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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for February, 2013

Patient Engagement Framework

Monday, February 18th, 2013

By Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

If you are following developments on the national stage regarding patient engagement and consumer eHealth, you may have read recently about the Patient Engagement Framework. This framework is a model created to guide healthcare organizations in developing and strengthening their patient engagement strategies through the use of eHealth tools and resources. ( In collaboration, over 150 experts in healthcare, technology, and human behavior have produced this framework to assist organizations become more efficient and effective in their patient models of care. The collaboration is rooted in the idea of treating patients as partners in their care, rather than just passive customers.

The partnership behind all of this work and activity is the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC). It is a public-private partnership focused on “secure and interoperable nationwide health information exchange to advance and improve health care.” ( The NeHC itself was established through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to build on the accomplishments of the American Health Information Community, which is a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There are a number of programs and more information on the NeHC website that describe how they work to educate, connect, and encourage healthcare stakeholders to efficiently use health information technology and health information exchange.

What this means for health science libraries and librarians, is that we can promote and educate the stakeholders in our organizations on these developments and serve as a source of information. One of the products from NeHC is the Consumer eHealth Readiness Tool (CeRT). This tool includes an extensive survey-based organizational assessment to ascertain an organization’s readiness to engage patients in their healthcare. The idea behind this tool and consumer engagement is that an engaged consumer is more likely to take care of themselves and their health, which improves health outcomes, cultivates customer loyalty, and increases their competitive advantage. There is a charge for this tool, but it may be very helpful to an organization seeking to strengthen the “providers’ ability to meet meaningful use incentive requirements and criteria important to new accountable care and other patient-centered programs.” (

We are going to hear much more about patient-centered care and patient engagement as we all move toward a more participatory form of health care provision. All health sciences librarians and consumer health librarians should be monitoring developments and become better informed about what is happening on the national stage. Being informed will help us provide assistance and information to our stakeholders. As customer satisfaction and quality healthcare become even more paramount, libraries can be an important partner in connecting providers and the public with quality information resources.

For more information, please contact Terri Ottosen at


Beyond the SEA: February 20, 2013 – A Discussion of Funding Opportunities from SE/A in the 2013-2014 Year

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (EST)

Presenters: J. Dale Prince, Executive Director, NN/LM SE/A

J. Dale Prince will present on the opportunities, schedules, and anticipated outcomes for the 2013-2014 funding program of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region.


What do you need to join these conferences?

  • A computer (with Flash installed)
  • A telephone

How do I connect?

 Go to this URL:

  • Enter as a Guest
  • Sign in with your first and last name

Follow the instructions in the meeting room to have Adobe Connect call your phone or call 1-800-605-5167 and enter the participant code 816440 when prompted.

Online Class: Nursing on the Net: Health Care Resources You Can Use (February 25th, 2013 - March 24, 2013)

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Dates:                 February 25th, 2013 – March 24, 2013

Instructor:      David Midyette, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A RML


Looking for the latest developments in patient care but finding too much, too little or inadequate information? This online course is for nurses, nursing students and faculty, and librarians interested in information services for Nursing and Allied Health professions. Participants will learn to use and evaluate web based health information resources for professionals and consumers, including online news services and continuing education opportunities. Participants will also learn to search the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database of over 22 million citations using the PubMed interface, and become familiar with MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine’s web site for consumer health information.

The Nursing on the Net class is approved for 4 hours of Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education Units and participants completing all course content will receive a certificate of completion.

Additional information about this class can be found on the SE/A website here:

Contact the class facilitator at with any additional questions.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) information resources on the NET

Monday, February 11th, 2013

By PJ Grier, Outreach and Access Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

Do you want quick access to published literature on EHRs? If you answered yes, then there is a readily available PubMed search accessible from the main landing page under Topic Specific Queries. Tweak the search with limits as needed, run it, and if satisfied, insert it into your NCBI account as a “named” saved search for future use. Though not a MeSH heading, a suggestion is to incorporate the term “app” to the search to yield results that include mobile, clinical, and consumer “app” technologies.

Due to institutional adoptions of EHRs, you may need to keep current with news of the latest trends.  Below is a generalized list of resources culled from the Internet.  The list is updated frequently as it is also used in the NN/LM SE/A class – Breaking an EHR-S: a sandbox workshop.

Some resources are blogs, some serve as news “re-collection” repositories, others offer candid opinions on various facets of EHRs and the broader healthcare information technology (HIT) movement, and several are government maintained.

Let me know what you think of the resources, as feedback is always useful.

  •  How do I select an EHR vendor?
    A government sponsored site explaining the vendor assessment process for physician practices and referral to Regional Extension Centers (RECs) for additional assistance.
  • HealthIT
    A comprehensive government site powered for policy researchers, implementers, healthcare providers and patients
  • The healthcare blog
    Contains posts by influential bloggers from across healthcare, featuring pieces at the center of stories transforming the field.  Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, this blog tracks the implications of the landmark legislation, with attention paid to the healthcare startup scene and new technologies.
  • EMR reviews
    Reviews on EHRs, plus their pricing, videos, meaningful use and big data
  • InformationWeek Healthcare
    One of the most trusted information networks for addressing mission critical business and technology content.
  • HealthcareFinance News
    This source provides comprehensive coverage of the financial challenges faced by healthcare providers and payers in light of healthcare costs, regulatory developments, and diminishing reimbursements.
  • Healthcare Technology Review
    Comprehensive information, reviews, ratings and news on today’s leading healthcare technologies, with a special focus on Electronic Medical Records.
  • Informatics for Consumer Health (journal articles)
    A joint government agency resource containing both evidenced-based and theoretical content gathered by experts, government partners, and experienced stakeholders.
  • SearchHealthIT – EHR Systems
    Information on EHR best practices, EHR selection, EHR implementation, and EHR certification.
  • EHR Intelligence
    EHRIntelligence is a leading online resource for the latest news and product information about Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Records.
  • Life as an Healthcare CIO
    John D. Halamka, MD is the Chief Information Officer for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Cultural Competence in Health Sciences

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

By David Midyette, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

The old analogy of the United States as a melting pot is being transitioned into a more modern understanding of the U.S. as more of a salad. The various ethnic and cultural backgrounds of people in the country, legal, illegal, or otherwise, present the health care community with a plethora of beliefs about health and healing. Frequently these beliefs come into direct contact/conflict with the Western style of medicine that is the predominant practice in the U.S. healthcare system. State medical and allied health licensing boards are increasingly faced with the challenges of ensuring that new practitioners are culturally competent as they begin to practice their craft, and that experienced practitioners develop skills to deal with sometimes drastically different belief systems held by their patients.

The Office of Minority Health defines cultural competency as:

“Cultural and linguistic competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations ‘Culture’ refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups. ‘Competence’ implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.” (Office of Minority Health, 2005)

People from all over the world and from widely varying cultures enter the U.S. medical system and can be faced with a bewildering barrage of unfamiliar terms, concepts, and practices. Providing consumer health information in their native language certainly helps, but it is crucial for positive outcomes for practitioners to understand and work with patients by working to bridge understandings and perceptions.

Susan Landers (2009) wrote an article for American Medical News (AMA) on the status of cultural competency requirements among various states. She indicated that there was a great deal of resistance in many states, and that there was an uneven treatment. In July of 2012, a joint panel of Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) experts convened to tackle the issue of cultural competency among physicians and public health workers. (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2012) The report from their meeting outlines the basic areas of cultural competency education that medical schools and schools of public health should cover in developing and integrating this topic into their curricula. The report can be accessed here, and includes multiple case studies that clearly delineate the need for increased cultural awareness in the medical and public health communities. There are also links to additional reports in the MedEdPORTAL® system (, detailed core competencies, and a roadmap for the future of cultural competency education in the health sciences.

Many authors have begun to tackle the frequent clash between Western and Indigenous medical understandings and practices in the popular press. Anne Fadiman (1997) wrote a compelling book about the interaction, disconnection, and eventual consequences of a Hmong family’s journey through the treatment process in Western medicine. Geri Galanti (2008) also wrote a volume of case studies for the nursing field, which again provides often poignant revelations about the interaction between Indigenous and Western medical beliefs and practices. Authors in the medical field have begun addressing cultural competency in the classroom with textbooks from a wide range of disciplines. (Edberg, 2013; Samovar, Porter, & McDaniel, 2012; Sobo & Loustaunau, 2010)

There is no shortage of voices in the debate and there are certainly no absolutes. However, the medical and public health field, along with other health science disciplines, are tackling this issue with gusto and there is a growing body of literature and research to support the necessity of integrating cultural competency into both the educational process and the clinical process. If you would like further information, please contact David at



Association of American Medical Colleges. (2012). New Report Offers Recommendations for Educating More Culturally Competent Physicians and Public Health Practitioners  Retrieved Feburary 5, 2013, from

Edberg, M. C. (2013). Essentials of health, culture, and diversity : understanding people, reducing disparities. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Fadiman, A. (1997). The spirit catches you and you fall down : a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Galanti, G.-A. (2008). Caring for patients from different cultures. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Landers, S. J. (2009). Mandating cultural competency: Should physicians be required to take courses? American Medical News. Retrieved from website:

Office of Minority Health. (2005). What is Cultural Competency?  Retrieved February 5, 2013, from

Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., & McDaniel, E. R. (2012). Intercultural communication : a reader. Boston, Mass.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Sobo, E. J., & Loustaunau, M. O. (2010). The cultural context of health, illness, and medicine. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger.

Last updated on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016

Funded under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library, and awarded by the DHHS, NIH, National Library of Medicine.