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."



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