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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

NLM Resources for National Safety Month 2016

June is National Safety Month. Check out the following resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for reliable heath and safety information. The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) at NLM provides access to disaster and chemical safety resources for all age groups and populations, and MedlinePlus provides overviews of basic first aid skills:

  • Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Special Populations – Access links to trustworthy disaster preparedness information for a wide range of populations, including different age groups, cultural and ethnic groups, and groups with specific health conditions.
  • Disaster Lit – Search a curated collection of links to disaster medicine and public health documents.
  • Haz-Map – Learn how to avoid workplace accidents by searching Haz-Map for diseases and other risks associated with specific jobs.
  • Household Products Database – Protect yourself, children, and pets from dangerous health effects for a wide range of household products, such as personal care, pet care, and arts & crafts products.
  • MedlinePlus – Read about First Aid resources, such as CPR, choking, drug abuse first aid, and creating a sling.

NIH Issues Single IRB Policy to Streamline Reviews of Multi-Site Research

Accelerating clinical research studies benefits researchers, research participants, and all who stand to gain from research results. Today, the time it takes to go from a sound research idea to the launch of a new, multi-site clinical research study is too long. A major contributor to the delay is that too many institutional review boards (IRBs) are reviewing the protocol and consent documents for the same study, often with no added benefit in terms of the protections for research participants. To address this bottleneck, NIH has issued a new policy to streamline the review process for NIH-funded, multi-site clinical research studies in the United States. The NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research sets the expectation that all sites participating in multi-site studies involving non-exempt human subjects research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will use a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) to conduct the ethical review required by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects.

IRBs play a critical role in reviewing and approving studies involving human research participants. IRBs evaluate the potential benefits of research and risks to participants. In the past, most clinical research studies were carried out at single institutions. Now studies are increasingly conducted at multiple sites to help increase the number and diversity of the participants, improve operational efficiencies, and accelerate the generation of research results. However, for the majority of multi-site studies, the IRB at each participating site continues to conduct an independent review. This review adds time, but generally does not meaningfully enhance protections for the participants. This new NIH policy seeks to end duplicative reviews that slow down the start of the research.

NIH will support applicant and awardee institutions as they implement the new policy with guidance and resources, such as a model authorization agreement that lays out the roles and responsibilities of each signatory, and a model communication plan that identifies which documents are to be completed, and when. You can learn more about the process that NIH followed to come to this final policy, including gathering public feedback, by visiting the Office of Clinical Research and Bioethics Policy (OCRBP) web site.

New OMH Webinar Series: Fighting Hepatitis and HIV Co-infection in Minority Communities

Hepatitis and HIV co-infection is a major concern among many racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Prevention and education efforts are hindered by many challenges, including stigma, language barriers, cultural competency and knowledge among providers, and access to services in hard-to-reach communities. The HHS Office of Minority Health Resource Center kicks off a new five-part webinar series on June 24 designed to help health professionals, agencies and clinics get past these challenges and address the rising rates of hepatitis and HIV co-infection in their communities. The series examines the current state of hepatitis and HIV among minority groups, as well as best practices for culturally and linguistically appropriate testing and outreach efforts.

Register now for the first webinar on June 24, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PDT, Innovative Strategies for Addressing Hep C in Indian Country. To be notified of dates and agendas for all webinars in the series, sign up for OMH email updates.

Six Lab Exercises for Creating Community Health Maps!

Learn how to use free and low cost mapping tools to create community health maps through a series of six lab exercises available at the NLM’s Community Health Maps blog. The lab exercises cover the entire Community Health Mapping Workflow from field data collection through online data presentation. For each of the six labs, an instructional PDF document and a Zip file of data to be used for each exercise are available for downloading. The topics for the six labs include:

  • Lab 1 – Field Data Collection (with either iOS or Android)
  • Lab 2 – Bringing Field Data into QGIS
  • Lab 3 – Combining Field Data with other Organizational Data
  • Lab 4 – Basic Spatial Analysis
  • Lab 5 – Cartography with QGIS
  • Lab 6 – Data Visualization With CartoDB

Now Available: Recordings of NLM Theater Presentations at the 2016 MLA Conference!

The NLM exhibit booth at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA) featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services. Presentation recordings are now accessible from the NLM web site. The average video length is 20 minutes.

National Library of Medicine’s Tox Town Farm Scene Gets an Update!

If you are looking for possible environmental health risks on a typical farm or need information on agricultural runoff, feeding operations or barns and silos, check out the newly updated National Library of Medicine (NLM) Tox Town Farm Scene.

The Farm joins previously updated Tox Town CityTown and Southwest scenes with an updated, photorealistic look to allow users to better identify with real-life locations. Each scene migrated from Flash to HTML 5 platform so it can be viewed on a variety of personal electronic devices, including iPads, iPad minis, and tablets. All location and chemical information remains the same.

NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region “Focus on NLM Resources” Webinars in June & August!

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (MAR), is offering two upcoming Focus on NLM Resources webinar sessions, from 9-10 AM Pacific Time. Registration is required and each session offers 1 MLA CEU.

  1. HealthReach | Register
    Date: June 9, 2016 9-10 AM PDT
    Presenter: Laura Bartlett / Outreach and Special Populations Branch, National Library of Medicine
    Description: HealthReach is a resource of quality multilingual, multicultural public health information for those working with, or providing care to, individuals with limited English proficiency. In Spring 2016, the site was redesigned. Resources include:

    • Health education materials in various languages and formats (brochures, fact sheets, videos)
    • Provider tools (including best practices, cultural information, and effective use of interpreters)
    • Special collections on Emergency and Disaster, Women’s Health, and Mental Health
  2. Genetics Home Reference | Register
    Date: August 4, 2016 9-10 AM PDT
    Presenter: Stephanie Morrison, MPH / National Library of Medicine
    Description: Genetics Home Reference is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) website for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes or chromosomes associated with those conditions. A recent redesign of the website introduced a completely new look and feel, improved navigation, and hundreds of educational images. This presentation will cover the development and use of this NLM resource, with a focus on the recent changes.

NLM to Host Nainoa Thompson Special Lecture on the Hōkūle’a and Native Hawaiian Health, May 23

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will host a special presentation, He Lani Ko Luna, A Sky Above: In Losing the Sight of Land, You Discover the Stars, by Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Master Navigator. The event will take place on Monday, May 23, 2016, at 11AM ET in the Lister Hill Auditorium at NLM in Bethesda, MD. The public is invited and sign language interpreters will be provided.

Thompson will describe the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and its iconic double hulled canoe, Hōkūle’a, currently on a 47,000 nautical mile journey around the world, stopping at 85 ports in 26 countries including landing in Old Town Alexandria on Sunday, May 15. Thompson will discuss the rich history of deep sea voyaging, exploration, and oceanic wayfinding, the indigenous system of orientation and navigation at sea, and the efforts to use these experiences to revitalize Native Hawaiian culture and health. He will explain the symbiotic relationships between land, sea, sky, and people, and their cultural, ecological, and personal health. Hōkūle’a figured prominently in the NLM exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness. A special microsite features Native Voices Hōkūle’a content and the Washington DC Hōkūle’a-related event schedule.

Information on visiting NLM can be found at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/about/visitor.html. NLM suggests that off-campus visitors plan to arrive at NIH by 10AM for the 11AM lecture, to allow sufficient time for security processing and walking over to the NLM Bldg. 38A Lister Hill venue. The NIH campus is accessible via the Metro Red Line Medical Center station, or by driving and parking in a visitor lot.

Tox Town Updates the Farm Scene!

If you are looking for possible environmental health risks in a typical farm or need information on agricultural runoff, feeding operations, or barns and silos, check out the newly updated Tox Town Farm scene. The Farm joins previously updated City, Town and Southwest scenes with an updated, photorealistic look to allow users to better identify with real-life locations. Each scene was also moved from Flash to HTML 5 platform, to allow viewing on a variety of personal electronic devices, including iPads, iPad minis, and tablets. All location and chemical information remains the same.

AHRQ Report Shows Gains in Access to and Affordability of Health Insurance

More people have health care coverage, have a usual place to go for medical care and can more easily afford medical bills after the Affordable Care Act’s provisions have taken effect, according to a new report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report and 5th Anniversary Update on the National Quality Strategy. The report finds that the rate of uninsured Americans under age 65 decreased from 18% to 10%. For 18- to 29-year-olds, the uninsured rate declined even further, falling by more than half, from 31% to 15%. Among poor people ages 18-64, the uninsured rate fell from 44% to 25%. Substantial gains in health care coverage also were found for Hispanic and black adults ages 18-64. The cost of health care coverage also became more affordable as fewer people overall reported having trouble paying medical bills within the past year. Poor people (below the federal poverty level) ages 18-64 saw the greatest benefit, and all racial and ethnic groups showed a decline in payment problems during this period.

The report features annual trends on more than 250 measures of care quality, access and disparities that cover a broad array of health care services and settings. Overall, the report shows that quality of care is improving, particularly in hospitals, and for measures that are being publicly reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. However, quality of care is still less than optimal overall for many Americans. Disparities related to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status continue to impact the care that many people receive. For example, the quality of care for blacks, Hispanics and American Indians and Alaska Natives was worse than that for whites for about 40% of the report’s measures.