Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Webicina – free access to curated online medical resources in social media for patients and medical professionals in over 15 languages.

Webicina provides curated medical social media resources in over 80 medical topics in over 17 languages.
It is now also available through a free iPhone application and also a free Android application 

Webicina is a free resource, with entry points at the home page for medical professionals and empowered patients

The topics for medical professionals are constantly being added. At this time they include oncology, bioinformatics, dermatology, emergency medicine, genetics, nutrition, public health, and surgery.
The topics or empowered patients are also constantly being added. At this time they include allergy, sleep, diabetes, fitness, stem cells, weight loss, and transplantation.

Each topic includes Web sites in the following areas, from carefully chosen reputable sites

  • News and Information
  • Blogs (websites with regular entries commonly organized in a reverse chronological order)
  • Podcasts (Audio files which one can download for immediate or future listening)
  • Community sites (including related Facebook groups and other forums)
  • Twitter and Friendfeed
  • Videos
  • Mobile phones (apps and software for smartphones)
  • search engines (more focused than Google, Yahoo, Bing…)
  • Slideshows
  • Clinical resources (medical professional section only — includes clinical cases and imaging)
Wish to keep up to date with just portions of Webicina?
Check out and sign up at the PeRSSonalized Medicine page (you may have to select a language)


August 1, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet e-patient Dave – a voice of patient engagement (and related resources)

e-patient Dave de Bronkart was successfully treated for kidney cancer at a very late stage. He credits his recovery to using the Internet to find trusted medical information as well as to get advice from patients via support groups.

His video Let Patients Help outlines how and why patients should empower themselves.
Some video highlights

  • Patients are presently the most underutilized part of the health team
  • The e-patient movement is at least partly based on hippie ideals of self-reliance and self-care (think Whole Earth Catalog)
  • e-patients are empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled through finding information to use in discussions regarding treatment options with their health care providers
  • Support groups often are useful in providing information not available at other sites (as which doctors specialize in certain treatments)
  • Patients not only need quality information, but also access to their raw medical data

Related Resources

How to evaluate medical and health information

Great starting places for quality health and medical information

  • MedlinePlus (US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health)
    Links to information on over 700 diseases/conditions, drugs & supplements, videos & tools (as health calculators, anatomy     videos, directories (as Find an Eye Doctor), and links to organizations
  •  But Wait, There’s More!

Many academic and medical institutions offer at least some reference services to the general public.  Be sure to ask for a reference librarian. He or she not only has a master’s degree in Library Science, but often additional related education in health related areas.

Online Health Communities/Support Groups

  • Self-Help Group SourceBook Online
    A starting point for finding every type of national, international, model and online self-help support group that is available starting point for finding every type of national, international, model and online self-help support group that is available. (MentalHelp.net)
  • MedlinePlus 
    Search with a phrase as “support groups” cancer or select a Health topic and select an organization.
  • Medpedia communities
    This site allows people with common health interests to share information and communicate. Anyone may create a community of interest and anyone may join.Medpedia is an open platform connecting people and information to advance medicine. Users include health care professionals, health care organizations, expert lay persons, students, and scientists.
  • MedHelp International
         This online health community which not only provides health information but helps patients actively manage their health through online personal health records andMedhelp trackers (iphone friendly options).
    The People option allows one to search by a disease or condition to find related information (including symptoms, treatments, resources). One can also view postings and blogs by other members and interact with them.
    Medical experts helps users by answering questions in Ask-an-Expert forums, participating in conversations with members in free live health chats, and sharing their knowledge and the latest news in blogs
  • Mayo Clinic Online Community is ” free and is open to anyone, whether you have been a patient at Mayo Clinic or not. It includes content from various Mayo Clinic blogs,health and medical videos from Mayo’s YouTube channel and links to news articlesabout Mayo Clinic research and treatment advances. It also features a discussion forum where members can connect with others who have similar interests or concerns.”

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness

National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness

From the press release:

The National Prevention Strategy includes actions that public and private partners can take to help Americans stay healthy and fit and improve our nation’s prosperity. The strategy outlines four strategic directions that, together, are fundamental to improving the nation’s health.  Those four strategic directions are:

  • Building Healthy and Safe Community Environments:  Prevention of disease starts in our communities and at home; not just in the doctor’s office.
  • Expanding Quality Preventive Services in Both Clinical and Community Settings: When people receive preventive care, such as immunizations and cancer screenings, they have better health and lower health care costs.
  • Empowering People to Make Healthy Choices:  When people have access to actionable and easy-to-understand information and resources, they are empowered to make healthier choices.
  • Eliminating Health Disparities: By eliminating disparities in achieving and maintaining health, we can help improve quality of life for all Americans.

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Informed Caring: A Resource for Health Care Professionals Which May Be Used By All

Informed Caring HomeInformed Caring Medical Accessories And Keyboard

Informed Caring is a portal to information resources for health professionals, created and maintained by the State of Wisconsin AHEC (Area Health Education Center) System.
It is designed for those working outside of hospitals where access to needed health care information may be problematic.
However, much of the information is freely available to all.Some materials are restricted to Wisconsin residents or University of Wisconsin residents. In these cases, check with your local public or academic library to see if the resource is available to you.

Most of the resources are selected for the health care professional in mind.

A listing of resources by topic may be found here and includes the following areas:

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Harnessing The Power Of Open Data

From the 9 June 2011 Medical News Today article

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Institute of Medicine (IoM) today co-hosted their second annual event focusing on innovative applications and services that harness the power of open data from HHS and other sources to help improve health and health care.

The Health Data Initiative Forum featured more than 45 new or updated solutions that harness the power of HHS and other federal data to help serve the needs of consumers, health care providers, employers, public health leaders, and policy makers.

“The Health Data Initiative Forum demonstrates our strong commitment to promoting innovative uses of data to advance health and health care in America,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This initiative is helping consumers take control of their own health and health care by putting the right information at their fingertips, helping doctors and hospitals deliver better and safer care, helping employers promote health and wellness, helping mayors and county commissioners make better-informed decisions that improve the health of communities.”

The forum also featured panel presentations from leaders in information technology development, privacy, venture capital financing, health care delivery systems, state and local government, and public health. Other federal cabinet secretaries participated in the promotion of the use of their agencies’ data, including Environment Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson, who announced her agency’s new effort to encourage innovators to leverage EPA data to help power useful solutions for the public.

The forum included nearly a dozen announcements of major new initiatives being launched using federally supplied health data. Among these announcements were the public and private sponsorship of new “challenges” to develop data-powered solutions that help improve health, including challenges issued by Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Aetna Foundation, Sanofi-Aventis, and the National Cancer Institute.

Additional key announcements made at the forum included the University of Michigan’s debut of the nation’s first graduate program to focus on consumer health informatics; the launch of Start Up Health, a new seed accelerator/entrepreneur academy in New York City aimed at developing new health and wellness startups; ESRI’s release of a new public community health analytics tool called Community Analyst; and an upcoming “invent-a-thon” focused on developing nursing homes of the future, hosted by Johns Hopkins University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , | 1 Comment

Bringing Health Information to the Community Blog Goes National!

From a May 2011 Cornflower posting by Jacqueline Leskovec

The Bringing Health Information to the Community blog (fondly referred to as the BHIC blog) was developed by the NN/LM MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR) about four years ago as a way to provide information to staff at community based organizations and public health departments, clinics, and others outside of libraries that the MCR staff encountered in their outreach efforts. It was also created as a tool to be used by NN/LM MCR members to share information with people within their institutions and communities.

With the new NLM contract, the BHIC blog has moved over to become a national blog, and staff at four other RMLs (including the GMR!) will be contributing writers. The new URL is http://nnlm.gov/bhic/.

If you want to receive a daily digest of the BHIC blog postings, just email Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, at siobhan at creighton.edu, and you will be added to a distribution LISTSERV. The distribution list sends out only one email a day. You can subscribe directly to the blog and get an email each time a posting is made (4-5 emails a day). An RSS feed is also available.

According to Siobhan, “We are excited that the BHIC blog is recognized as a national resource, and we are looking forward to the growth that will occur through the participation of the other RMLs”. The GMR is proud to be a contributor to this great resource.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) includes health care related agencies, institutions, and companies

ACSIThe American Customer Satisfaction Index - The voice of the Nation's Consumer

From the ACSI About page

ACSI reports scores on a 0-100 scale at the national level and produces indexes for 10 economic sectors, 47 industries (including e-commerce and e-business), more than 225 companies, and over 200 federal or local government services. In addition to the company-level satisfaction scores, ACSI produces scores for the causes and consequences of customer satisfaction and their relationships. The measured companies, industries, and sectors are broadly representative of the U.S. economy serving American households.
View PDF of ACSI’s structure showing National, Sector & Industry Scores »

Here are some good places to start for health related customer satisfaction statistics

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Mount Carmel Opens New Consumer Health Library

From the April 2011 Cornflower posting (online newsletter of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine/ Greater Midwest Region)

The Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library has opened a new Consumer Health Library on the campus of Mount Carmel West Hospital.  One of the first of its kind in central Ohio, the library is designed to provide in person and virtual health and wellness information to central Ohio residents.

“The Consumer Health Library offers a wide spectrum of resources to meet the health information needs of our community,” says Stevo Roksandic, Director of Library Services. “With our personal assistance and guidance through the vast resources of this new library and todays’ informational abundance we can assist consumers in understanding disease and treatment options as well as exploring areas of prevention, health and wellness.”

Located on the Mount Carmel West Hospital campus, the Consumer Health Library sits adjacent to The Nursing Center for Family Health, a nurse managed health center which is a partnership of the Mount Carmel College of Nursing and Lower Lights Christian Health Center.  Roksandic anticipates many visitors from the Nursing Center, as well as through physician offices and other regional health providers. “The library provides a reading area, computer work stations, selected Consumer Health periodicals, books, audio visual materials and a children’s play area. Reference services, customer support and personal information assistance are provided by professional library staff.”

The Consumer Health Library offers access to a specifically designed Consumer Health website,http://www.mccn.edu/consumerhealthlibrary, to meet the customers’ information literacy skills and reading levels of those served. “It’s a wonderful service to our community”, adds Roksandic, “Whether it’s via e-mail, live chat or in person, the Consumer Health Library is the ‘go to’ resource for health and wellness information.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 12:36 pm and is filed under Consumer HealthNews from the Region

Links at the Consumer Health Library include Recommended Consumer Health Links, as

    • Health Information Translations (quality translations in multiple languages)
    • MedlinePlus
      • Locate information on health topics, drugs and supplements, medical procedures, and alternative medicine.
      • Watch videos, take health quizzes, and use different health calculators.
    • Healthfinder
      • Find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy.
    • Guide for Healthy Web Surfing
      • If you explore the internet for health information on your own, use this guide for tips and strategies to locate the best resources for your health needs.

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | , , | Leave a comment

A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff and the Rest of Us

From the Fremont Libraries WordPress announcement

Consumer Health Toolkit

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by juilanliu

While it is intended for library staff, consumers can certainly find a wealth of valuable information in this toolkit.  For instance, in the Health Resources section, there are Directories of Health Organizations and Physicians, Health Information for Special Populations (e.g., American Indian Health, Arctic Health and Asian American Health).

Advice is available on fitness, nutrition and environment in the Healthy Living section.  The Stages of Life  section breaks down into Children & Adolescents, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Breastfeeding, Newborn Care, and Seniors and Healthy Aging.

Moreover, an assortment of chronic conditions is featured in the Preventing and Living Well with Chronic Conditions section, e.g., Alzheimer ’s disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, Cancer  and what not.

Treatment and Care section consists of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Herbs and Supplements.

Evaluating Health Information section would be of particular interest.

The Consumer HealthToolkit  can be found in the Toolkit section on our Health and Medical Information Page at:

http://www.library.ca.gov/lds/docs/HealthToolkit.pdf#search=consumer%20health%20toolkit&view=FitH&pagemode=none — 2010-09-27

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , | Leave a comment

Free Online/Print US Government Publications

From a US General Services Administration news release

WASHINGTON — Through a partnership among GSA, the U.S. Government Printing Office, and Google, 100 of the most popular government publications are now available to download for free online. This partnership will allow for greater access to these documents and contribute to an open and transparent government. As more documents become available online, it will eventually reduce the number of documents that GSA’s Federal Citizen Information Center prints while reducing costs and the environmental impact.

To shop for these free government publications, click here

These publications encompass areas as cars, consumer action, education, employment, family, food, and housing.

A sampling of the health titles

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Dietary supplements
  • Health scams
  • My medicines

 

Related Resources

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Roads Media and other sources of quality health information in many languages and multiple formats

Healthy Roads Media: A source of quality health information in many languages and multiple formats

Health Roads Media Logo - Return To Home PageGet Help - Get Answers

From a recent posting to Medlib-L (a medical librarian listserv)

“I direct a multilingual web-based health information project called Healthy Roads Media (www.healthyroadsmedia.org).

It is an effort to explore, develop and evaluate the use of various information technology strategies to provide health information access to hard to reach populations. Of special focus are low-literacy and non-English speaking groups.

Our materials are in multiple formats – handouts, audio, multimedia, web-video, and iPod video. We have had the content migrate off of the computer platform to iPods, televisions (via cabled iPod), radio and simple MP3 players (a solder in Iraq). Audio is our most accessed format (even more than handouts).

Some of the languages we work with are new or come from mainly an oral tradition so formats other than written are especially important. I am just beginning to explore mobile phone strategies as this technology has penetrated into every group and is easier for many to access that computers/internet. The one thing we have not explored (due to lack of funding and staff) are social media strategies.”

Current Topics include abuse, AIDS/HIV, asthma, cancer, dental health, diseases/conditions,food/nutrition, housing, immunization, mental health,pregnancy, sexual health, smoking, and TB.

The Links page includes

Some additional resources

    • Locate easy-to-read health information in different languages.
    • Print outs are in English and in a foreign language (dual language information).

Sources (with additional links)

Multicultural and Multilingual Health Information (University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Library)

 Health Websites in Other Languages (Binghampton University Libraries)


February 21, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AHRQ Healthcare 411 podcasts

AHRQ Healthcare 411 podcasts

From a recent AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)  listserv item

Healthcare 411 Home Page

AHRQ’s Healthcare 411 is a podcast series you can listen to at home or on the go.  Available in English and Spanish, 60-second audio podcasts are designed for consumers.  Log on and listen to Healthcare 411; or subscribe and we’ll send stories directly to your computer or personal media player. Select to listen to our latest audio podcast on e-prescribing and reducing medication costs.

A sampling of podcasts (Entire list is here ; Search option is here)

 

February 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Public Health, Workplace Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Immune System Quiz and other KidsHealth Information Just for Kids

The Immune System Quiz uses upbeat music and wild cheering to motivate kids to progress through 10 questions.

The quiz is provided by KidsHealth, part of The Nemours Foundation‘s Center for Children’s Health Media.
See the About page for more information about this site whose content is reviewed by doctors before publication.

The Movies and Games section includes links to not only games and movies but also experiments, quizzes, and experiments.
These links are also found within Kids Health Web pages addressing specific  topics.

Here is a sampling on the sections for kids ( there are also sections for teens and for parents)

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radiation Oncology Patient Web Site earns Web Health Award

From the December 15, 2010 Eureka news alert

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has received a 2010 Web Health Award for its patient-geared website, www.rtanswers.org.

The Web Health Awards is a national competition that recognizes high-quality electronic health information. Over 500 entries were submitted for the 2010 competition from a variety of health care professionals nationwide. The winners were selected by a panel of national electronic health information experts. [A complete listing of the winners may be found here ]

This year, ASTRO received a bronze award for RT Answers, a site designed specifically for cancer patients and their families, friends and caregivers. RT Answers began in 2004 as a way to explain to cancer patients and their families and friends how radiation therapy is used to treat cancer safely and effectively. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be frightening and confusing, so physicians and other members of the radiation therapy treatment team created RT Answers as a one-stop site where patients can receive radiation therapy information.

Here are some highlights from the RT Answers Web site

Among other winners in the medical/health care fields for Summer 2010

(Flahiff’s note: I was disappointed in a few awardee sites [not listed below] some had pages with no content, some did not have an about page; keep in mind there is an entry fee of $58.00 for submissions)

  • The Recovery Month (US Health and Human Services)”aims to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers, and promote the message that recovery from alcohol and drug disorders in all its forms is possible.”
    Includes Recovery Resources for the public (they are also on Facebook, YouTube,and Twitter)
  • Home Safety Council has information on how to maintain a safe home in formats as fact sheets, guides, quizzes, videos, and interactive media
  • Iowa Health System has links to health information (as an online health library and health videos) and a newsroom (with health care reform summaries)
  • National Diabetes Education Program includes publications, resources, and fact sheets. One may do a tailored search with drop down menus (age, ethnicity, language, and diabetes status)

 

 

December 16, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Locating Health and Medical Information – An Updated Library of Congress Guide

This Science Reference Guide includes information in the following areas

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case for a National Patient Library (Analysis and Commentary)

Recent article describes the benefits of providing consumer patient information in many areas of health care.

Interesting to note that, according to recent postings at Medlib-L (a listserv for medical librarians), there is no mention of roles for librarians.

Full text of this article is by subscription only, however it may be freely available at your local public or academic library.
Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian.

The abstract from the journal Health Affairs (v. 29, no. 10 [2010]: 1914-1919)

A national patient library that stored and communicated findings from research on the comparative effectiveness of health services could be a valuable resource for patients and clinicians. It could assist in improving the quality of health care and helpreduce inappropriate costs. Public confidence in a national patient library would require that its activities be insulated from government as well as from professional, provider, payer, and commercial groups and advocacy organizations. This article describes why such a library is possible and desirable, what it would do for whom, how it could be governed and financed, and how it could overcome initial challenges.

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Health Education (General Public), Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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