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Archive for November, 2013

An app to be aware of – Bugs & Drugs

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

An important mobile app review was posted on the site iMedicalApps yesterday.  The review of Epocrates’ new app “Bugs & Drugs,” though a bit longer than most of iMedicalApps review pieces is worth a read (here).   In this review, author Timothy Aungst, PharmD, judiciously points out the potential utility of this app billed as a “antimicrobial susceptibility reference” intended to aid clinicians in selecting antibiotics by identifying localized bacterial resistance patterns. (more…)

Science Boot Camp West – Videos available!

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Way back in June (the warm season, you remember that time, right?) the first Science Boot Camp West was held at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  A fabulous recap of that event was penned by Margaret Mellinger, Oregon State University Libraries, and posted to the Dragonfly.  For those of you who were unable to attend in person, the videos of the three sessions (physics, environmental science and bioinformatics) are now available online:

I’d also like to take this opportunity to announce that the 2014 Science Boot Camp West will be held July 9-11 in Seattle at the University of Washington.  So if watching the videos gets you jazzed up to attend, save the dates!  More information regarding registration and speakers for next year coming soon.

Why Use MedlinePlus Connect? What Key Informants Say

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) is assisting the NLM with promoting MedlinePlus Connect. An NN/LM task force conducted interviews with 17 key informants representing the broad spectrum of organizations that are involved with EHR implementation.  Following on last week’s post about NLM’s recent MedlinePlus Connect enhancement, I thought some might be interested in the advantages of this service as identified by the informants.  The interviews included discussion with some innovative hospital librarians who are taking advantage of the dynamic EHR environment and finding ways to be involved with meaningful use at their organizations.

Key informants provided insight into the aspects of MedlinePlus Connect that are the major advantages of the service from their perspective:

• The material is evidence-based and updated regularly.

• MedlinePlus links to primary literature, which is becoming increasingly popular among patients as they become more sophisticated in locating health information.

• Patient information is provided in varying reading levels, multi-media formats, and different languages, with an extensive database of Spanish-language materials.

• Health IT professionals will find easy instructions for integrating MedlinePlus Connect into EHRs.

• MedlinePlus Connect allows health organizations to maintain their identifying information when MedlinePlus information is sought.

The fact that MedlinePlus Connect can be added to EHRs at no cost to users was a definite advantage, but key informants cautioned against calling it a “free resource,” a term that has a negative connotation among health professionals. It would be more effective to call it a “non-commercial service paid for by the National Library of Medicine with no cost to users.”

The Meaningful Use measure for providing patient-specific education materials was optional for Stage 1 and becomes a core requirement in Stage 2.  Key informants said that patient portals were the emerging issue of the year as organizations focus on Stage 2 criteria.  The time to promote MedlinePlus Connect is now as we move towards 2014 when Stage 2 implementation begins.

Have you tried implementing MedlinePlus Connect?  Do these advantages ring true to you?

Register Now: Hospital Needs, ACA and Meaningful Use: What Librarians Need to Know

Friday, November 15th, 2013

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific NW Region (NN/LM PNR), is pleased to announce two locations in our Region that will host the upcoming Medical Library Association continuing education webcast on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific Time: “Addressing Hospital Needs and Goals in the Era of the Affordable Care Act and Meaningful Use: What Librarians Need to Know“, presented by Michelle Kraft, AHIP, Cleveland Clinic.

In Billings, Montana, Billings Clinic will host the webcast. Contact Tori Koch for more information at

In Seattle, Washington, the NN/LM PNR will host the webcast at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library,  Lab C. Please register at if you plan to attend at

MedlinePlus Connect service update

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

MedlinePlus Connect is a free service from the National Library of Medicine that can link the health information resource to EHRs and patient portals.  Connect can be set up as a web service or web application and delivers relevant consumer level information on conditions, medications and labs from MedlinePlus after receiving a request  from the EHR via a coding system (ICD-9, SNOMED CT, RXCUI, LOINC).  For eligible providers and hospitals, using MedlinePlus Connect may help meet the Meaningful Use measure of providing patient-specific education materials.

Beginning this month MedlinePlus Connect will respond to some SNOMED CT codes with information from both MedlinePlus and NLM’s Genetics Home Reference (GHR) web site.  GHR is the NLM’s resource for consumer information on diseases and conditions with known or suspected genetic factors.  This feature is only available for  English SNOMED CT requests. To test it out, go to either the MedlinePlus Connect web application or web service, select the SNOMED CT radio button and enter the code 445243001 for ulcerative colitis.

Rendezvous webcast: Health Insurance and Libraries

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Health Insurance and Libraries: Pacific Northwest Region ACA Update – November 13, 2013 at Noon Pacific (11am Alaska 1 PM Mountain).

Libraries are on the front line of receiving questions about the health insurance options now available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Join Nikki Dettmar, Education & Assessment Coordinator NN/LM PNR as she provides an overview on the ACA and the health insurance marketplace options currently operating in our region’s coverage area (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington). The webcast will have a primary focus on consumer health information but will also touch on the Community Health Needs Assessment requirement for non-profit hospitals under ACA, and some examples of successful ACA outreach activities already taking place in public and hospital libraries.   Also, take a peak at our ACA resource page for the Pacific Northwest Region and if you are unable to join us next Wednesday, we invite you to view a recording of the webcast at the Rendezvous website later. Update: Recording now available here

Due to a recent Adobe Connect system update, please test your computer ahead of time to help avoid technical difficulties as a plugin may be needed.

New for 2013: This webcast is eligible for 1 hour of Medical Library Association continuing education (MLA CE)  for attending the webcast and completing a brief evaluation form (provided during the webcast). If you are unable to join us then, we invite you to view a recording of the webcast at the Rendezvous website later – the evaluation form will still be accessible and you can obtain the CE for watching the recording.

As part of our Federal agency services regarding electronic and information technology resources being accessible to people with disabilities, closed captioning is available on this and future RML Rendezvous webcasts.