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Archive for January, 2010

Mobile MedlinePlus to be released tomorrow, Jan 14!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

The National Library of Medicine is releasing Mobile MedlinePlus ( and tomorrow, Thursday January 14th!

Mobile MedlinePlus includes many of your favorite MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español pages in a display that is optimized for mobile devices.

Mobile MedlinePlus includes

  • Topic summaries – “snackable” pieces of information, you can access and digest quickly
  • News – the latest in treatment, medical research and healthy living tips
  • Images
  • Encyclopedia articles
  • Drug information

Some features from are not available on Mobile MedlinePlus due to technical constraints.

There is an FAQ on the full MedlinePlus site at that includes special instructions for Blackberry users.

New CAPHIS Top 100 List

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) of the Medical Library Association (MLA) has released an updated version of the “Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust”.  The purpose of the CAPHIS Top 100 List is to provide CAPHIS members and other librarians with a resource to use in their daily practice and teaching.

The list of 100 websites is divided into nine categories, including: General Health, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Senior Health, etc. This list of resources expands on the MLA Top Ten List.

The complete list may be viewed and/or printed as a pdf at .

HISPC Reports on State Law, Business Practices, and Policy Variations

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Conducted during 2009 as part of the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC), the following compendium of 5 reports detail variations in state law, business practices and policy related to privacy and security and the electronic exchange of health information.  For quick reference, several reports contain aggregate findings tables in their appendices.  Access the reports at Summaries of each report are below.

Report on State Medical Record Access Laws
This report analyzes state laws that are intended to require health care providers (specifically, medical doctors and hospitals) to afford individuals access to their own health information and to identify potential barriers to the electronic exchange of health information.  Specific state law provisions examined: scope of medical records to which patients are afforded access, format of information furnished, deadlines for responding to requests, fees for furnishing copies, record retention laws and access to records of minors.

Report on State Law Requirements for Patient Permission to Disclose Health Information
In Phase I of the HISPC project a majority of participants reported significant variation in the business practices and policies surrounding the need for and process of obtaining patient permission to use and disclose personal health information for a variety of purposes, including for treatment. This report furthers the initial work of this project by collating and analyzing state laws that govern the disclosure of identifiable health information for treatment purposes to identify commonalities and differences.

Releasing Clinical Laboratory Test Results: Report on Survey of State Laws
For this report, state statutes and regulations were analyzed to determine to whom clinical laboratories may release test results. This report focused on clinical laboratory and hospital licensing laws (that contain standards for hospital laboratories). It also examined general state medical record access laws to determine whether they provided an avenue for patients to access their clinical laboratory results directly.

Report on State Prescribing Laws: Implications for e-Prescribing
This report identifies and analyzes the impact and variation of state laws related to e-prescribing.  The report addresses state laws related to the e-prescribing of controlled and non-controlled substances as well as topics such as record keeping and content requirements, out-of-state prescriptions, and generic substitution laws.

Perspectives on Patient Matching: Approaches, Findings, and Challenges
This report analyzes various approaches to matching patients to their health information in the context of electronic health information exchange.  Current and potential methods for matching patients to their health records are discussed, challenges to performing patient matching such as scalability and ease of use are analyzed, and the types of information some HIOs use to match patients to their health records is described.

SCR CONNECTions:Promoting Health Literacy through Easy-to-Read Materials

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Please join us next Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. (CT) for the next edition of SCR CONNECTions. The topic will be: “Promoting Health Literacy through Easy-to-Read Health Materials.”  Studies have shown that as many as half of all American adults have trouble understanding and using basic health information. Furthermore, the inability to read, understand, and make use of health information affects people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Learn more about this growing issue and become introduced to some valuable Internet resources devoted to providing health materials in an easy-to-read format for all. The presenter will be Cheryl Rowan, Public Health Outreach Coordinator.

All web conferences are conducted via the Adobe Connect web meeting system. No software installation is needed; simply click on the URL:, choose “Enter as a Guest”, and type in your name. Once you enter the online meeting room, follow the instructions on the screen to have the system call you on your telephone. Additional information about monthly SCR CONNECTions is located on the NN/LM SCR website at: If you have any questions, please call us at 713-799-7880 or 800-338-7657 (AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX only).

Copyright Update 2010

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Interested in copyright issues?  Attend a free webinar sponsored by the Washington State Library on Thursday, January 14, 2010, from 10-11 a.m. The link to connect to the webinar will be available at:

Get updates on new copyright tools and best practices that can be helpful for libraries:

  • Learn the latest developments in copyright laws and cases, including the latest in the Google Book Search case, e-reserve and coursepack lawsuits.
  • Learn about a simple procedure to file with the Copyright Office to minimize liability for user-supplied-content.

This webinar will be of interest to library staff who confront copyright issues in designing web pages, making digital copies for interlibrary loan and e-reserves, and will help those who fear receiving copyright infringement notices.

Special thanks to the NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region for information on this webinar!

Funding Application Deadline Coming Soon

Friday, January 8th, 2010

February 1, 2010 is the application deadline for several of the funding opportunities available from the NN/LM SCR office:

Express Outreach Award:
The purpose of this funding award is to support a wide range of outreach projects aimed at improving access to and use of the National Library of Medicine’s databases to improve access to health and biomedical information.  Seven (7) projects up to $5,000 each will be available.

Information Access Improvement Project Award:
The purpose of this funding award is to help improve access to Internet-based health information including National Library of Medicine products and services. Funds can be used to purchase computers, broadband access or any resource needed to access online health information. Nine (9) projects up to $5,000 each will be available.

DOCLINE Library Improvement Project Award:
The purpose of this funding award is to provide an opportunity to DOCLINE (a document delivery system) libraries, or libraries that are interested in becoming full DOCLINE users, to expand and improve existing library services.  Five (5) projects up to $5,000 each will be available.

EFTS Assistance Award:
The purpose of this award is to promote participation in the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFTS) System among libraries that are not currently EFTS members due to institutional barriers.  Five (5) projects of up to $200 each will be available.

Examples of previously funded projects for most of these awards can be found at:

PAHO Publication on Information Management and Communication in Emergencies and Disasters

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) coordinates a Regional Disaster Response Team and supports country efforts to develop national health sector teams to respond to emergencies and disasters. The role of these multi-disciplinary teams of specialists is to produce quality information which can be shared with the people and agencies that need it– on time, in the proper format, and distributed through the most appropriate channels.

This new publication provides recommendations on dealing with the context and conditions where information is needed, guidelines on producing reports and distributing information for different audiences, how to manage communication media, and planning the work of communication during emergency response. It complements other PAHO/ WHO efforts in communicating for risk management.

The entire 139-page document may be downloaded as a PDF file for free in English or Spanish: (English) or (Spanish). The publication may also be ordered from .

For more information on the publication, see the PAHO website at  or

265 Recent Additions to Haz-Map Database

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Haz-Map, a database on the effects of occupational exposure to potentially toxic agents from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), has added 265 agents.  

These agents include 60 assorted metal compounds, 100 rare earth metals, and more than 80 other substances (uranium compounds, metallic perchlorate compounds, thiols, sulfites, nitriles, glycol ethers, fluorides, aldehydes, and acid anhydrides).

Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It covers 3218 agents, and 225 occupational diseases.

The database may be accessed at