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Archive for December, 2011

Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine

Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine is a spectacularly illustrated book that showcases rare, beautiful, idiosyncratic, and surprising works in the collection of the world’s largest medical library. It is due to be published in April, 2012, by Blast Books of New York, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine. It is now available for pre-order through all major online booksellers.

Resources for Flood Victims in the Philippines

Over the weekend, Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) devastated the Island of Mindanao, Phillipines and brought strong winds and heavy rains that caused massive flooding, flash floods, and landslides throughout the area. To read more about the situation, please refer to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Philippines Tropical Storm Washi Situation Report No. 1, December 18, 2011. A new report is expected to be published tomorrow, December 20.

If your library is providing support for those affected in the Philippines, the National Library of Medicine has resources about the health impacts of flooding, including disease risks and worker and responder safety information from Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). The NLM People Finder can be used to search for a person or report a missing or found person affected by the disaster.

For resource centers in the Philippines, such as shelters, donation centers, and typhoon updates, Google’s Crisis Map aggregates this data in both English and Filipino. Google also offers a separate People Finder service in English and Filipino.

Partnership for Patients initiative to improve hospital care

Hospitals across the country will have new resources and support to make health care safer and less costly, by targeting and reducing the millions of preventable injuries and complications from healthcare acquired conditions, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. As a part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide public-private collaboration to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans, $218 million will go to 26 state, regional, national, or hospital system organizations, including Catholic Healthcare West and the Nevada Hospital Association. As Hospital Engagement Networks, these organizations will help identify solutions already working to reduce healthcare acquired conditions, and work to spread them to other hospitals and health care providers.

The Hospital Engagement Networks will be funded with $500 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center, which was established by the Affordable Care Act. Hospital Engagement Networks will work to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety. They will be required to conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer, provide technical assistance to hospitals so that they can achieve quality measurement goals, and establish and implement a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting these goals.

Launched in April 2011, the Partnership for Patients now consists of more than 6,500 partners, including over 3,167 hospitals, along with 2,345 physicians, nurses, patient advocates, 892 consumers and consumer groups, and 256 employers and unions. In addition, health plans, Area Agencies on Aging, and state and federal government officials have pledged to work with these groups to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2013.

New Partnership Between Facebook, SAMHSA, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Facebook is announcing a new service that harnesses the power of social networking and crisis support to help prevent suicides across the nation and Canada. The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout the site. The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an e-mail from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on a link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or is a toll-free suicide prevention hotline network comprised of 152 local crisis centers. The Lifeline is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Link2Health Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC). The Lifeline provides free and confidential crisis counseling to anyone in need 24/7 and has answered over 3 million calls since its launch in 2005.

For more information about the partnership between Facebook, SAMHSA and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, please visit the SAMHSA News Release and SAMHSA Blog.

PubMed Health Adds DARE and NCI PDQ

With its December update, PubMed Health grows to over 18,000 systematic reviews and health technology assessments in the last ten years. With the inclusion of the Database of Reviews of Effects (DARE) from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in England, PubMed Health is getting close to comprehensive coverage of reliable systematic reviews on clinical effectiveness.

Other new features and content additions in this release include:

  • Evidence-based, regularly updated information on cancer for consumers and health professionals from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ) database.
  • Two full-text books under “Understanding research results” from the “Understand clinical effectiveness” tab:
    Irwig L, et al. Smart Health Choices: Making Sense of Health Advice. London: Hammersmith Press; 2008. Available from:
    Evans I, et al. Testing Treatments: Better Research for Better Healthcare. 2nd edition. London: Pinter & Martin; 2011. Available from:
  • Simplified and broadened display of medical encyclopedia search results.

For more information and screenshots of the December 2011 additions to PubMed Health, please visit NLM Technical Bulletin and PubMed Health.

NLM Gateway Transition Now Complete!

On December 7, 2011, the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC) completed the transition of the NLM Gateway to the new LHNCBC pilot project. The new site will retain the Web address of the former NLM Gateway. It will have two databases: Meeting Abstracts and Health Services Research Projects in Progress (HSRProj). HSRProj also remains available via a separate search engine through the portal HSR Information Central.

The Meeting Abstracts database contains abstracts from HIV/AIDS, Health Services Research, and Space Life Sciences meetings and conferences. The final update to the Meeting Abstracts database is the addition of the abstracts from the 2010 18th International AIDS Conference which will be completed in December 2011. After this addition, no new meeting abstract data will be loaded.

For additional information on the transition to the pilot project, see the article NLM Gateway Transitioning to New Pilot Project Site.

Use TOXMAP to learn about toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing

The National Library of Medicine’s TOXMAP now provides information on the toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Companies involved in hydraulic fracturing are not currently required to report to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory Program and so are not represented in TOXMAP. However, TOXMAP provides information on many of the most toxic chemicals used.

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the Division of Specialized Information Services of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the US EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Programs.

December NIH News in Health

Cartoon of a woman in a kitchen using “good” fat or low-fat foods.The December issue of NIH News in Health (PDF), the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research, is now available! In this edition:

  • Weighing in on Dietary Fats: Some Fats Are Healthier Than Others – With the winter holidays upon us, you’ll likely be surrounded by family, friends and food. Favorite foods, though, can be high in fat. Learn which fats are naughty and which are nice to your health, so you can make smarter food choices.
  • You’re Never Too Old: Keep Active as You Age – We’ve all heard that exercise is good for you. Did you know that it’s as true for older people as it is for any age group? You’re never too old to get moving, get stronger and improve your health.
  • Yoga or Stretching Eases Low Back Pain
  • Stroke Risk Linked to Thinking Problems
  • Featured Website: Smokefree E-cards

A limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. E-mail or call 301-435-7489 for more information.

NCI Launches Smoking Cessation Support for Teens

Image of iPhone with quit smoking text messages displayed.A new effort to help teens quit smoking will use one of today’s teen’s most constant companions — the mobile phone. Developed by smoking cessation experts, SmokefreeTXT is a free text message cessation service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking. The initiative is led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Once they sign up, teens receive text messages timed according to their selected quit date. Following their quit date, they will continue receiving texts for up to six weeks — a critical piece of the SmokefreeTXT service, as research shows that cessation support continues to be important beyond the first few weeks of quitting. Teens can sign up online at or text QUIT to iQUIT (47848).

Nearly 20 percent of teens are current smokers, and most will continue smoking into adulthood unless efforts are made to help them quit now. Many teens want to quit, but few use evidence-based cessation resources to support their quit attempts. By connecting with teen smokers on their mobile phones, NCI hopes to more effectively engage young people in quitting with proven cessation tools and strategies.

SmokefreeTXT is one of the core features of the new Smokefree Teen initiative, an extension of NCI’s smoking cessation website, Along with SmokefreeTXT, Smokefree Teen offers several social media pages to connect teens with cessation tools. In January 2012, Smokefree Teen will launch a free smartphone application, QuitSTART — an interactive quit guide for teens that delivers cessation and mood management tips, tracks cravings, and monitors quit attempts.

To learn more about Smokefree Teen and SmokefreeTXT, visit

December eBoard Slide: National Influenza Vaccination Week

December 4-10 is National Influenza Vaccination Week! National Influenza Vaccination Week is a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and beyond.

eBoard slides are designed to be used as part of a looping slideshow presentation on computer monitors at your institution. (Previous slides are available on NewsBits: eBoard Slides.) Click on the images below to see a preview and download the PowerPoint files by clicking on the name of each file.

National Influenza Vaccination Week 2011 (PPT)
National Influenza Vaccination Week 2011