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Archive for 2012

NLM Launches Value Set Authority Center (VSAC)!

The National Library of Medicine, in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has launched the NLM Value Set Authority Center (VSAC). The VSAC provides downloadable access to all official versions of vocabulary value sets contained in the 2014 Clinical Quality Measures. The value sets provide lists of the numerical values and individual names from standard vocabularies used to define the clinical concepts, e.g., diabetes or clinical visit, used in the quality measures. The content of the VSAC will gradually expand to incorporate value sets for other use cases, as well as for new measures and updates to existing measures. Access to the Value Set Authority Center requires a free Unified Medical Language System Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology, certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria.

The Guide for Reading Eligible Professional and Eligible Hospital 2014 eCQMs, published by CMS, provides guidance for understanding and using the electronically specified eligible professional (EP) and eligible hospital (EH) clinical quality measures (“eMeasures”). CMS has also provided the following release notes with updated program requirements related to the eCQMs, and global changes incorporated across all measures, as well as specific changes to the measures retained in the 2014 eCQMs; Clinical Quality Measures for CMS’s 2014 EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals and Clinical Quality Measures for CMS’s 2014 EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Hospitals. CMS has also published the 2014 Clinical Quality Measures Tipsheet, which includes an overview of the CQMs, including the number of measures eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) must report, CQM reporting options, and reporting and submission periods. For questions about these resources, contact the NLM Value Set Authority Center Help site.

PubMed® for Trainers at UCLA

Do you train others to use PubMed? If so, join us for PubMed for Trainers, a hybrid class with three online sessions and one in-person session. The class is eligible for 15 MLA CE credits. The class is an in-depth look at PubMed and a chance to share training ideas with your fellow participants.

More details about the PubMed for Trainers course and registration in Los Angeles is available! This course is taught by trainers from the  National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC).

NLM Launches New and Redesigned Web Sites for History of Medicine Division and Its Exhibition Program!

The National Library of Medicine has announced new and redesigned Web sites for the History of Medicine Division (HMD) and its Exhibition Program. The redesigned main site for the History of Medicine Division offers enhanced organization for learning about and using the historical collections and associated programs and resources of the NLM.NLM History of Medicine Home page

The new and redesigned Web sites for the Exhibition Program enable you to discover history and expand your horizons through the sights and sounds of NLM’s award-winning exhibitions and displays. Visit the site to book a traveling exhibition or find one on display near you; access lesson plans, games, and other educational resources; or request a tour of onsite exhibitions, including the NLM’s newest flagship exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, and the new special display, Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions, featuring items from the NLM’s historical collection, as well as the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

All of these sites offer “Share” features so you can send content to your friends, colleagues or yourself via social bookmarking and networking.

New Resource from the EDM Forum: A Framework for Patient and Consumer Engagement in Evidence Generation

Increasing evidence suggests that there are benefits to actively involving patients and consumers in their health care. There is also growing interest in engaging patients and consumers more actively in the research process. Comparative effectiveness research (CER), patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), and quality improvement (QI) all offer opportunities to engage patients in generating information that can be used to inform treatment decisions. A new seven-page resource, based on work conducted by AcademyHealth under the auspices of the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum, and developed in coordination with patients, consumers, and health services researchers, outlines key opportunities for engagement in research, and proposes a set of activities to enable patients and consumers to become more active participants in the process of evidence generation. A Framework for Patient and Consumer Engagement in Evidence Generation is now available for download to an iPad through the iTunes app store. This publication can only be viewed using iBooks 2 or later on an iPad with iOS5 or later.

The Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum operates on a three-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to facilitate learning and foster collaboration across a set of CER projects, designed to build infrastructure and methods for collecting and analyzing prospective electronic clinical data. To ensure EDM Forum activities address a full spectrum of research needs, the EDM Forum seeks to obtain perspectives from a broad array of stakeholders, by encouraging an open and ongoing dialogue on their web site.

Tox Town Releases New Drought Location Page!

Do you wonder if droughts are related to climate change? If so, please consider visiting Tox Town’s newly released Drought Location page. Information is provided on why drought is a concern, how it relates to climate change, and possible health affects related to drought. The page is also available in Spanish, Sequía.

The best known U.S. drought was the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, when 65% percent of the country was affected by severe or extreme drought. In the summer of 2012, 55% of the continental United States experienced moderate to extreme drought, which was the largest such area since 1956.

NLM Announces Two Recent Enhancements to MedlinePlus Connect!

The National Library of Medicine recently released two enhancements to MedlinePlus Connect. MedlinePlus Connect now returns responses for medication information in Spanish. Also, the MedlinePlus Connect Web service delivers more targeted information when responding to medication information requests. In September 2012, NLM enhanced the MedlinePlus Connect Web service response for medication code requests. Previously, the MedlinePlus Connect Web service returned a link to a search results page with the best matches from the MedlinePlus drug information. Now, the enhanced Web service returns direct links to relevant drug information pages on MedlinePlus.

Starting in October 2012, MedlinePlus Connect returns requests for medication information in Spanish. This complements MedlinePlus Connect’s responses for diagnosis and lab test information, which were already available in both English and Spanish. MedlinePlus Connect processes requests for Spanish medication information differently from requests for English medication information. For Spanish medication information, MedlinePlus Connect responds only to National Drug Codes (NDCs) or RxNorm Concept Unique Identifier (RXCUIs). It does not use text strings, which are accepted for requests for English medication information. It is possible to have a response in English and not in Spanish.

MedlinePlus Connect is NLM’s service for patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems, to link to patient-friendly and context-relevant information from MedlinePlus. It responds to code-based requests, and delivers information for patients that relates to a specific diagnosis, medication or lab test. Full details on sending requests for medication information, either to the MedlinePlus Connect Web service or the Web application are available on the technical information page.

Applications Now Being Accepted for 2013 Woods Hole Biomedical Informatics Course!

Applications for the 2013 sessions of the NLM Biomedical Informatics course in Woods Hole, MA, are now being accepted. The submission deadline is January 11, 2013. Selection decisions will be made by mid-February. The costs for attending this course, including travel, housing, and meals, are fully supported by the National Library of Medicine. Sessions are limited to 30 participants. This is a National Library of Medicine fellowship program directed at medical educators, medical librarians, medical administrators, and young faculty, who are not currently knowledgeable but can become agents of change in their institutions.

This week-long survey course is designed to familiarize individuals with the application of computer technologies and information science in biomedicine and health science. Through a combination of lectures and hands-on computer exercises, participants will be introduced to the conceptual and technical components of biomedical informatics. The conceptual components will include principles of database design, human-computer interfaces, medical terminologies and coding systems, medical decision analysis methods, clinical information systems architectures, and methods for measuring costs and benefits in health care systems. The technical components will include use of the Internet for biomedical applications, current and emerging wide area network technologies, use of literature and molecular sequence databases, and systems for telemedicine. Evening workshops will include hands-on project development to give students the opportunity to bring their own expertise to bear, and apply the lessons learned in class to a relevant informatics application.

The course dates for 2013 are:

  • Spring Session: May 26 – June 1, 2013
  • Fall Session: September 15 – 21, 2013

More information, including course objectives, activity agenda, and list of instructors, is available on the course page. Many PSR Network members have attended over the years, and they can attest to the value of the experience!

DOCLINE Quarterly Statistical Reports Now Available!

NLM has released the following DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports for July-September 2012:

  • Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-1A, 1-11A, 1-1AT)
  • Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Reports 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. Also, please hold off on reviewing Report 2-14, which is only distributed to resource libraries. NLM is investigating a possible issue.

DOCLINE 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.

New National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant Opportunity

The Division of Public Programs at the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities funds humanities projects that are intended for broad public audiences at museums, libraries, historic sites, and other historical and cultural organizations. New application guidelines and detailed instructions are now posted on the NEH Web site for America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants. The next receipt deadline is January 9, 2013, for projects beginning in August, 2013. Planning grants support the early stages of project development, including consultation with scholars, refinement of humanities themes, preliminary design, and audience evaluation.

Grants support interpretive exhibitions, reading or film discussion series, historic site interpretations, lecture series and symposia, and digital projects. NEH especially encourages projects that offer multiple formats and make creative use of new technology to deliver humanities content. In the last five competitions, this grant program received an average of 80 applications. An average of seven awards were made per competition, for a funding ratio of 9 percent.

NLM Announces the Release of a New Free Resource: LiverTox!

LiverTox is a freely available website that provides up-to-date, comprehensive, and unbiased information about drug-induced liver injury caused by prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals, and dietary supplements.LiverTox website The LiverTox website provides a comprehensive resource for physicians and their patients, and for clinical academicians and researchers to identify basic and clinical questions to be answered, and to chart optimal ways to diagnose and control drug-induced liver injury.

LiverTox provides a searchable database of about 700 medications available in the United States. Over the next few years, another 300 drugs will be added. Drug-induced liver injury is the leading cause of acute liver failure in this country. Some drugs directly damage the liver, while others cause damage indirectly or by an allergic reaction. LiverTox is a joint effort within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), involving the Liver Disease Research Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of NLM.

LiverTox has three major components:

  • Introduction and overview of drug induced liver injury;
  • Specific drug records that provide concise data on the hepatotoxicity of medications, herbals and dietary supplements; and
  • Case submission registry that allows users to provide comments about the LiverTox database, and submit clinical cases to the LiverTox website and U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch program, used to monitor product safety.

LiverTox developers work with outside experts in drug-induced liver disease, as well as with specialists in arthritis, cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and other conditions. The finished website has also been reviewed by FDA and pharmaceutical industry experts on liver-related complications. The database will be updated regularly with information about drug-induced liver injury, as well as with new drugs and concepts. For more information about LiverTox, visit the About Us section.