams to perform literature searches.  With this information in mind (not to mention the utility of carrying an iPad to conferences and meetings!) the NN/LM PNR would like to provide a cohort of network members with iPads to integrate the device into their professional work and explore this technology together. (more…)

The Research Lifecycle: Partnering for Success forum

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Research Lifecycle: Partnering for Success

What do information and data specialists need to know about research and tools for data management? What can researchers gain from working with librarians? What can we all gain from a better understanding of tools and technologies for data-intensive research?

To explore these questions, the NN/LM PNR is pleased to co-sponsor a live, interactive forum, The Research Lifecycle: Partnering for Success, on Friday, March 15, 2013 from 8:30am – 1:30pm Pacific Time. This forum will be conducted jointly via videoconference to link presenters and participants located in Seattle, Portland, and Salt Lake City.

Please visit our forum website for site registration links and further details. NN/LM PNR Network members (what does this mean?) are encouraged to apply for Professional Development Awards for travel to the Seattle or Portland site locations. Please contact Nikki Dettmar, Education and Assessment Coordinator at snydern @ for questions and we look forward to welcoming you there!

Funding Opportunity: Partnering to Prevent Diagnostic Error Webcast

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Medical Library Association e-learning logo

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region (NN/LM PNR) is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for sites around the region to host the upcoming Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education webcast Partnering to Prevent Diagnostic Error: Librarians on the Inside Track on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 from 11 am -12:30 pm Pacific time.

NN/LM PNR will pay MLA webcast registration fees for up to 4 selected sites that agree to promote and host the webcast for colleagues in their area.

Please contact Nikki Dettmar, Education and Assessment Coordinator, at by February 15, 2013 if you are a Pacific Northwest Region Network Member (what does that mean?) interested in hosting the webcast for your institution and your local colleagues. Include a brief description of how you will promote the event in your area, estimated attendance, and confirm that your location can meet the technical requirements of Internet access, a computer with Windows Media Player, and a room to host the webcast.

Site participants will be selected based on geographic location, accessibility, and the potential number of attendees. All applicants will be notified of their application status by February 20, 2013.

PNR will also be hosting the webcast at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library, free registration details will be announced in an upcoming Dragonfly article in addition to the other funded webcast locations.

Rendezvous webcast: Scholarly Communications

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Edit: A recording is now available at

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library has an active Scholarly Communication Steering Committee which plans and conducts programs and outreach focused on the unique needs of researchers, scholars, instructors, and students. In addition, the committee assists faculty with copyright questions and use of UC’s eScholarship (

Come join us on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1pm Pacific time (Noon Alaska, 2pm Mountain) during our free monthly webcast at to explore strategies and tips for scholarly communications programs. Tania Bardyn, MLIS, AHIP, Director of the University of Washington Health Sciences Library and NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region, will conduct an in-depth interview with Martin J. Brennan, MLS, AHIP, the Copyright and Licensing Librarian and a member of the steering committee at the UCLA Library during the presentation.


Hot Topics in Practice: Incident Command Decision Making For Public Health Leaders

Friday, January 11th, 2013


Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Noon – 1pm Pacific
Jefferson Ketchel, Jennifer Tebaldi, David Kennedy, Robert Howarth, Kimberly Link

Because obvious public health emergencies like catastrophic storms disrupt the daily activities of a health department, leaders and managers often utilize the Incident Command System to organize resources in these situations.  But, how do public health leaders determine when a routine incident evolves into a more complicated situation that requires activating the structure?  In the January Hot Topics, representatives from state and local health jurisdictions will decsontruct their decision-making processes to activate Incident Command, respond to emergencies, and ensure business continuity. (more…)

Regulation of medical mobile apps

Monday, January 7th, 2013

What constitutes a medical app? Does anyone keep an eye out as to whether a medical app lives up to what it claims to do or ensure that it does not endanger users?  Should anyone?

Oversight of mobile apps, in general, varies by platform.  Historically, Apple’s app store is a much more regulated marketplace with each app being reviewed by Apple and required to meet certain standards before being allowed to enter the store.  Google takes a more laissez faire approach to their Android Play store, though in August of this past year they did add some guidelines for developers to follow.  But for both companies, their app development rules do not provide oversight over quality of content.   While for some categories of apps this may not matter much, for apps that bill themselves as “medical,” for use either by healthcare providers or consumers to make decisions related to health, lack of content oversight may be worth considering.

Over the last couple of months there has been quite a bit of discussion over whether or not medical apps should be regulated and who, if anyone, should do that regulation.  Often this debate splinters between whether or not apps developed for consumers versus those for professionals should be treated differently – the logic here being that consumers may need more protection as providers should be able to evaluate the quality of an app on their own.  Some might recall in 2011 when the FTC brought a settlement against two different developers of apps that claimed to be able to cure acne that were being sold in both Google and Apple’s app stores.

While the FTC was the organization responsible for bringing that particular settlement against those particular apps that were built around unsubstantiated claims, the FDA is mentioned most often as the body best suited to provide this type of oversight, as they already regulate medical devices.  Currently, the FDA does provide regulatory oversight to a subset of mobile medical apps – those that are in some way “an extension” of a medical device or effectively transform a mobile device into a medical device.  An example of an app that falls into this category that received FDA approval last month was an ECG monitor that works with an iPhone.

Last July NPR spoke with a representative from the FDA who indicated they did not plan on reviewing most medical or health related apps beyond those described above.  Some developers of apps are nervous that this stance could change or that the line between an app that acts enough like a medical device versus a regular old app could blur.  Recently, United States Representative Mike Honda introduced a bill in the House, The Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act (HIMTA).  Amongst other aspects of the bill, it proposes to establish an Office of Wireless Health within the FDA that would be responsible for providing recommendations on “how to develop and maintain consistent, reasonable and predictable regulatory framework on wireless health issues.”  In 2013 we will continue to see development in this area of regulation as this bill makes its way through Congress.