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Celebrating 2013 National Medical Librarians Month!

October is National Medical Librarians Month (NMLM)! Highlighting the fact that medical librarians are the best and most cost effective way to obtain quality health information, this year’s NMLM theme is “Saving You Time So You Can Save Lives.” In honor of this event, we are recognizing the contributions of medical librarians by promoting Network member outreach projects.

National Medical Librarians Month PosterOutreach to Students through College Health Services: Pacific Islanders Pilots
University of Guam, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library, Mangilao, Guam
Project Director: Paul Drake
This project established partnerships between college libraries and college health services for health outreach to Pacific Islander college students. These two entities are responsible for information (library) and health (student health services) resources and dissemination on a college campus. Personnel in both service areas received training on NLM resources. Working together they developed strategies and activities to inform and prepare students to develop their health literacy and make healthy lifestyle decisions. Participating colleges included the University of Guam; American Samoa Community College; College of Micronesia, FSM Chuuk State Campus; College of the Marshall Islands; and College of Micronesia, FSM National Campus. Feedback indicated an appreciation of the pilot project presentations and the need for further presentations to more students, and expanding to include local public health and hospital personnel, and the local community.

Integrating Patient-Centered Health Information into the Patient Centered Medical Home
University of Nevada School of Medicine, Savitt Medical Library, Reno, NV
Project Director: Terry Henner
Savitt Medical Library created a multifaceted mechanism to facilitate patients’ use of information technology and encourage greater patient involvement in their own medical care. Building on the concept of the patient centered medical home (PCMH), the University of Nevada School of Medicine Patient Centered Family Medicine Clinic model of care was designed to improve outcomes by organizing medical care around the patient and by focusing on education to enhance the ability of patients to actively understand and influence their health status. Within this clinical context, three specific aims promoted improved access to reliable consumer health education information and helped patients engage in meaningful discussions with health care providers: (1) the creation of a patient education web portal integrated in the PCMH clinical environment; (2) provision of tablet devices in examining rooms for clinician and patient use; and (3) creation of an online educational resource to guide patients in the creation and use of personal health records.

Bridging the Health Information Gap: Saturday Science Academy II and the Charles R. Drew University Health Sciences Library
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Health Sciences Library, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Darlene Parker-Kelly
Bridging the Health Information Gap promoted the awareness and use of the National Library of Medicine‚Äôs consumer health resources to students, parents, and teachers through the Charles Drew University (CDU) Project Prep Program, the Annual Saturday Science Academy (SSA) II 3K-5K Walk/Run and Health Fair, and the Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (iSTEM) Scholars Program. Key tools that were used are outlined in NLM SIS K-12 Science and Health Education website. Students were introduced to a number of NLM’s consumer health resources, including MedlinePlus, ToxTown, Household Products Database, NIHSeniorHealth, and Genetics Home Reference. Students learned how to search and locate reliable National Library of Medicine health information resources, learned how to develop scientific posters, and how to cite references.

Community Mini-Conferences on Disaster/Emergency Preparedness Health Information
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Library/Learning Resources Center, San Diego, CA
Project Director: Naomi Broering
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Library (PCOM) collaborated with the Community Emergency Preparedness Outreach program with the County of San Diego, Public Health Services, Health and Human Service Agency (SDPHS), and six community libraries and organizations, to conduct mini-conferences that promote access to disaster and emergency preparedness health information, and increase awareness and use of the National Library of Medicine (NLM)’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)’s resources. The meetings featured PHS emergency speakers and PCOM library instructors that provided cross training opportunities to benefit emergency public health responders, health professionals, librarians, and the public. The project evolved to include over 20 sessions, three fairs, and two conference exhibits, where attendees learned where and how to get quick access to online emergency health information resources, from mobile devices to WISER, MedlinePlus, and other related sites, during San Diego wildfires, earthquakes, blackouts, and hazardous disasters.

Health Professionals Information Use in Patient Care in Research-Rich Settings: Implications for Librarians, Health Professionals and Patient Care and Opportunities for Training
Stanford University Medical Center, Lane Medical Library & Center for Knowledge Management, Stanford, CA
Project Director: Lauren Maggio
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy requires (since 2008) that all peer-reviewed journal publications resulting from NIH funding be made publicly accessible within a year of publication in PubMed Central (PMC). To assess the policy’s potential and actual impact, this study investigated the information use of health professionals at Stanford University Medical Center (SUMC), who have relatively complete access to the biomedical literature, as well as popular point-of-care (POC) services, such as UpToDate. Stanford’s robust collection was used as a surrogate for the access to eventually result from the NIH Policy, with the aim of establishing an understanding, through web log analysis and interview data, of the types of information used by health professionals and their knowledge of the Public Access Policy. This mixed methods approach provided data that was synthesized, presented through hands-on trainings, and published to provide an evidence base for open-access policy makers, health science librarians, and health care practitioners to inform policy; to guide librarians’ creation of information training, case studies, and collection development policies; and to raise awareness of the NIH Policy.

Arizona Outreach
University of Arizona, Arizona Health Sciences Library, Tucson, AZ
Project Director: Jeanette L. Ryan
The goals for the Arizona Outreach project are to improve health literacy and access to accurate health information statewide. This project aims to facilitate access to high quality, current, and reliable health information through training, consultation, and collaboration, specializing in presenting training and workshops around the state that assist librarians, health professionals, K-12 students, and members of the public to become more effective users of the Internet and electronic resources. During the past year the focus was on high school students, promotoras, and public health workers. This project features collaborations with local area high schools, the University of Arizona College of Medicine Office of Outreach and Multicultural Affairs, and the Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network (AZCHOW).

Information Services Outreach for Rural and Frontier Nevada
University of Nevada School of Medicine, Savitt Medical Library, Reno, NV
Project Director: Terry Henner
This project aims to increase access to health information for care providers and healthcare consumers in rural and frontier Nevada in order to promote best practices of care and to enable the public to make informed decisions about their health. The project increased the ability of the NN/LM to influence the effectiveness of health care services in rural and frontier Nevada; conducted a needs assessment to better address challenges of health information practice in rural areas; established a professional position as Health Outreach Librarian with responsibility to provide information services and training to clinicians and care providers in rural and frontier Nevada; and began developing, through the activities of the Health Outreach Librarian, a mechanism for promoting online distance instruction methods in the pursuit of training and educational goals.

Kudos to everyone for a job well done!

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