Medical Libraries

Medical Information for the Patient

This interesting article from the Managed Care Magazine talks about "information therapy." The article defines information therapy as "the practice of providing more and better information to patients so they can contribute more to their healing." This doctor-provided information encourages the patient to be more active participants in their care and helps to counteract the incorrect information which is so readily available.


Stony Brook Library posts personal info by mistake

An Anonymous Patron writes "Just got back from vacation and found a letter in my mailbox. Apparently I am one of the amost 90,000 people whose information was posted. I graduated in 2003 and have no idea why or how I ended up in this list.

Here's The story"

The value of a medical librarian

JET writes "
The Dallas Morning News
has an informative article about why it is better to consult a medical librarian for medical information rather than going it alone."


Your doctor's secret: He Googles

If you've ever Googled your medical symptoms before going to the doctor, don't be shy about telling him or her your discovery. Chances are, your physician is digging up health information in exactly the same way.

Doctors are increasingly tapping the Internet for health-related information, and the search engine Google can help physicians diagnose difficult medical situations, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

When the doctors selected three to five search terms for 26 difficult cases published in a medical journal, Google spit out the correct diagnoses for 58 percent of them, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, lymphoma, Churg-Strauss syndrome, Brugada syndrome and cat scratch disease.

Article here.


HubMed provides chart tracking keywords

Jay writes: ResearchBuzz reported a very interesting and useful feature of HubMed which now provides Charts Tracking Keywords. Excerpts: "It's an interface to the medical literature search engine PubMed that's simplified and very easy to use. Nice if you're not a professional medical researcher and find the PubMed interface overwhelming. HubMed also offers keyword-based RSS feeds for tracking additions to its database. HubMed also offers charts as well. Run a search. On the results page look to the right and you'll see a results count: "Results 1-20 of" however many results you got. Next to that will be a small chart icon." For example, searching for Biomaterials and then clicking the chart icon finds
16 papers with titles or abstracts containing the word 'biomaterials' in 1975; Number of papers with the term 'biomaterials' in titles or abstracts increased to 480 in 2005. (NOTE: the icon for 'charts' is not clearly visible; It is very small)


Delivering Health Information: BlueTrunk Libraries

From the Public Library of Science:

Special, small collections of up-to-date health information for medical specialists are being distributed via the WHO, called Blue Trunk Libraries.

"Unfortunately, there are still many areas in the developing world that have neither computers nor a reliable electricity supply. Thus, in spite of the rapid development of information and communications technologies, the gap between "the haves and have-nots" continues to blight isolated areas (those outside a capital city). In these areas, the appropriate solution to information access is still printed material. In response to this need for printed health information, WHO librarians created the Blue Trunk Library (BTL) project.

Stolen medical records

coastal writes "I saw the news on Slashdot this morning that hundreds of thousands of medical records belonging to Oregon patients were stolen.

The Slashdot article is here: 37222&

Scathing editorial here: /C426/L426

Unfortunately, poor data security procedures are probably fairly common within the medical industry, except (I hope) in large hospitals. With the coming rush to implement Electronic Medical Records even in small physician practices, theft of data could occur more frequently. EMR is an exciting technology, but I fear that while giving better access, it will give patients less privacy and less control over their own records. If we should ever have such a system as a national EMR share system(and I don't doubt that we could after billions of dollars and a couple of decades) I see it being used as much by insurance companies to deny claims based on pre-existing conditions, as much as it would be used by doctors to assist in diagnosis, and by patients to manage their own health.

HIPAA. HIPAA is an important effort and I think it has the right idea, but has it actually provided any benefits to patients? Don't most patients sign a waiver that gives the care provider authorization to release records to basically anyone? Based only on observations, it seems to me that many health care workers see HIPAA regulations as an obstacle to doing their jobs.

Okay, enough ranting. Any medical librarians to the rescue?



Medical Librarians ARE "all that"

Durst writes "This article in the Dallas Morning News is an uplifting, refreshing piece on the value of medical librarians. Moreover, it provides a reassurance that the need for medical librarians is going to grow over the next 10-15 years.

From the article: "Nearly every medical librarian can tell a story about a grateful client whose life or work has been improved, or even saved, through our efforts."

PubMed search through RSS feeds

Jay writes "PubMed has announced that the search results can now be directly downloaded on your desktop through RSS feeds.

To set up an RSS feed:
(1) Run your search in PubMed.
(2) Select RSS Feed from the Send to menu.
(3) Click Create Feed and copy the XML icon into your RSS Reader.

An RSS reader is required to use this service on your computer and retrieve new items from PubMed. RSS feeds can also be retrieved in your bloglines account by subscribing to the feed.
For More information, see:

RSS Feeds Available from PubMed.

For additional information on feeds from other electronic journals and databases, please see:

Blogging as a tool : innovative approaches to information access."

Medical Librarian Wants to Have a Nobel Prize Revoked for Inventor of Lobotomy

Kelly writes "In this story, `Lobotomy Back in Spotlight After 30 Years,' 66, Christine Johnson, a Levittown, N.Y., medical librarian, `started a campaign to have the prize revoked' posthumously for the person who was awarded invented lobotomy procedures, Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz."


Health information should be easier to find - especially from within the hospital

cathyp writes "BusinessWeek Online has an article about a reporter's inability to find the information he needed to make health decisions while in the hospital. No mention of whether or not there is actually a library at that hospital or not.

"Hospitals need to help patients learn how to study their conditions and their options. They're full of social workers, counselors, and even volunteers. Training them to train patients in learning about their diseases and their options is an investment in letting us learn quickly how to coordinate our own care. And it's a job a motivated candy-striper could handle. Even doctors, who are known to complain that patients rely on unreliable Web sites, should be way more active in helping us find something better."

Article is here: /b3926010_mz001.htm"


Laugh Library Opens at Wellness Center

Anonymous Patron writes, "Choose to Laugh has launched its first Laugh Library and Screening Room at the Wellness Community Center of Santa Monica in California, where most of the patients have been diagnosed with cancer. Designed by U.K. designer Ella Cottrell, the new Laugh Library features DVDs, books, a 42-inch Plasma television, and an area that will seat eight to ten patients for group therapy."


A Look Back at Medicine in the Rare Book Room

Paneled in dark wood and lined with shelves of important old books, the New York Academy of Medicine's Malloch Rare Book Room is also home to a few literal medical oddities in three dimensions: a grapefruit-sized hairball from a cow (thought to be a cure for rabies), George Washington's dentures, and more.

Curator Miriam Mandelbaum frequently receives foreign visitors at the library at 103rd Street in upper Manhattan as it is listed for its oddities in the Lonely Planet guide. She is proud to point out rare collections of books on cookery (health through herbal remedies), books on surgery, anatomy and diagnosis and treatment of diseases from the 16th Century. Story from the New York Times.


Log on for a Late Night Librarian

A project that gives health professionals late-night access to librarians' expertise by using an instant messaging (IM) link between the UK and Australia has won a prestigious International Information Industry Award.

'Chasing the Sun', a partnership between South West Information for Clinican Effectiveness (SWICE) and South Australian Health Services Libraries' Consortium (SAHSLC), allows clinicians in one country with urgent questions about patient care to page an online librarian in the other at times of the night when the library would normally be shut.

Although only two locales are currently participating, the program hopes to expand in scope to include additional countries, for example Canada and New Zealand. Story from E-Health Insider.


World AIDS Day is Wednesday, December 1

How much do you know about AIDS? Does your library have accurate and up-to-date information on prevention and treatment of this deadly disease?

Resources on the web:

from the UN: UN AIDS

US sites: Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control

UK sites: World AIDS Day and Avert


Medical Meta-Search Engine Debut

search engine person writes " sends us a link to this very nifty medical meta-search engine is a metasearch engine. It does not operate the same way as search engines like Google or Yahoo. Instead of assembling our own database of websites to present our search results, we return the search results from other search engines in various combinations. When you submit a search term, our metasearch software sends that query, simultaneously, to other search engines, websites and databases. When it returns, you are presented with the top results of ALL the search engines and databases you selected.

Rochelle says: I spent some time playing with it and really like it. Of particular interest to my morbid self was the image search function. Also notable is that there are no ads, and no links to pay-per-view articles. My cynical self is wondering, "what's the catch?"


Going Digital: Paper Trail Stops at Mayo Clinic

An Anonymous Patron sends" this press release from the Mayo Clinic

The paper trail is stopping for outpatients at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. From now on, all medical records will be created and stored electronically for nearly 1.5 million annual outpatient visits.

'This is a technology milestone," says David Mohr, M.D., internal medicine specialist who has guided the process from idea to reality. "But more importantly, it's a tool to streamline and improve patient care.'

Electronic record keeping enables all providers to have immediate access to a patient's records, including physician notes, orders for tests and medications as well as laboratory and test results.


University Library Offers Health Reference Services

Searcher writes "The Salt Lake City Tribune Reports Americans once turned to their doctors with health-related questions -- now they ask Jeeves or Google. The problem is that online consultations may not be so reliable, say librarians at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah.
A free service offered by the library aims to help."


Government Drug Trial Database In The Future?

wordy1 writes "The NY Times (registration required) reports: Merck, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, says it supports the idea of a government-run database that
that would keep track of all late-stage clinical drug trials from start to finish. The position by Merck, which the company disclosed in an interview yesterday, is apparently the first major sign of pharmaceutical industry support for such a comprehensive database. Doctors' groups and medical journal publishers have lately called for such a database - or trial registry, as it is also termed - to make it easier to track the results of drug trials. Under the current system of trials, which are typically financed by drug makers, results unfavorable to the companies may never be widely circulated."


Gambian librarians train to become AIDS educators


The Gambia Library and Information Services Association in collaboration with the National AIDS Secretariat Wednesday organized a three-day training of trainer\'s workshop on the dissemination AIDS/STDs for Library Personnel.

Among the aims and objectives of the workshop is to bring about awareness on the importance of HIV/AID/STDs information, expose and train members in all aspects of HIV/AIDS information management and dissemination, assess the challenges and constraints facing the library information personnel in order to exam (sic) the contributing factors of the poor performance of library and information services in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country as well as to design a standard training package for current and prospective staff and equip members with IEC skill on the prevention of the disease . . .

Complete article.



Subscribe to RSS - Medical