Grand Rounds Vol 8 nr 5: Data, Information & Communication

26 10 2011

Welcome to the Grand Rounds, the weekly summary of the best health blog posts on the Internet. I am pleased to host the Grand Rounds for the second time. The first time, 2 years ago, was theme-less, but during the round we took a trip around the library. Because, for those who don’t know me, after years of biomedical research I became a medical librarian. This also explains my choice for the current theme:

DATA, INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION

The theme is meant to be broad. According to Wikipedia:

Information in its most restricted technical sense is a message (utterance or expression) or collection of messages that consists of an ordered sequence of symbols, or it is the meaning that can be interpreted from such a message or collection of messages. Information can be recorded or transmitted (…) as signs, or conveyed as signals by waves. Information is any kind of event that affects the state of a dynamic system. (…) Moreover, the concept of information is closely related to notions of … communication.. dataknowledge, meaning, .. perception. .. and especially entropy.

I am pleased that there were plenty submissions on the topic. I love the creative way the bloggers used the theme “information”. In line with the theme the information will be brought to you according to the Rule of Entropy, seemingly chaotic. Still all information is meaningful and often a pleasure to read. Please Enjoy!

INDIA, WISDOM & IMAGESIMAGING

From: IBN-live (India): Book News: “Kama Sutra is about sexual & social relations”

IMAGES are a great way to tell information, especially if you don’t understand the language. The picture above is from the Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian Hindu work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature. Did you know the original Kama Sutra is not all about sex and does not have any pictures? Only words, no graphic. And sadly, as a text, it isn’t widely read.

Yes, we start our trip where it ended last week, in INDIA

Our host of last week, Sumer Sethi of Sumer’s Radiology Site, shows very clear (MRI)-images of partially recanalized internal jugular vein thrombosis, in a patient with MS, possibly supporting the theory that MS is a result of chronic venous insufficiency. As readers of this blog know Laika is not impressed by n=1 data, although it may be a good starting point. However, Sumer underpins this link with a paper in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2009. Still, a quick look at the citing papers shows many new studies don’t confirm the association of MS with cerebrospinal venous insufficiency…

Another great radiologist, also from India, isVijay Sadasivam (@scanman). No recent posts, but at Scanman’s Casebook you will find an archive of interesting radiological cases, in the form of case reports.

The quite tech savvy surgeon Dr. Dheeraj (aka Techknowdoc) explores the alternatives to the invasive and uncomfortable colonoscopy procedure at Techknowdoc’s Surgical Adventures! This post is a short illustrated guide, visualizing the differences between regular colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy and Virtual Colonoscopy. It is not hard to imagine which approach people would prefer.

Pranab (aka Skepticdoctor) makes an urgent appeal to fellow Indians to help Amit Gupta and other Indian people to get a bone marrow transplant when they need one. Amit has Acute Leukemia, but South Asians are very poorly represented in bone marrow registries, so his odds of getting a match off the registries in the US are slim. The chances are even worse for the less well-off Indians. Read at Scepticemia how you can help. For Amit, for India, for you, or worse, someone you love more than yourself….

Dr. Jen Gunter ridicules Cosmo’s to-go version of the Kama Sutra in a short series! For the “sex positions of the days” are just an offensive alliteration and woeful ignorance of female anatomy… Looking up medical information is the 3rd most common on-line activity. While there are good sites with great information that can help people be empowered about their health, there are also tons of terrible sites marred by bias and rife with the stench of snake oil. In an other post at Dr. Jen Gunter (wielding the lasso of truth) Jen reveals 10 red flags that will help you separate the wisdom from the woo.

THE POWER OF WORDS, MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS

http://www.flickr.com/photos/isfullofcrap/5147100521/

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And this is also true for other audiovisual arts. 

Yet, some Medical Bloggers master the art of storytelling, they convey of events in words, images and sounds. And here, words have the same powerful strength. Often these posts of these storytellers are about communication and they know how to communicate that.

One of the master storytellers is Bongi, a general surgeon from South Africa. He submitted the post die taal (that language), which is clearly about communication but in a language (“Afrikaans”), that I can understand, but many of you don’t. Therefore I choose another post at Other Things Amanzi, which is also about communication: “It’s all in the detail”

Another great storyteller, and the winner of the best literary medical blog category of Medgadget contest in 2009 and 2010 is StorytellERdoc. In the beautiful post The Reminder – EKG #6, he tells us how the 6th abnormal EKG in a presentation of one of the residents, brought back memories to the technician who made that EKG: “There is something more important about this EKG than it’s tracing, I began” ….

Robbo (Andrew Roberts) is a pharmacist from one of the most remote parts of Australia working full time in Aboriginal Health. His blog BitingTheDust often covers topics like aboriginal art and pharmacy. There is also a category “information-resources”. His latest post in this category explains how condoms are made and how they work. A video goes with it.

Øystein of  The Sterile Eye (Life, death and surgery through a lens) uses photos throughout his blog. His latest post is about a brochure “LEICA – Fotografie in der Medizin” (Photography in Medicine) that was published by Leitz in 1961.

Another blogger, unique in its kind, “raps” his stories. Yes I’m talking about Zubin, better known as ZDoggMD. Watch how he and his mates colleagues rap “Doctors Today!” where he “informs” folks of what it’s like to actually practice primary care medicine on the front lines. Want to know more about this medical rapper, then listen to this radio interview with a med-student run radio (RadioRounds). It’s about using video to “inform” patients and healthcare providers about health-related issues in a humorous way.

Movies are also a good way to “tell a story” and pass information. Ramona Bates reviews the Lifetime’s Movie “Five” at her blog Suture for a Living. Five is an anthology of five short very emotional (but not sentimental) films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives.

We have had pictures, music, videos and movies as data carriers. But here is a post that is based on the good old book. Dr. Deborah Serani (who has a blog of her own: Dr. Deb: Psychological Perspectives) submits a review from PsychCentral about her new book “Living with Depression.” My first intuitive response: how can a psychologist or psychoanalyst write about “living with“. But it seems that Deborah Serani has faced a lifelong struggle with depression herself. This memoir/self help book seems a great resource for anyone in the health field looking for information about mood disorders, treatments and recommendations. The review makes me want to read this book.

SOCIAL MEDIA & MOBILE APPS

http://www.flickr.com/photos/verbeeldingskr8/4507350257/

What about social media as a tool for medical communication and a source of information?

At Diabetes Mine Allison B. and Amy Tenderich review numerous new mobile apps for managing diabetes. Their reviews “Diabetes? There’s An App For That” and “Glooko: iPhone Diabetes Logging Made Super-Easy” may help to choose diabetes patients among the bevvy of diabetes apps.

Twitter is seen as offering more noise than signal, but there’s valid medical data that can be uncovered. Ryan DuBosar at the ACP internist blog highlights how a researcher uses Twitter to track attitudes about vaccination and how they correlate with vaccination rates. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that social networking can be used to track diseases and other natural disasters that affect public health.

Hot from the press, I can’t resist to include a post from the web 2.0 pioneer Dr. Ves at CasesBlog. Ves Dimov usually writes many short posts, but today he explains Social media in Medicine in depth and guides you “How to be a Twitter superstar and help your patients and your practice”. According to his interesting concept two Cycles, the cycle of Patient Education and the Cycle of Online Information and Physician Education, work together as two interlocking cogwheels.

Mayo Clinic started using social media for communication with patients well before all the recent hype and it organized tweetcamps back in 2009. David Harlow made the pilgrimage to Rochester, MN and spoke at the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media’s Health Care Social Media Summit last week. According to David “A ton of information was presented, through traditional channels and through some multimedia demos as well”. He shares conference highlights in this post at HealthBlawg, like “It is impossible to transplant a successful program from one location to another without taking into account myriad local conditions”. And “health care providers will have to do more with less”. Therefore e-Patient Dave suggests in his closing keynote to “Let Patients Help”.

Nicholas Fogelson of Academic OB/GYN notes that an operating room without incentives is very expensive. He proposes to install a cheap digital toteboard in every operating room in the USA, that would read how many dollars have been spent on that case at that moment. The idea is that surgeons who know exactly what they are spending, would compete to spend less wherever they could.

According to Bryan Vartabedian the social and technological innovations cause doctors to slowly change from analog physicians to digital physicians. He mentions 6 differences between these doctors. The first is that the information consumption of the digital physician is web-based, while the analog doctor consumes information through paper books and journals, often saying curious things like, “I like the smell of paper” or “I’ve gotta be able to hold it.” By the way, Bryan’s blog 33 Charts is all about social media and medicine.

Blogging doctors are digital doctors per definition, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to discuss things and see each other in real life. Dr. Val of Better Health and cofounder of this Grand Rounds announces a blog conference in Los Angeles, the Blog World Expo, on November 4th, 2011. Her talk is about “physicians engaging online in social health”, but she is actually hoping that many members of the medical blogging community will be out there IRL! At her blog you can get discount tickets.

The online presence of doctors at social media places can have serious drawbacks. The post of Anne Marie Cunningham about derogatory and cynical humour as displayed by medical personnel at Twitter and Facebook has made it to the Daily Telegraph, other UK newspaper, and to my blog…. This post at Wishful thinking in medical education is a must read for healthcare providers embracing social media.

Many physicians have an online presence, but do they really use social media for decision making, wonders Chris Nickson. From his post and the ensuing reactions at Life in the Fast Lane it appears that tools like Twitter and the comments sections on blogs enable a constant, ongoing dialogue with emergency physicians and critical care experts around the world regarding puzzling clinical issues. Rarely, however, there is a direct ‘tweet’ for clinical help. Rather Twitter contributes to the serendipitously finding of relevant and significant information.

Perhaps direct clinical questions are not asked because Twitter (and Facebook to some extent) are open social media. Bertalan Mesko of ScienceRoll mentions that some French doctors actually perform case presentations on Google+, taking advantage of the very simple privacy settings of Google+. They upload information about the case, discuss it with other peers and get to a final diagnosis.

E-Patient Dave announced a seven hour event about information transfer during transitions of care. This event was webcasted, tweeted and discussed on Google+. (also see Brian Ahier’s post about it on Government Health IT). Dave gives some examples that highlight that without reliable information transition, the care transition can become dangerous. Yes, good IT can help.

DATA, DATABASES, OPEN ACCESS, EBM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/verbeeldingskr8/4029292954/

We now arrive at a clinical librarian topic, medical information via databases, journals and the role of EBM.

The first post bridges this and the previous topic. Jon Brassey is co-founder of  the TRIP-database, a clinical search tool designed to rapidly identify the highest quality clinical evidence for clinical practice. At his blog Liberating the Literature he expresses his view that search is -at best- a partial solution. He is passionate about answering clinician’s questions and would rather see an answer machine than a search engine. Jon is very tempted to allow users to upload their own Q&As, thereby creating an open repository of clinical Q&As. I am more skeptical, because this kind of EBM sharing might be at the expense of the quality of evidence.

What do you think? Can social media and EBM reinforce each other or not? Please tweet your ideas to Anabel Bentley (@doctorblogs at Twitter) who is giving a talk at Evidence 2011 (#ev2011) tomorrow on social media & EBM and asks for your input. You might also want to read my older post about The Web 2.0-EBM Medicine split.

Dean Giustini reviews PubMed Health at The Search Principle Blog. Dean describes PubMed Health as follows. It is as a consumer version of PubMed – a metasearch tool that gathers evidence from Cochrane Collaboration, Nice and other EBM sources to see clinical studies and “what works” in human health. One major benefit of PubMed Health is that any search performed on PubMed Health also runs in PubMed.” Sounds like worth trying.

The invitation to join the editorial board of a relatively new online, open access journal, without receiving any compensation triggered Skeptic Scalpel to ponder about the tangible benefits of open access publishers (coined as “predatory open access” by a commenter) and about how many journals are really needed? Who has the time or interest to read 25 journals on a relatively specialized topic? And what about the quality of the articles in all these journals?

Indeed as The Krafty Librarian explains  the “good guys” (open access) are making just as much profit as the “bad guys.”  They both are for profit. Open Access is not the panacea that many think it is.

Tasha Stanton of Body in Mind asks the intriguing question what to do if systematic reviews on the same topic don’t all give us the same conclusions, whereas you would expect they would collate the same evidence. Tasha finds this disconcerting as for some conditions this could take ages before we could ‘trust’ the evidence. In the example discussed here an Umbrella review was helpful in assessing the evidence. Also the quality of systematic reviews is improving.

SCREENING & DIAGNOSIS. BALANCING BENEFITS & HARMS. 

From: http://www.naturalnews.com/025768_radiation_cancer_mammograms.html as seen at Science Based Medicine

Many people think screening is always a good thing and will prevent or cure a disease. But not every test is a good test and often there are both harms and benefits. It is difficult for patients to understand the true value of tests. 

Margaret Polaneczky, MD was touched by a beautiful essay in the NY Times written by a mother of a child born with Tay Sachs disease. While the mother in her loved the essay, the doctor in her cringed, because a single paragraph about the mother’s experience with prenatal screening had the potential to misinform and even frighten readers. Margaret writes a bit of a primer on Tay Sachs screening at the Blog That Ate Manhattan, mainly to set realistic expectations about what prenatal testing can and cannot accomplish.

David Williams at the Health Business Blog reasons that the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) recommendations against routine use of the PSA blood test in healthy men should not have been delayed because of the the firestorm of controversy created by the 2009 screening mammography guidelines… Because uh-oh well, PSA testing is different (and David is right)…  It’s all about what kind of info we can expect from screening and where it leads us.

This month is breast cancer awareness month, meant to highlight issues of breast cancer and try to call attention to new discoveries about breast cancer. Personally I have mixed feelings about the pink ribbon exploitation of this month”, but David Gorky at Science Based Medicine points at a worse misuse: quacks seize the opportunity to spread their message against science-based modalities for the detection and treatment of breast cancer and to promote their “alternative” methods. (see Fig. above).

BIOMEDICINE, BRAINS AND THE PROCESSING OF INFORMATION

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caseorganic/3675792814/ [CC]

Dr Shock MD PhD reviews a Dutch trial that shows that availability bias contributes to diagnostic errors made by physicians. Availability bias means that a disease comes more easily to the mind of a doctor who diagnoses this disease more often. This study also suggests that analytical or reflective reasoning may help to counteract this bias.

In an intriguing post counseling psychologist Will Meek, PhD covers some of the recent research on two information processing systems as identified by Daniel Kahneman: Intuition and Reasoning. A simple experiment confirms (in my case) that we use intuition for most of the day, and occasionally use reasoning to answer more complex problems. Some people may also frame this as “head vs heart”. Both systems have their pros and cons and both are needed to make good decisions. Otherwise common problems can arise.

David Bradley of ScienceBase discusses recent research by Gallant and colleagues who were able to reconstruct a video image presented to a subject in a functional MRI machine. David dreams of uploading our dreams to Youtube and of developing a mind-machine interface to allow people with severe disabilities to communicate their thoughts and control a computer or equipment. But David is more of a scientist than a dreamer and he interviews Gallant to find out more about the validity of the technique.

Computational Biologist Walter Jessen highlights “National Biomedical Research Day” at Highlight HEALTH. “National Biomedical Research Day” was proclaimed by Bill Clinton in 1993 on the 160th anniversary of Nobel’s birth. This day celebrates the central role of biomedical research  in improving human health and longevity.

MISINFORMATION, WRONG INFORMATION AND LACK OF INFORMATION

http://www.flickr.com/photos/truthout/3901813960/
This image was paired with the story: Insurers Shun Those Taking Certain Meds

Philip Hickey at Behaviorism and Mental Health discusses homosexuality. Philip: “homosexuality is a complex phenomenon which defies simplistic explanations. Unfortunately in this field valid information and communication often take a back seat to bigotry and prejudice.”

In his post “Want go Dutch…or German…or French?” at HUB’s LIST of medical fun facts Herbert Mathewson, MD argues that “Before trying to copy other nation’s health care systems we should probably actually learn about them.” The outcomes of the Dutch switch from a system of mandatory social insurance administered by nonprofit sick funds to mandatory basic insurance that citizens had to buy from private insurance companies (“managed competition”) are appalling! I can imagine that the idea that the Dutch reforms provide a successful model for U.S. Medicare seems bizarre. (Herbert’s post is based on a NEJM article “Sobering Lessons from the Netherlands”).

Henry Stern of InsureBlog notes that as far as RomneyCare© (Massachusetts health care reform) is concerned it’s not so much lack of information per se that’s the problem. It’s information that’s wrong that gets you in trouble.

Robert Centor of Medrants simply submitted one sentence:
“I am a physician, not a provider, and Groopman agrees. – http://www.medrants.com/archives/6505″
This distinction between physicians and providers is similar to the distinction between consumers and patients, and I agree.

Rich Fogoros (DrRich) of The Covert Rationing Blog discusses recent article in the New York Times about whether nurses with a doctorate degree ought to be addressed as “doctor.” Most doctors think calling a nurse “doctor” is not appropriate and confusing for patients.
A medical student running the blog The Reflex Hammer agrees: medical students with a doctoral degree don’t introduce themselves as “Doctor” to a patient either, don’t they?
Dr Rich, an old hand, thinks otherwise. While it is indeed comforting that doctors should be so concerned about patients knowing everything they’re supposed to know, the fact (according to dr. Rich) is that the doctor-nurse controversy is a distraction.

INFORMATION YOU NEED


http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/1386793065/
credit: mattahan.deviantart.com/
Note: this is a librarian!!

And of course you always hope that you find the information you need or that you can inform people the right way.

Medaholic wonders whether you still would be a medical doctor if you knew that it didn’t pay as much? What sorts of information would help you determine whether this is a career worth pursuing?

The post, by Chris Langston, at the John A. Hartford Foundation blog, Health AGEnda details how interested health professionals can get information about how to apply for a new fellowship with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovations office, and urges health professionals interested in improving health care for older adults to apply.

Hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs are prompting more appropriate prescribing of antibiotics, leading to improved patient care, less microbial resistance and lower costs, three studies show. The trick is how to convey this information so hospitals will implement these programs, as only one-third of U.S. facilities currently do. Read more at ACP Hospitalist, in the second contribution of Ryan DuBosar to this round.

We all know that adherence to prescriptions is a problem. But will the Star Ratings system increase adherence? The big question, according to Georg van Antwerp, author of Enabling Healthy Decisionsis whether consumers care about Star Ratings or just focus on lowest price point and access to pharmacies or specific medications.

Louise of the Colorado Health Insurer Insider summarizes her submission quite aptly: “Our submission is about the new Health Insurance Exchanges that will be starting here in the US soon. This post discusses how consumers will get INFORMATION about the health plans through the exchanges. Currently, consumers get their information through health insurance brokers or directly through the insurance carrier. If there are people to answer questions for consumers with the exchanges, how will the plans be more or less expensive”

The post that Reflex Hammer submitted (the one above was just picked by me) concerns informing young children about vegetables. A few weeks ago he and a classmate were invited to give a presentation to 1st graders at an inner-city school. Wishing to combat obesity, they developed a lesson plan about vegetables. They were heartened by how much the adorable kids already knew about vegetables and how enthusiastic they became about eating their greens. An adorable initiative and a great post to end this Grand Rounds, since it illustrates the importance of doctors who enjoy to take their time to inform people.

I just want to mention one other post, by Mike Cadogan at Life at the fast Lane. Mike doesn’t blog a lot lately, because he is preparing presentations for an important Emergency Medicine meeting. But Mike does share some of this journey with us in The 11 Phases Of Grief  Presentation Preparation. Reading these 11 stages, the similarities between writing a lecture and writing for Grand Rounds struck me. Except that beer had to be replaced by wine….

Mike is in stage 7-9, I am in stage 10-11. Stage 11 is Evaluation: What will I do different next time? First, I won’t go for two blog carnivals at the same time, I won’t plan a Grand Round when I’m away for the weekend* (I just need a lot of time) and I should refrain from adding posts that weren’t even submitted….

Will you remind me next time?

I hope that you enjoyed this Grand Rounds and that it wasn’t too much information. I enjoyed reading and compiling all our posts!

Related articles





A Cracking Grand Rounds at Emergiblog

4 08 2009
Wallace and Gromit
Image via Wikipedia

Vacation time, and still able to compile such a wonderful Grand Round overnight (!), excisting of almost 40 high quality submissions in a dressing of  crackers, consumed by the loveable, wacky duo, unknown to me: Wallace and Gromit!

The Affair of Clinical Reader published at this site is included in the section: “Uh oh! Looks like Gromit has about had it with the antics of Feathers McGraw, evil penguin!” 31-7-2009 22-05-55 flowers3

So, no, Grand Round has no off-season. Take your computer with you to the beach and on vacation and enjoy reading the 38 great stories at Emergiblog, run by nurse Kim. These flowers, “taken” at my vacation in Canada, are for you, nurse Kim, for your truly cracking round ànd your 4 year blogging anniversary!

The next Grand Round will be hosted by DrRich at The Covert Rationing Blog!

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Grand Rounds 5.34 at the Health Observatory Blog

12 05 2009

Grand Round is up at Health Observatory Blog.

Kudos to the bloggers Ivor Kovic and Ileana Lulic, for this blogcarnival on “Diversity”, which they introduced as follows:

We want to demonstrate how rich, colorful, multidimensional and diverse the health/medical blogosphere truly is. So please send us your dearest posts, the ones that genuinely reflect your style and personality, no matter the subject.

They quite succeeded in making a grand round with great diversity. I like the style. It gives a good introduction to the posts, without being too lengthy or too short (X wrote a post Y on Z). You can read the the present edition here.

Health Observatory Blog is part of the website Health Blogs Observatory, started with the aim to conduct annual surveys of health bloggers and their blogs to gain better insights into the state of health blogging.

It is possible to submit your blog to their directory to gain better exposure and participate in their future research.
I surely plan to do that, increasing the number of Dutch blogs included from 2 to 3.

Next Round will be hosted by Healthcare Technology News.





Grand Round 5.33

5 05 2009

2366412067_3b7d038410_mGrand Round is up at Ausmed Blog (or Nursing Handover).

It is the first time Nursing handover hosts the Grand Round and I’m glad there wasn’t a theme ànd all submissions were accepted.
You can read the compilation here.

Next week’s Grand Round will be hosted by Health Blogs Observatory.





Grand Round 5.31 at Diabetes Mine: Birthday Edition!

21 04 2009

2267526122_f4376fc6bf1This weeks Grand Round is up at Diabetes Mine, the blog of Amy Tenderich. Amy celebrates her birthday today, thus we gonna sing a Happy Birthday song first:

Click here for my Twitter and Blip Birthday Message.

Read the compilation of posts here!

The next Grand Round wil be hosted by another well known diabetes blogger: Kerri Morrone Sparling of Six Until Me




Grand Round 5.30 at Pharmamotion

14 04 2009

pharmamotionThis week’s Grand Round is up at Pharmamotion, the wonderful Pharmacology blog of Flavio Guzmán. Flavio is a MD who works as a teaching assistant at the Department of Pharmacology of the University of Mendoza in Argentina. The aim of his website is to offer a better understanding of pharmacology, by gathering freely available educational resources, like animations and videos, and drug information of reliable unbiased resources.

But this week Flavio is host of the Grand Round. Read his selection of submissions here.

The last two weeks, the Grand Rounds had very specific themes on very interesting subjects.

If you haven’t done so already, you might enjoy reading:

“Reflections on the way life used to be” by Leslie Michigan of Getting Closer to Myself (April 7). the theme was prompted by the fact that Leslie was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis for almost a year ago.

“I think about the way life used to be, I automatically think about change, and the myriad ways in which my life has changed over the past few years.”

“When things go awry” by Dr. Paul Levy of “Running a Hospital”. Paul Levy compiled (personal) stories about incidents or medical errors (March 31). His theme draws on the desire to encourage greater transparency in the delivery of clinical care.

It is a pity I didn’t have time to contribute to these rounds, because these subjects really strike a personal cord. Indeed, life has changed the first years after I got Sheehan syndrome, because things “got awry” at the hospital.– It is good to read these often personal stories.

Next edition will be hosted at Diabetesmine.





MedLib’s Round 1.3

8 04 2009

The 3rd Medlib’s Round, a blog carnival of medical-library related blogposts, is up at First Person Narrative. Anne Welsh did a great job pulling together an interesting collection of posts.

From Anne’s introduction

This month’s theme was “evidence” – not just in the terms of “Evidence Based Medicine” but in the widest possible sense. Evidence is a hot topic in the UK at the moment – indeed, the National Library for Health (NLH) is to be relaunched at the end of this month as NHS Evidence, “a web-based service that will help people find, access and use high-quality clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice.”

Please have a look at the First Person Narrative and enjoy reading.

Want to stay informed? You can take a RSS subscription to the Medlib’s Round. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available (thanks Walter Jessen)

**************************************************************

The Next MedLib’s Round will be hosted by Nicole S. Dettmar at Eagle Dawg Blog. Nikki is a medical librarian at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). The main theme will be PubMed or 3rd party PubMed tools. Post addressing this subject will get extra emphasis.

You can submit the permalink (url) of the post (you have already written on your blog) at the Blog Carnival submission form (you have to login, scroll down (!), submit links to selected posts and give an optional description). Don’t forget to submit before Saturday May 2, 2009 round midnight (EST)

Perhaps you would like to host a future edition as well. If so, please inform me which edition (June, July or August) you would like to host.

Further Reading:





Latest News: Grand Round at ACP Internist

17 03 2009

shutterstock_1387084-786145-latest-news Latest news, hear the latest news: Grand Round is up at ACP Internist, a newspaper serving internal medicine!

This time literally a newsworthy and noteworty round. According to ACP internist:
“We’re paying tribute to the daily newspaper. Read on for the latest headlines, opinions, features and even the funnies.”

There was no theme, all medical/health head news was included. Please enjoy reading all headlines here

The next round will be hosted by Codeblog, tales of a nurse.





Grand Round is being served at The Blog That Eat Manhattan.

24 02 2009

grand-rounds-menu-523Come enjoy the wonderful menu that is being served today at The Blog That Eat Manhattan, that is run by Margaret Polaneczky, MD who introduces herself as follows:

I practice medicine, cook and wax prolific in NYC.
You can call me Peggy. Or Dr P.
Just don’t call me late for dinner.

Grand Round nr 5.23 is being served as a full course dinner, so take care not to consume it at once, because this will surely cause indigestion.

Next week’s Grand Rounds will be served payed off hosted at Health Business Blog.





Grand Rounds 5.22 – Napoleon’s Dynamite – GOSH!

17 02 2009

ndmacheckyestEver heard of Napoleon’s Dynamite? Ever seen Napoleon’s Dynamite? According to nurse Kim it is “pretty much the coolest movie ever made” and therefore chosen as theme for the Grand Round she hosts today at Emergiblog.
And Gosh what an excellent Grand Round she compiled. And Gosh am I relieved that I just got 10 submissions for the first MedLib’s Round (she had to deal with 45 submissions or so). And Gosh
am I glad she announced the Grand Round as follows (LoL):

“No theme, and I’m not doing anything that has to do with Presidents or Valentines, so send in any and all topics!

I will say this: “It’s Grand Rounds, what do you think! GOSH!”

Thank you Kim, for this wonderful round, and for including all submissions, including mine.

I have to admit that I have never seen Napoleon’s Dynamite, but reading Kim’s Grand Round I probably should.

Next Grand Round will be hosted by Dr. Peggy at “The Blog that ate Manhattan.





MedLib’s Round, First Edition

13 02 2009

Welcome to the first edition of MedLib’s Round, a blog carnival of the “best blog posts in the field of medical librarianship”.

shht-librarian-costume1Starting a new blog carnival is often difficult. You have to recruit bloggers, who want to participate by submitting blogposts and/or hosting future editions. (see this older post on Scienceroll Thanks @hleman).

I didn’t sound out people to find if they were interested, but just gave it a try. — Therefore, I was very pleased that the idea was so enthusiastically received by many medical librarians ànd physicians from all over the world. Emergency physician Mike Cadogan (@sandnsurf) of Life in the First Lane already added the MedLib’s Round to his listing of Blogs Rankings and Rounds before it had even started.

Blog carnivals are meant to spread the word not only about established, but also about new bloggers. I’m therefore delighted that several librarians were inspired to (re)start blogging.

Shamsha Damani (@shamsha) accepted the invitation to become a guest writer on this blog to be able to submit a post (see below).

Alisha Miles (@alisha764) who start tweeting in Januari started her own blog Alisha 764 with the post “I am a Tree” saying: “I am no longer a mushroom, I am now a tree. Thank you to all of the other librarians’ posts & tweets that inspired me to start this blog.” Which clearly refers to the comment of @sandnsurf to the blogpost “What I learned in 2008 (about Web 2.0)“: “the most important thing is that you are actually a tree in this ecosystem, you are out there experimenting, thinking and trying to drive the revolution further…Most of my colleagues are still mushrooms…

The Pilgrimthinkera librarian explores health literacy, patient education and consumer health issues) even wrote a blogpost entitled “Thank you, Laika, for taking the initiative to start up a MedLib Blog Carnival. It was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back to blogging, with the added promise of some increased interest and posting from everyone.”

Thus apart from being a post-aggregator, a blog carnival can also inspire people with similar interests and connect them. From my own experience I know you can feel lonely as a blogger. So please  take a look at the above mentioned blogs/twitter accounts and help them to flourish into full grown trees, so we can all enjoy their fruits (and vice versa).

AND NOW FOR…..THE FIRST MEDLIB’S ROUND

The MedLib’s Round is about medical librarian stuff. This field is much broader than searching PubMed or interlibrary loaning; it is related to all stages in the publication and medical information cycles (searching, citing, managing, writing, publishing, social networking).

This carnival covers many facets of that cycle.

SEARCHING THE WEB

For medical librarians searching is an important facet of their job. There are different sources to search, including “the World Wide Web” and bibliographic databases like PubMed.

Hope Leman of AltSearchEngines has compiled a list of Top 10 Health Search Engines of 2008. She urges all those interested in medical search to give these tools a spin. Her Top 10 bares great resemblance to the Top 8 Bedside Health Search Engines 2008 of @sandnsurf (Mike Cadogan), indicating that the same engines are appreciated and used by physicians as well.
GoPubMed ranks 2 in both lists. According to Hope “GoPubMed is a useful complement to PubMed proper, particularly to determine who the leading authorities are on particular topics.
For further details on how to use GoPubMed see an earlier post of Mike and several posts of David Rothman (here and here).

On first position in both lists is the federated search engine Mednar. Hope submitted a second post merely devoted to this health search engine: Mednar Search…and Hope said, “It is good.” Well, if Hope, an expert in search engines, recommends Mednar it must be good. According to Hope Mednar is useful for (medical) librarians, as well as busy front-line clinicians and clinical researchers. Its main advantages are its ease of use, its elegant interface and “the access to an array of databases that are simply not mined by other health search engines, also called “The Invisible Web” (gray literature and similar hard-to find content)“. It is an useful complement to PubMed in that there is a shorter lag time before the very latest articles can be found.
Recently others have also reviewed Mednar, including (of course) @sandnsurf , as well as Creaky of EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC who concluded “I liked the results well-enough, but won’t give up using the precise technical limits and search filters available in PubMed, or the comprehensive, deep searches available by using the 15,000 journals indexed in Scopus”.

SEARCHING PUBMED (and Widgets)

3262152119_a1cc3c28a4-sl-award-guusGuus van den Brekel of DigiCMB , who just won the Alliance Virtual Library Golden Leaf Awards 2009 (Second Life), told me that PubMed is by far the most frequently used search database by the hospital staff and students of the University Medical Center Groningen, where he works. In 2007, EVERY 2 MINS somebody used the Pubmed link, and every 30 seconds somebody clicked the SFX-link resolver in PubMed. Guus believes that such a tool needs to be published to as many platforms as possible, and in any format the patrons would like them. So far a Toolbar, Widget, HTML-box, OpenSearch pretty much covers that wish. The Widgets can be found at PubMed Search & News Widget

PubMed has introduced (or rather continuously introduces) several changes, that have been amply discussed here. Major changes include the Advanced Search, the citation sensor and the way terms typed in the search bar are translated. Non-librarians often don’t know that PubMed automatically maps the words, but the way this is done has changed, i.e. multi-term words are split. In her post Mapping door PubMed, written in Dutch and English, de Bibliotheker shows that this altered mapping can have both unexpected positive and negative effects, and that it is always important to check the Details Tab.

Among the things that Nicole Dettmar (Eagle Dawg) of the Eagle Dawg Blog addresses at her post Eagle Dawg Blog: Hidden in the Bookshelf: PubMed & Discovery Initiative is the new Discovery Initiative of the NCBI, which is an effort to make the full potential of the NCBI Web services and underlying databases more available to users. Nicole gives various interesting links, which will tell you more about the upcoming changes.

MANAGING INFORMATION AND REFERENCES

Like many of her colleagues medical librarian Anne Welsh First Person Narrative noticed clinicians prefer to perform one word Google-style searches (hé, does that sound familiar!). However, realizing that her medical library “expert opinion” was based on nothing more than a series of anecdotes, Anne decided to have a  fish around for research on clinicians’ search strategies and information needs. Curious about the outcome? Then read the summary of the evidence in her well written research blogging post “Limiting the Dataset.

Indeed it is hard to keep up with the literature. Apart from specific (often Google-style searches), most clinicians also try to read a few interesting journals, for instance the BMJ and the Lancet. Instead of going to the library it is also possible to take an email alert or a RSS feed to the journals of your choice. You can generate custom RSS feeds in PubMed for you favorite search and/or Journal, but this is a kind of cumbersome procedure for most people not used to it (see for instance my earlier post in Dutch and this post of David Rothman – a must-read for people not acquainted with the use of RSS for this purpose).
Physician and medicine2.0 pioneer Ves Dimov of the Clinical Cases and Images – Blog has another solution to set up a RSS feed to journals, which I found astonishing simple and pretty awesome, because of the conveniently arrangement of the results. All you need is a free Google account to create Your Own “Medical Journal” with iGoogle Personalized Page. Want to know how it works, then please read his easy-to-follow post, which he has specially updated for this occasion. Ves has also included some ready made RSS feeds of the “Big Five” medical journals (NEJM, JAMA, BMJ, Lancet and Annals) plus 2-3 subspecialty journals as well as several podcasts in iGoogle.

Now, once you have the PDF’s of the papers you like you would like to store them in a handy way. Another physician, the Dutch psychiatrist Dr Shock MD PhD with a very eloguent blog of the same name, explores the use of Mendeley, a free social software for managing and sharing research papers and a Web 2.0 site for discovering research trends and connecting to like-minded academics (see Mendeley Manage Share and Discover Research Papers). Dr. Shock didn’t make up his mind yet whether he prefers Mendeley or Labmeeting (described in another post) as an online library. But offline he uses Sente, which he finds absolutely perfect. A chimera between Sente and one of the other tools would be his ideal management system.

PUBLISHING

Michelle Kraft of The Krafty Librarian was totally blown away by a presentation on Interactive Science Publishing at PSP 2009 Annual Conference (where she also gave a presentation herself). I didn’t know what interactive science publishing really meant, but Michelle can illustrate things so well, that you can readily imagine it all. This was needed as I could not access the examples she referred to without the risk of my computer becoming too slow or worse. But I understand from Michelle that it is a revolutionary new method of viewing online journals, although there are some answers to be addressed as well (see her post)

Imagine having the “PDF” of an article on congenital heart defects and be able to hear the heart sounds plus the video recording of the heart. The video would be more than just a snippet, it would be the entire video sectioned into “chapters” referenced within the various areas of the article. So while you are reading the article you can click on the link within the text referencing the image, sound, etc. and the image immediately jumps to that section the video. Imagine the data behind a large randomized controlled trial available in its entirety to all readers to be manipulated, reused, and viewed.

Another new publishing format is discussed by Shamsha Damani (@shamsha) on this blog (see: “How to make EBM easy to swallow“). Shamsha informs us that the BMJ will be publishing two summaries for each research article published. One called BMJ PICO, prepared by the authors, breaks down the article into the different EBM elements. The other called Short Cuts is written by BMJ itself. Here she hopes BMJ will shine, providing an easy to follow unbiased view of the article. Indeed, it would be very welcomed if more papers were in the ready-appraised-format, similar as found in the ACP-Journal Club. However, in the BMJ, it is the PICO-format written by the authors themselves which has the EBM structure, and is most preferred by the readers. According to some (including me) the Short Cuts are a bit woolly. Or as Shamsha says: “Personally I think it would have been better to have the BMJ reviewers write the PICO format, and do a bit more thorough critiquing”.

SOCIAL MEDIA & NLM, GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MEDICAL LIBRARIANS

In the same blogpost as mentioned above @Eagledawg mentions that the recent introduction of the #pubmed tag in Twitter (with the aim that you can later search for messages with this tag, see real time results here) led to various responses, which are not really appreciated as useful by the NLM because of the extreme short length of the tweets (140 characters including tag). It strikes Nicole that the NLM is not present on twitter (in contrast to the FDA and the CDC, also see a post of David Rothman). A good example of how the government could use using social media to respond to citizens is given by Andrew Wilson, a member of the recently introduced social-media team of the Department of Health and Human Service, who responded to the peanut-butter-and-salmonella recall issue on Twitter.

An interview with Andrew Wilson can be found here.
And, by the way The Library of Congres (see Dean Giustini’s blog) and the Cochrane Collaboration have also joined Twitter.

Health 2.0 people are well represented on Twitter. See for instance this list of Twitter Doctors, Medical Students and Medicine-related. made by @medicalstudent There is also a great slideshare presentation of @PhilBaumann on 140 health care uses for Twitter.

But how is Twitter used by medical librarians? David Rothman is not a huge fan of Twitter (he prefers friendfeed), but he does refer to a list of Great & growing resource for libraries/librarians on Twitter!
Dean Giustini
of UBC Academic Search – Google Scholar Blog wonders why there aren’t More Canadian (mapple Leaf) Librarians on Twitter? Well, I don’t know whether this is typical for Canadians, I don’t see many Dutch medical librarians either.
Dean plans to
write something for an upcoming issue of a health library journal about Twitter. Want to have an idea what Twitter is about, please read his short post on Twitter. Already on twitter but looking for twitterers in all the wrong places” than forget one bad idea and follow the half dozen good ideas Patricia gives in her excellent post on Twitter.

And what about the presence of the abovementioned contributors to this first Grand Round? Without exception they are all on Twitter and all but one use it on a regular basis. Now, assuming that most medical librarians aren’t on Twitter, doesn’t tell that something about this group? I wonder if Twitter presence is not the main reason for the swift start of this First MedLib’s Round.

That’s it for this edition.

741879088_29d01c359b_m-another-dead-librarian
I hope you enjoyed this first MedLib’s Round.
I surely enjoyed reading the many interesting and good quality posts that were submitted.

The next round will be hosted by Dragonfly, March 10.
Please submit your
favorite blog article to the next edition of medlib’s round before March 8 by using the carnival submission form (here) (!). Submission to the form makes it easier for the host to summarize the articles.

p.s. Perhaps you would like to host a future edition as well. If so, please inform me which edition (off May) you would like to host.

Jacqueline (“Laika”)


Photo credits (Flickr-CC)

Librarian’s Costume by Librarian Avenger

Namro Orman, SL

Another Dead Librarian by Doug!





Grand Rounds 5.20: Anniversaries and Blogosphere Scam

3 02 2009

Number OneThe latest edition of Grand Rounds is now up at Not Totally Rad.

This edition coincides almost exactly with his anniversary as a blogger.

So first of all a happy anniversary to samurairadiologist!

For this Round, he chose a loose anniversary theme, asking contributors to write about something cool or important that they had learned in the past year.

The lead-off post is written by Val Jones: How the Health Blogosphere was Scammed — Last two weeks the health blogosphere was buzzing with outrage about the fact that Wellsphere was sold to HealthCentral. Why were people pissed off? In the past, hundreds of health bloggers had received a flattering offer of the SEO of Wellssphere asking them to contribute to Wellsphere, “a free online community where regular people, enthusiasts and professionals can connect, inspire and educate each other about health”. (uh not really). This offer included the republishing of the content of their blog on the Wellsphere site. About 1700 bloggers accepted the offer, probably because they taught this would increase the traffic to their blog or because they wanted to contribute to Wellsphere or be part of its community. Those bloggers often did not realize that they in fact gave away the entire contents of their feeds for nothing. And herein lies their pain: Wellsphere made a good financial deal out of the transfer, but the bloggers who provide content for Wellsphere got no revenues at all. Some people consider this scraping, others consider it legitimate since the bloggers agreed to it.

In my view it is not really “stealing”, compared to the ripping off RSS feeds without informed consent or even knowledge, as discussed in previous posts (see here, here and here).

But you could call the recruiting Wellsphere campaign misleading and unpleasant at least. Furthermore, according to many former Wellsphere employees the Wellsphere management team behaves rather unscrupulous in general.

At least this big incident uncovers the vulnerability of the web 2.0 world and the bloggers: the concentration on traffic and getting links on the one hand and the poor protection of the intellectual property of bloggers on the other hand.

For further information look at the introduction at Not Totally Rad, the posts he refers to, i.e. the above mentioned post of Dr Val and a post of Dmitriy of the Trusted.MD blog. But there are a lot of other good posts on the subject, i.e. on the blogs of the Wall Street Journal, a psychiatrist, an athlete and patients (see here; some warrnings were already written in July 2008).

But apart from this specific theme there are many others worth reading: Anniversaries, lessons learned, Diabetes blogs and Other Chronic Diseases, Humor in Medicine, Ethics and Other Delicacies.

Next Round will be will be hosted by The Health Care Blog





The Medlib’s Round – FAQs

16 01 2009

In a previous post I announced a new Blog Carnival, specifically for Medical Librarian-related matter. I also posted an announcement to Twitter and here are some of the responses:

medlib-round

Now there seemed to be a consensus that a further explanation would not be superfluous. So I will try to explain a little more and be more specific. Please let me know if you have further questions.

What is a blog carnival?

Blog Carnivals are a regular compilation of a “selection of blogposts in a certain area”, hosted by a different blogger each time.

And what is the Medlib’s Round?

The Medlib’s Round is a blog carnival about medical librarian stuff. Mosts posts will be written by librarians, but non-librarians are also invited to contribute. As long as it is about librarian-related matter and relevant. It would for instance be great to have a post of GP’s telling about their way of searching. The posts should be written in English (at least partially).

What is the intended Audience?

These are primarily librarians in the medical field, but other librarians, as well as doctors, medical students and health 2.0 people may find it also very useful, especially because the posts are bundled.

Why a Medlib’s Round?

On the one hand it is difficult to keep up with all the librarian blogs, on the other hand it is difficult for new librarian bloggers to be ‘heard’. And usually this is a major purpose of blogging. By compiling the best stories on a subject one can get a quick overview and pick up the information that seems interesting. You may also find new and/or less well known blogs, that may be interesting to follow. For participating bloggers it may create more visitors, more traffic and more discussion. There are many Carnivals, but none in this field.

How frequent is the Medlib’s Round?

The current frequency is once a month. If it successful, it may become a bimonthly carnival. The publications are on Tuesday, the submissions are due at Saturdays 00.00 (Dutch Time or 18.00 EST)

Who creates a blog carnival?

  • Laika’s Medliblog is the organizer. The Organizer starts the carnival, decides what it will be about, what the submission criteria are, and how often it will appear. The organizer also coordinates who will host each edition of the carnival and keeps an archive.
  • The Host volunteers to host a carnival edition on their blog. They work with the organizer to pick a date that suits them. Ideally the hosts are scheduled for months in advance.
    It goes for instance like this: Laika’s medliblog hosts the first round. @aldricham offered to host on the (multi-authored) blog Dragonfly. I asked her if March would be o.k. and she agreed. Februari and March are now scheduled. Hopefully other volunteers will follow soon for April, May and June.
    In the period leading up their scheduled date, hosts usually post a “call for submissions” to draw attention to the upcoming carnival and to provide further details, for instance whether there is a theme. Because we are only just starting, my advise is not to use a strict theme or use no theme at all. But it is up to the hosts to decide.
    Hosts automatically receive submissions from bloggers. They select the posts (removing spam and sometimes posts that don’t fit in) and organize them into a single article chalk-full of links, often with their own comments. The blogcarnival already has a preformatted posts, that makes it easy to compose the carnival. The article is published on the scheduled date and people can leave comments on the blog or comment on their own blog linking back to the posts.
  • Bloggers who have written a recent article on the carnival’s topic on their own blog can submit the link for inclusion in the next edition of the carnival. ll the blogger needs to do (except for writing the post and keeping the deadline in mind) is to go to the Blog Carnival submission form, login, submit links to selected posts and give an optional description.The Blog Carnival submission form shows (a) when the next carnival is scheduled (this is NOT the deadline which is 3 days earlier), (b) who is hosting it, (3) any details about the submission and (4) the email-address of the host.
    takes care of getting it to the right person (either the host of that week or the organizer).
blog-carnival-register

To submit you first have to sign in or register to the Blog Carnival

blog-submission-form

Submission via the form is really easy. Scroll down to find the form.

I hope you’re all enthusiastic about it and will submit a post (or really a link to a post on your blog) to the carnival in the next 3 weeks. Or perhaps you would like to host one edition.It is not difficult and you have time to see how the others do it.