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Archive for July, 2013

Search Engine Report

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Search engines have been changing rapidly in recent months and legal issues arising in both the United States in Europe may ensure that the changes continue.

First, let’s take a look at some of the changes that have taken place to two of the top search engines.

Google Logo

Google: According to Inside Search: The Official Google Search Blog, in May Google introduced nutrition information in search results. Nutrition information results are now returned in the right sidebar of the search results page. The nutrition information provided comes from a variety of data sources including the USDA’s National Nutrient Database. At launch the results were limited to only about 1,000 of the most popular foods. Additional foods are expected to be added in the future.

Most recently Google dropped several search operators and features from use. While these operators and features allowed users to construct more advanced searches and better refine results they were seeing little use and Google opted to drop them. Expect to see other small changes or dropped features as Google determines which features are not getting enough usage.

Dropped operators and features include:

Use of tilde operator for synonyms search (~word)

Instant page previews from search results

“more results near…” link on local search results for queries with local intent

“Translated Foreign Pages” search filter from the Google search options menu

Related Searches filter

Bing LogoBing: Bing recently announced Bing for Schools a voluntary program that would allow K-12 schools to tailor Bing results for students. Bing for Schools will eliminate advertising from search results as well as enhanced filtering of adult content and adding specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy. Bing for Schools is expected to launch later this year.


Expect a few more changes to results from top search engines in the near future. According to The Motley Fool post The Skinny on the Search Engine World, in the United States Google, Micosoft (Bing), and Yahoo! was well as 20 other top search engines received a warning letter from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) admonishing them about deceptive advertising in search results. The FTC will likely begin enforcing rules regarding advertising in search results in the near future. The warning advises companies to make ads clearly distinguishable from regular search results. The letter specifically addresses small font size and positioning of labels that are meant to designate ads on search result pages.

In Europe Google is facing allegations of antitrust violations over how results are displayed. Allegations that Google and its affiliated websites appear as top results regardless of relevance to the search query are at the forefront of the issue. FairSearch, the European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, and others have recently called for the rejection of a proposal from Google to help with the current violation.

Upcoming Webinar Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 will host a webinar on Friday, July 26, 2013 from11:00 a.m – 12:00 noon CT, regarding plans to provide library staff with resources to respond to increased patron information needs related to the Affordable Care Act. This webinar will present similar information to what was covered during a session at the American Library Association annual conference in June, as well as newly available details.

Currently, registration for this event is full, but the session will be archived for future viewing. For more information, visit:

For more information about the ACA and the role of libraries, see: .
Health Insurance Marketplace: Have health insurance questions? Get Quick Answers

Patient Safety Primers Available from AHRQ

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

MD writing on Chart

Patient safety in hospitals is a topic important to everyone, but it can be difficult to understand all of the issues involved. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Patient Safety Network provides a series of Patient Safety Primers to guide people through key concepts in patient safety:

There are over 20 Primers available.  Some of the topics are:

  • Adverse Events after Hospital Discharge: Nearly 20% of patients experience an adverse event in the first 3 weeks after discharge, including medication errors, health care–associated infections, and procedural complications.
  • Checklists: Though a seemingly simple intervention, checklists have played a leading role in the most significant successes of the patient safety movement, including the near-elimination of central line–associated bloodstream infections in many intensive care units.
  • Diagnostic Errors: Thousands of patients die every year due to diagnostic errors. While clinicians’ cognitive biases play a role in many diagnostic errors, underlying health care system problems also contribute to missed and delayed diagnoses.
  • Disruptive and Unprofessional Behavior:  Popular media often depicts physicians as brilliant, intimidating, and condescending in equal measures. This stereotype obscures the fact that disruptive and unprofessional behavior by clinicians poses a definite threat to patient safety.
  • Error Disclosure: Many victims of medical errors never learn of the mistake, because the error is simply not disclosed. Physicians have traditionally shied away from discussing errors with patients, due to fear of precipitating a malpractice lawsuit and embarrassment and discomfort with the disclosure process.
  • Nursing and Patient Safety: Nurses play a critical role in patient safety through their constant presence at patient’s bedside. However, staffing issues and suboptimal working conditions can impede nurses’ ability to detect and prevent adverse events.
  • Wrong-Site, Wrong-Procedure, and Wrong-Patient Surgery: Few medical errors are as terrifying as those that involve patients who have undergone surgery on the wrong body part, undergone the incorrect procedure, or had a procedure intended for another patient.

Patients also have a part to play in ensuring that they have safe healthcare, as described in the following Primer:

  • The Role of the Patient in Safety: Efforts to engage patients in safety efforts have focused on three areas: enlisting patients in detecting adverse events, empowering patients to ensure safe care, and emphasizing patient involvement as a means of improving the culture of safety.

Would you like to know more?  Go here for the complete list of Patient Safety Primers

Funding for TexShare Libraries to Go Mobile!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Dollar Signs and Smartphone

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has announced second round funding opportunities for TexShare Libraries to Go Mobile. Intent forms are due by July 31, 2013.

Project Goal: To ensure that member libraries have a mobile presence useful to, and used by, their customers.

Purpose of Funding Program: TSLAC will support Texas libraries or library consortia interested in building or expanding their mobile presence through mobile accessible library catalogs, mobile accessible library web sites, and/or mobile apps. This can include design changes to existing site/catalogs or complete alternatives specifically made for the mobile environment.

TSLAC has assisted over 50 libraries enhance their mobile presence this year. Examples include:

• Mobile users can send research articles and other documents to library printers from their mobile devices.
• Students and faculty can view videoed lectures and presentations via the library’s mobile app
• Library users can access a mobile-friendly library catalog module
• Library users can access a mobile-friendly library website, including program calendar
• Library users can use QR codes printed in community publications to connect to library events or services.
• Library staff have access to mobile devices to test the new mobile technologies and to help patrons with them.

Funding available for FY2014 (September 2013 – September 2014)

TSLAC is offering subsidies ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 (depending upon library type and size). Intent forms are available at the program website.

Round 2 Timeline:
June 24, 2013: Library Intent forms available on TSLAC website. July 31, 2013: Last day to submit an Intent form. August 31, 2013: Last date to submit a Round 2 Project Summary Form. October 1, 2013: If project includes a subscription, latest start date for full 12-month funding. September 30, 2014: Projects completed; All items must be delivered; Subscription funding concludes Fall 2014: Project reports due.

Questions can be addressed to Beverley Shirley at or by phone to 800-252-9386.

Join Us for SCR CONNECTions on PubMed Health

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

PubMed Health Logo

Join us tomorrow for the monthly SCR CONNECTions webinar.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 from 10:30 – 11:30 am (CT)

Guest Speaker: Hilda Bastian, PubMed Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Topic: PubMed Health and Systematic Reviews

PubMed Health provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions. PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care.PubMed Health is a service provided by NCBI at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Guest speaker Hilda Bastian works at NCBI at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda. She is responsible for improving accessibility and usability of NLM resources based on systematic reviews. Hilda was instrumental in the development of PubMed Health and today she serves as the editor and curator of PubMed Health. Hilda was one of the founding members of the Cochrane Collaboration and the first Coordinator of its Consumer Network. She has been summarizing the results of systematic reviews for over 25 years.

SCR CONNECTions webinars are conducted via the Adobe Connect web meeting system. Join the webinar.

Test your connection before joining with Adobe Connect.

In response to technical errors, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) has discontinued the use of Voice Over IP for audio, all audio is conducted through dial-in.


Use *6 to mute or unmute your phone.

**Do Not Place Call on Hold**

Problems? Contact the Regional Medical Library (RML) office at 713-799-7880, or 800-338-7657 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX only).

This webinar will be available for 1 hour of Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education credit.

If you cannot attend the live webinar, we anticipate that it will be recorded and archived for viewing at a later date.

Funny and Informative Data Sharing and Management Video

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Librarians at New York University’s Health Sciences Libraries (NYUHSL) developed a series of short videos to highlight the importance of data sharing under Federally funded awards and grants. The Librarians at NYUHSL developed the videos with funding from “information specialist” supplements to existing National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) initiated these supplements as a pilot last year. They were offered by several NIH Institutes and Centers.

The NYUHSL librarians developed three short videos using Xtranormal animation and later combined them into one. The videos, while funny, highlight the importance of data sharing and the unfortunately funny situations that can arise when data is not managed correctly.

As data sets become an increasingly important aspect of continued research across departments and divisions researchers may need assistance understanding data management policies and data sharing. Increasingly librarians have demonstrated that they can play an important role in helping researchers with the data management process and data management policy creation.

Tools Connecting Patients to Clinical Trials

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Woman having bloodpressure test

There are a variety of matching tools created to allow patients to enter information about themselves into a registry, and then be matched to clinical trials for which they are eligible.  For example:

While extremely helpful, these tools require a person to find out about the registry, and then take the time to enter data about themselves into it.  A recent article in the online journal Nature Medicine “New tools automatically match patients with clinical trials” describes how new automatic matching tools are being tested to increase patient participation in clinical trials.

At Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center in Richmond VA and the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland OH, automated tools evaluate patient information from the data in the hospital records.  An algorithm checks the patient data with clinical trials registry data, and if a match is found, alerts the physician who can then offer that option to the patient.  One hope for these kinds of automated trial matching tools is that they can be used as a way to increase minority participation in clinical trials.


Apps for That

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

My Congress App Logo

The American Association of School Librarians have released their annual list of recommended apps for the classroom, Best Apps for Teaching & Learning 2013. Classroom use of mobile devices is on the rise and organizations and educators are working with app designers to develop apps that can be used to support classroom curriculum. This list provides an overview of the apps as well as tips for use.


Further demonstrating the importance of apps in education and libraries, a session at last month’s American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago was devoted to apps for reference and outreach. The presentation, 40 Great Apps for Mobile Reference and Outreach, as well as the recommended apps can be found online through the Apps for Reference & Outreach website. Presenters Mel Gooch and Richard Le of San Francisco Public Library presented a variety of apps, many free, which can be used by librarians for reference purposes.

Another ALA presentation highlighting the importance of apps and mobile devices, There’s An App for That: The Use of Mobile Devices, Apps and Resources for Health and Sci-Tech Librarians and Their Users, was organized by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Science and Technology Section (STS) and the Health Science Interest Group (HSIG). This session featured a panel of speakers including Max Anderson of Rush University, Rebecca Miller of the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, and Emily Hurst Technology Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR). Presentation slides and information on apps and mobile trends discussed can be found online.Presenters discussed trends in the mobile landscape, free apps from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), implementation of a tablet program at a medical school, apps for use in the medical school, and the use of apps to support learning goals and classroom curriculum. Rebecca Miller will speak more about apps and education during the September 2013 SCR CONNECTions webinar.

Librarians and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been much in the news recently, and, in fact, received a great deal of press at the recent American Library Association Annual Conference (ALA) held June 28 – July 2 in Chicago. It is becoming evident that libraries, particularly public libraries, will be called upon to serve a role in the rollout of the ACA. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has been in conversations with several government agencies regarding this role, which continues to develop. A panel presented at ALA, “Libraries & Health Insurance”, was presented by Jackie Garner, Medicaid consortium administrator; Susan Hildreth, director of Institute of Museum and Library Services; Ruth Holst, associate director at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Kendra Morgan, senior program manager, OCLC WebJunction . For more information about the ACA and the Role of Libraries, see: .

For the present, key points to know include: is the primary website for information about the Affordable Care Act. This site includes questions and answers, videos, and will have links to a toll free call center in many languages, as well as links to actual forms.

MedlinePlus has numerous links to information about the ACA under the “Health Insurance” Health Topics page.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released two discussion papers related to the ACA: “Helping Consumers Understand and Use Health Insurance in 2014” and “Let’s Ask 4: Questions for Consumers and Providers About Health Insurance”

Libraries and information providers are encouraged to link users to information provided by In anticipation of the upcoming open enrollment period, has created several widgets and badges in English and Spanish to quickly link website visitors to additional information.  Code for the widgets and badges is provided and can quickly be added to websites such as demonstrated in the example below.

Health Insurance Marketplace: Have health insurance questions? Get Quick Answers


Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The CTSA Program at NIH

Created in 2006, and currently funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program aims to facilitate and accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries into new and better preventive and treatment solutions to improve human health.

At the request of the NIH, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened a consensus committee to review the mission and strategic goals of the CTSA Program. The committee’s report, The CTSA Program at NIH: Opportunities for Advancing Clinical and Translational Research, offers key opportunities for action and recommendations to guide the program and ensure future success.

The IOM committee finds that the CTSA program is contributing significantly to advancing clinical and translational research, and recommends a number of revisions that could make the program more efficient and effective and could ensure future successes. If enacted, these changes would help establish the CTSA Program as the national leader for advancing innovative and transformative clinical and translational research.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) is home to six CTSA funded institutions. Last year the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Briscoe Library in San Antonio, Texas and the TMC Library in Houston, Texas each received funding from the NN/LM SCR to promote community engagement and encourage library support of CTSA programs.