Archive for June, 2010

iPad + Goodreader = Scary security risk

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

It’s not often I blog at 8am on a Saturday but this alert about Goodreader on the iPad from Jason Griffey’s discovery at the American Library Association conference is too scary to let pass by.

By default, Goodreader doesn’t require authentication or any warning to connect via Bonjour, and it allows you to browse AND DOWNLOAD any files that are so shared. Sitting in the Conference Center lobby, I was able to connect to two different iPads, view and grab files arbitrarilly, and push files TO the iPads as well.

Thinking about the implications of iPads that may contain cached sensitive medical information or documents with login or other data outside a secure hospital system (how many of us catch up on a little bit of work while at Starbucks?) setting  freaks me out even more. What opportunities are there for medical librarians, hospital IT departments and med students/residents/clinicans to easily share what devices they are using and be aware of the latest security risks and how to resolve them?

Friday Foolery #90: In Which I Sing on YouTube

Friday, June 25th, 2010

No, I’m still not part of the Librarian Gaga scene… yet. There may or may not be something else in the works there.

Remember The murderer is the librarian with a Mountain Dew in the antique cuckoo clock dining room?

Thanks to the incredibly hard work of the Hedgehog Librarian, I present you with a bunch of us from the Library Society of the World singing a capella at our webcams. The finger puppet monkey before me by Organization Monkey was obtained during the same shopping trip that led to these fabulous pants last year.

My voice is pitched a full octave lower than my usual soprano on the chorus line because I woke up sounding like a strangled frog that day and lost my voice outright 2 days later. It was a miracle I could do the last line without croaking. The cuckoo clock was brought home from the Black Forest region during WWII by my grandfather.

Today is also our son’s 8th birthday & I’m assuming this video will embarrass him by the time he adds on another 8 years. He already saw the video and was far more impressed that big-noggined David Rothman kicks it off (and that I’m friends with him on Facebook) than by anything I contributed to it.

Friday Foolery #89: Bzzz…

Friday, June 18th, 2010

I purposely delayed today’s entry since I was pretty sure I’d get a Foursquare Swarm badge tonight due to

  • A Mariners/Reds game with an attendance of over 42,000
  • This being Seattle, land of many, many geeks

I’ve used Foursquare for exactly 19 days due to not having a smartphone before May and being on the fence about using ‘a stalker app’. I do find myself being relatively cautious with it such as not Tweeting or Facebooking my checkins, being much more selective about Foursquare friends than Twitter and Facebook, not having my full name listed anywhere at all, not including our house as a checkpoint, and using my website graphic to make it that much harder to identify me in a crowd.

A hint to those entering cutesy names for their homes: Please use spellcheck. Although we may not be able to see your address (and why on earth are so many unprotecting that for public view?), we can see the name and ‘Liar’ for ‘Lair’ looks really dorky.

I’m also curious about potential use for libraries. I didn’t really think about geolocation and libraries until the Top Tech Trends IV panel, then after some time have realized what Barb Chamberlain and Lorena O’English tweeted about librarians being the mayor of the library may not be perceived as customer friendly… unless…

What if, instead of a reward only for the ‘mayor’ (one person who checks in the most) of your venue, you offered all users who checked in via Foursquare and gave a phrase that changed every week or so to library staff to receive a tangible reward of some sort? Or if the librarians didn’t blaze ahead by dozens of checkins but held back to keep pace with top-ranking students who could then have the joy of ousting the librarian mayor?

This is part of why I’ll be helping Glen Farrelly with his Foursquare research and encourage you to do the same if you’re so inclined.

Of Impact, Information and Ideas

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

ePatient Dave deBronkart, me, and Susannah Fox (Pew Internet)

I learned from previous experience that the wireless card wouldn’t work in the audience area of the room the E-Patient Symposium was held in at the Medical Library Association meeting, which I covered in two parts as The View From The Trenches and Personal Health Records (PHRs) in the official conference blog.

Via Twitter you often tend to make professional friends online first, then meet face to face as you huddle around outlets at conferences. This was the case for me with ePatient Dave who was the first one back there. He didn’t recognize me initially when I showed up with my 6-outlet surge protector to share (a great way to make instant conference friends).

Suddenly his entire face lit up with unmistakably genuine joy.

“It’s YOU!” and he quickly whipped out his cell phone camera.

“You have got to be kidding me, Dave. This “YOU!” is so the other way around,” I silently thought to myself.

Throughout the rest of the symposium we listened attentively to the speakers, chatted, and he graciously introduced me to Regina Holliday (the “is my savior in the cloud?’ line from her poem and paintings haunt me still) and Susannah Fox.

What amazing, dynamic people who I continue to connect and share ideas with about healthcare information via Twitter. It’s not about the channel though; whatever method of communication opens up in the future, I’m pretty sure we’ll all be there connecting through it.

Are librarian bloggers not radical enough, as Connie Crosby hypothesizes, due to a lack of blog comments? Is blogging dead? No.

What about Abigail’s point in her Hedgehog Librarian blog?

We may know we’re doing cool things but we’re insular and primarily talk to ourselves and about ourselves. We have our own conferences, our own professional networks, and the navel gazing can become exhausting.


What are you doing that leads to the “YOU!” moments, especially from those outside the library field who are among our most passionate advocates?

I would be remiss in not honoring a “YOU!” colleague who was taken much too soon from us last week: Cynthia Kahn. She was not only an outstanding librarian but her work in diabetes advocacy, especially with youth in Adventures for the Cure, was phenomenal and she will be dearly missed. A quick search of her Twitter account name during the time of the shocking news of her sudden death identifed another Twitter community besides medical librarians who were grieving the same loss:

What are you doing to identify and bridge these connections with others?

The relationships and impact of shared information and ideas is what matters. It’s not about specific communication channels or carefully guarded power structures. We have so many ways available to make it easier than ever to break down information silos. This is a vision for geolocation. What similar vision do we have for healthcare information?

Friday Foolery #88: Sticky Situation

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Last Friday we celebrated National Doughnut Day.

Slightly late to the party, the rookie wide receiver of the Seattle Seahawks (Golden Tate) was busted for trespassing at the closed Top Pot Doughnuts in Bellevue at 3am on Saturday to get… maple bars.

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Don’t miss this quote from the coach at the end

"That's definitely wrong. We've talked about it, addressed it. He's remorseful and all that. I do understand the lure of the maple bars. "

For those who think it was a publicity stunt, here’s the 911 tape from the night baker where she sounds irate and reports they are “drunk and being retarded.” Tate and his friend originally stole her keys too but knocked on the door to return them as she was on the phone with the dispatcher. Interesting how this friend isn’t identified and nobody’s talking about that part of the equation though.

How does our fine city react to this news?

1,200 Top Pot maple bars were history on Wednesday. OM NOM NOM!

Electronic Health Records: Not All About the Machine

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Coverage from the recent Medical Library Association meeting included a lot about electronic health records (EHRs) such as the EBSCO Sunrise Seminar, my coverage of the Linking E-Resources to Clinical Information Systems (CIS) session and a panel on Wednesday.

I am sorry I missed Dr. John Halamka’s (Life as a Healthcare CIO) presentation of the Leiter Lecture at the National Library of Medicine and am looking forward to finally having a chance to catch up with his video and slides this weekend. One does not mess with the timing of the only nonstop flight from Washington DC to Seattle though, there were cancellations of connecting flights through Chicago that stranded some of my Seattle colleagues!

Other perspectives that have my attention are The ADL Librarian who started a series about The Role of Libraries in EHR Implementation beginning with Challenges, especially from the perspective of primary care who may not already have relationships with medical librarians, and Dr. Jeff Belden featured the recent AHRQ white paper addressing EMR usability: Vendor Practices & Perspectives which cannot be overlooked.

Of particular interest to me was when Dr. Edward Pullen wrote about How to talk to patients with an EMR in the room on KevinMD though. I recently had the opportunity to see a new doctor who followed these six recommendations extremely well. He maintained a near constant verbal contact with me as he explained what notes he was entering in the EMR, why, and which parts of the notes would integrate with a standard template patient after-visit printout which resulted in it being the best one I’ve received and I’ve had an EMR through this HMO since 2001.

It is due to a combination of this experience and Harborview Medical Center being local that I’ll be following the progress of the recently announced OpenNotes study of over 100 physicians and 25,000 patients funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to evaluate the impact on both patients and physicians of sharing, through online medical record portals, the comments and observations made by physicians after each patient encounter with great interest. From the press release,

“Doctors have strong differences of opinion about giving patients access to their notes. However, the debate is largely uninformed by evidence,” says Stephen Downs, assistant vice president at RWJF and member of the Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio. “In the context of a physician’s day-to-day work, opening up notes is a subtle change—but it could reposition notes to be for the patient instead of about the patient, which might have a powerful impact on the doctor-patient relationship and, in the long run, lead to better care.”

They’ve got that one right if I as a medical librarian with both an interest in health informatics and 9 years of experience having an EMR was impressed with the inclusion of personalized notes in my after-visit patient handout.

Friday Foolery #87: National Doughnut Day

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Wow. I knew I had an eye on the horizon regarding trends with health informatics and medical librarianship, but I doubt I’ll ever scoop something like the Librarians Do Gaga video (last week at this time it was around 300 views, now it’s over 290,000) before it hits both Boing Boing and Perez Hilton [edit: and today, HuffPo] again in my life!

Today is simple: Go celebrate National Doughnut Day! Most of the Krispy Kremes (pdf of participants) and Dunkin Donuts in the USA are participating but check the links first so you won’t be disappointed.  If only I could grab a maple bacon donut from Voodoo as part of the festivities….

Missing posts of substance here? I am too, we’ll fix that next week. I’m still reflecting on the posts I and others have written for MLA 2010 and some exciting things the Department of Health and Human Services have been up to.