April 28th, 2013

15 Year Dawg

This is pretty surreal to admit:

Anniversary date 4/28/1998

Drumheller Fountain

I was a temporary employee for several months before my April 28th hire date and have blazed through a combination of fixed duration appointments and ‘acting’ assignments, so I have no idea how my years of service to the University of Washington have officially been calculated. It all depends on what type of employee classification you are. My anniversary hasn’t been acknowledged by UW since 2003 due to a number of reasons, but I don’t care and am taking myself shopping to commemorate the occasion anyway! How many Dawgs can say they’ve been continuously employed by the home team for 15 years and aren’t yet 40?

May 1st marks 5 years since my library career change and the 6th is taking some shifts I didn’t know about until recently – away from health informatics and electronic health records (EHRs) and towards new directions including patient engagement. It’s exciting to grow in new directions yet bittersweet to let go, but let go I must for the sake of learning my focus areas well. I’ll still blog here if something about health informatics catches my eye and of course there’s a lot of intersection, but EHRs are one of the tools used to involve patients with their healthcare and do not constitute actual patient engagement. This is something I’m seeing a lot of misunderstanding with current discussions about this area and I’m looking forward to bringing my health informatics background to this direction!

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April 19th, 2013

MLA 2013: Best PR Evah. The End.

Let’s just say I know for a fact that being Local Assistance Committee (LAC) Co-Chair is hard work, especially in the last few weeks ramping up to the meeting coming to town. It is so exciting, to be certain, but you want to make sure everything goes well for people to have a great time while they’re hanging out at your place.

Now, level that up that intensity by… oh, let’s say a thousand for a dangerous situation happening in the neighborhood 2 weeks before MLA.

Sarah

Moved to tears by Sarah McCord, MLA 2013 LAC Co-Chair for Boston at about 1:37 in

WHDH-TV 7News Boston

This is what Watertown is, and what Boston is. There’s always more helpers than haters. I love this city, I love this town, and this is what it is. This is why no one can break our spirit.

So glad you’re safe and sleeping well tonight, Coug.

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April 17th, 2013

Thursday #medlibs chat: Disaster Information

As I write this Wednesday night, I’m listening to news that numerous trauma and burn patients from the West, TX fertilizer plant explosion are being sent to hospitals all over the area with concerns about toxic gas in the community- a sad heads up to Texas medical library colleagues about the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) resource from the National Library of Medicine.

Please join us at 9pm Easter/6pm Pacific on Thursday night 4/17 for a #medlibs Twitter disaster information chat. The topic this week was… inspired is absolutely the wrong word… by the Boston Marathon tragedy. There wasn’t supposed to be another major disaster this week! I am very grateful for our medical librarian colleagues from NLM and NN/LM stepping up and pitching in to share resources, information and their stories. More details available at the #medlibs blog including a transcript afterwards and I’ll try curating a Storify of resources afterwards although that may take a few days.

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April 16th, 2013

MLA 2013: No Fear

Hole in one golf shot

It’s a beautiful Spring Break vacation week for our family. Yesterday we played miniature golf and haven’t laughed so hard chasing each other around with bumper cars for a long time, completely unaware of what was happening in Boston.

The Medical Library Association (MLA) sent a message out in less than 24 hours that needs to be heard by everyone about our upcoming meeting in Boston, and keep an eye on the official meeting blog for updates.

Update on One Health

We want to let MLA members and other colleagues from around the world who will be participating in the “One Health: Information in an Interdependent World” meeting in Boston that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families and friends. We also express our support and concern for our members, colleagues, and others who live and work in the area and thank those who have communicated with us.

MLA is in contact with the meeting hotels who have reported that they are open and are providing help as needed. The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center is also open. We anticipate no changes with regard to the “One Health” meeting, other than increased security. Members and staff are looking forward to welcoming attendees to the meeting next month and supporting the city of Boston during this difficult time. We will continue to update members and attendees as needed. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Yesterday, instead of sitting and watching the news on repeat, I headed out the door for a walk. I made a commitment to walk for 26 days in honor of the Boston Marathon victims for Charity Miles supporting Achilles International. That will include those long Seattle to Boston travel days and each day of the meeting.  If you’re out walking, running or cycling during our time in Boston and have a smartphone I encourage you to consider doing the same – think of the positive impact this could have not only for your health, but if hundreds of us did as One Voice of support for injured athletes.

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April 9th, 2013

Khan Academy: Medical Education and Lessons for Librarians

Recently I read The One World School House by Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy. We are already diving into Khan Academy with gusto and gratitude because while our son will complete his 6th grade coursework in June (he’s in 5th grade, our district doesn’t skip grades but accelerates curriculum) he’ll cover 7th grade coursework this summer with us so he is prepared for another jump ahead to 8th grade coursework in the fall.

This excerpt in particular has been resonating with me, from pages 251-252

The school I envision would embrace technology not for its own sake, but as a means to improve deep conceptual understanding, to make quality, relevant education far more portable and – somewhat counterintuitively – to humanize the classroom. It would raise both the status and the morale of teachers by freeing them from the drudgery and allowing them more time to teach, to help. It would give students more independence and control, allowing they to claim true ownership of their educations.

To humanize the classroom with technology.

I love this. I sincerely care about both the subject I’m teaching and my students being able to deeply understand it, regardless of if I’m teaching in person or via distance learning. I don’t want to be a presence of disembodied pixels scratching a superficial surface of learning. I try to keep authenticity at the core of every webcast I host and/or present, every Moodle course I teach, and in our Thursday night #medlibs chats. I have been thrilled to see so many new students and colleagues joining in, and am so thankful for everyone stepping up to share in leadership of the discussion.

So how does all of this tie in to medical education, let alone medical librarianship?

Did you know Khan Academy already has a Healthcare and Medicine section with some really great resource videos? Last week the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges and Khan Academy to provide free online resources to help students prepare for the revised Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) coming in 2015.

Per the news announcement

“This exciting new collaboration with Khan Academy and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide all students with free access to high-quality online educational materials to help them prepare for the revised MCAT exam in 2015,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and CEO of the AAMC, the organization that administers the MCAT exam. “We view this effort as an important addition to the work the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are doing to encourage and attract future physicians from diverse backgrounds, including students from economically and educationally disadvantaged communities.”

Medical students and residents are encouraged to find out more at MCAT Video Competition, but I especially encourage librarians to scroll down that page a bit and check out out the wealth of resources under How To Make a Khan Academy Video. The guidance and tips there are key for all effective and engaging instructional videos. Think of your screencast tutorials and Jing recordings on your library website/LibGuides – is there potential for some revamping?

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March 6th, 2013

Global Health + Netflix vs. ICD-10 + Turtles

“For our own sanity, we needed to create a new way to look at this stuff,” said Peter Speyer.

turtles-unmarked-01_blog_main_horizontal

These are two different stories, but since both crossed my path yesterday my brain merged them together and I had to share.

Peter Speyer, of course, was referring to the impressive array of global health visualization tools the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has developed and launched. My colleague Mahria wrote over in the work blog with some tips on a few of them to check out, and I love the twist covered over on Humanosphere about how the Netflix algorithm was tapped regarding death modeling. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s probably not what you think. What I do wonder is where Humanosphere was originally going with this article and title when the URL includes ‘or-how-netflix-and-burger’ Tell us more about the burgers, there’s no trace of them in the article now…

In other news, over on PBS Newshour there is a great story about ICD-1o coding, which I didn’t think could be full of fun and excitement until they lured me in with turtle injury codes. I also believe it is possible to incur Y93D1 & Y92253 simultaneously,  but you know what is going to be a real problem for the library and information field in the future?

Differentiating between work-related and non-work related knitting injuries at conferences.

icd-10knitting

No, really, I’m not making this up per the ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Codes. These work/non-work classifications also apply to running, jogging, walking, skating, golf, bowling, biking, football and a plethora of other sports – but not Y93.18 (Surfing, windsurfing and boogie boarding.)

I have confidence my colleagues will find a way to make it Y83.18×2.

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February 6th, 2013

Sabbatical, also known as Surrender

American to Moon: We surrender
America to Moon: We Surrender on Flickr by methodshop.com

I’ll be honest: January sucked. My husband and I were in accidents involving both our cars within 60 hours, neither of us injured and neither our fault, but the number of phone calls with their insurance companies and our insurance company (who was rather confused when we called in the new claim so soon) and time spent in auto shops to fix everything was epic. The day after all vehicles were repaired and the voice mails referencing claim numbers ceased, our son was home sick from school for three days then UberSnot made the rounds through the rest of the house.

So now it’s February… and our family received truly life-changing news over the weekend. Not a c-bomb or health diagnosis, and not anything negative for that matter, but it requires even more phone calls with bonus emails, appointments and a decision to be made by next month. Oh, and as much research as I can cram in each night when things settle down.

Combining that with the job that pays me for a living and every institutional, state, regional and national professional board, liaison, committee member and various iterations of how I am one of the Responsible People Doing Things all planning events and needing things from me between now and March, something had to give and this blog is it for now. I have been feeling  guilty that I haven’t been writing more but you know what? I’m barely making it through the days with my sanity intact as it is, so enough of that. When I gave a dear colleague a brief overview of the events going on next month, I received a reply of ALSO YOUR MARCH SOUNDS HELLISH. It is. I’ve always been a fan of quality over quantity, but since I have neither for the foreseeable future I’ll be back when I have a decent amount of brainpower to spare.

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January 14th, 2013

Pew Health Online 2013: From a medical librarian perspective

First, I want to express my gratitude to Susannah Fox at Pew Internet for making advance copies of Health Online 2013 (a 53 page PDF) available to bloggers so I was able to read & reflect a bit on this at home Monday night before the launch of the public report on Tuesday. The data for the report was collected in August-September 2012 based on both landline and cell phone interviews with 3,014 adults living in the United States.

I’ll break this coverage down into two parts: short & sweet (aka just the stats), and anything but sweet with regards to information paywalls and their notable effect on searching for health information. Paywalls are an area  librarians are usually thinking about, but especially now after the tragic death of Aaron Swartz last week.

Just the Stats

The ‘health diagnosers’ section

  • 1 in 3 American adults (35%) have gone online specifically to find out what medical condition they or someone else might have
  • Pew refers to those who have searched for health information online specifically to find health answers ‘online diagnosers’ in the report
  • 46% of online diagnosers agreed that the information they found online led them to think they needed medical attention
  • 41% of online diagnosers said a medical professional confirmed their diagnosis, 35% did not visit a clinician to get a professional opinion

The ‘online health seekers’ section

  • 72% of Internet users said they sought health information of some kind over the past year (not necessarily diagnostic)
  • Pew refers to these people as ‘online health seekers’ in this report
  • 77% of online health seekers start their searches at a search engine (roughly the same percentage as the first report in 2010), 13% start at a website dedicated to health information

Mobile health information

  • 85% of U.S. adults own a cell phone, 31% of these adults say they have used their phone to look for health or medical information online.
  • Latinos, African Americans, those between the ages of 18 and 49, and those who have attended at least some college education are more likely to search for mobile health information.

One in four people seeking health information online have hit a pay wall

To me as an information professional this is particularly important and not within the ‘at a glance’ stats, so I’m quoting it in entirety below from page 16, bold emphasis mine.

Twenty-six percent of internet users who look online for health information say they have been asked to pay for access to something they wanted to see online. Seventy-three percent say they have not faced this choice while seeking health or medical information online. Of those who have been asked to pay, just 2% say they did so. Fully 83% of those who hit a pay wall say they tried to find the same information somewhere else. Thirteen percent of those who hit a pay wall say they just gave up. Men, women, people of all ages and education levels were equally likely to report hitting a pay wall when looking for health information. Respondents living in lower-income households were significantly more likely than their wealthier counterparts to say they gave up at that point. Wealthier respondents were the likeliest group to say they tried to find the same information elsewhere. No income group was more likely to say they paid the fee.

While the academic libraries can have a part in leading to Small Victories in support of Open Access (OA) publishing in the first place, there clearly remains so much to be done to raise public awareness that librarians are there to help you access the information the internet is trying to charge you for… or locate an information resource that is an even better match for your question in the first place. Speaking of, were we librarians aware of libraries.pewinternet.org? I must have still been on a holiday daze to miss Mobile Connections to Libraries released on December 31, 2012 and other goodies in there!

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January 14th, 2013

New Directions


Two equestrian riders, Creative Commons use by mikebaird on Flickr

The #medlibs chat was never supposed to be all me all the time.

As of 2013 it no longer is me as the one picking the topic and leading every.single.week. It’s always supposed to be about you. Your ideas. Your vision for the field of information in whatever way, shape or form that takes now and in the year ahead. Your strengths. Your ideas to share. Your community. Your leadership shining through.

I’m committed to continuing to host (picking a topic, promoting & leading the chat) the second Thursday of each month. Others have volunteered to step up and host on a series of weeks or just one week and all are welcome to. Simply let me know and I’ll add you to the chat schedule calendar and as a #medlibs chat blog author.

This week on Thursday, January 17th #medlibs will be about the role of volunteers, practicum and/or internship students at the library led by Tony Nguyen. Come check it out, first time participants are especially encouraged to join in!

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December 14th, 2012

Turning Five Tomorrow

Me, December 15, 2007 – University of North Texas

Yeah, I can’t believe they let me have a Masters degree either, especially after the other five year anniversary post I wrote about the process of being waitlisted and ultimately declined.

To mark the occasion I’m sharing excerpts of my 2009 nomination letter for Dr. Ana Cleveland, who received the 2010 ALISE Award for Teaching Excellence in the Field of Library and Information Science. It tells a story that many know parts of but not as a collective whole and certainly not with the picture that says a thousand words.

My name is Nicole Dettmar and it is an honor to support the nomination of my former professor and lifelong inspiration Dr. Ana Cleveland, Regents Professor and Director of the Houston and Health Informatics Programs of the Department of Library and Information Sciences at the University of North Texas (UNT) for the ALISE Award for Teaching Excellence.

On the day Dr. Cleveland called to notify me that I had been accepted as one of the fellows but needed to be a full time student as part of the fellowship program, I tried to decline the opportunity as I didn’t see how this would be possible while working and raising a family. Dr. Cleveland refused to allow me to do so. I will never forget her saying “Do not despair! We will support you!” and was humbled by her confidence in me and my abilities when I had little in myself.

Dr Cleveland was true to her words of support then, numerous times throughout the sixteen months it took to earn my Masters of Science in Information Science degree with a 4.0 average, and now as I am one year into my professional career. When I was a student, she advised me on a course load each semester that included challenging core courses and her health informatics curriculum with other classes that allowed balance for school, work and life. Dr. Cleveland contacted several of her colleagues in the Seattle area about me, an essential introduction that gave me a vital boost from being an unknown distance education student at a Texan school living in Washington to ‘one of Ana’s students.’

Nine days before graduation in December 2007, our house flooded from a storm. I called Dr. Cleveland in tears, once again not seeing how things would be possible for me to still graduate. “Do not despair!” She took the lead and contacted all of my other professors, explaining the situation and coordinating times for me to work out modified final project arrangements with them. I could not have made it through that time without her support and was grateful to still be able to fly out to Texas with my family for graduation after all. Her beaming smile behind me on the platform speaks a thousand words of pride.

I cannot envision a more dedicated, knowledgeable advocate for students and professionals in the medical information field, nor a more genuinely supportive professor than Dr. Ana Cleveland. I also cannot adequately express how grateful I am for the many opportunities she has given me.

Forever and always, thank you Dr. Ana.

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