Under the Weather

I have been battling an upper respiratory infection as well as some wicked cold cooties.  This leaves me little time to do more than my job and regular household stuff.  The moments of time that I usually use to do a quick post are now spent catching up on other things or sleeping.

I hope to resume posting a few days.

Hospital Switching from Pagers to Smartphones: One CIO’s Experience

Emory University Hospital is in the midst of three year movement to switch approximately 6,000 pagers used by medical staff at the hospital to cell phones. The article, Inside a Smartphone Rollout With Life and Death Consequences, is an interesting look at what a hospital CIO needs to consider when switching from a pager system to smartphones. 

Now that doctors are really beginning to snatch up smartphones and using them in their daily practice to answer questions there are a whole host of other issues that must be addressed and the article specifically mentions three:

  1. Reliability- of the device and of the person using the device. Interesting thing to consider, pagers are often worn outside of clothing, smartphones (probably because they are bigger than a pager) are often in pockets and purses and left on desks.  The pager is easily heard, the smartphone (depending on its location) not so much. 
  2. Can you hear me now? – Coverage, coverage, coverage.  Multi carrier coverage is a big problem as well as building challenges (we have all found that dead cell zone in our hospital and it isn’t always the basement). 
  3. Fragile – Granted a pager probably won’t work if it accidentally falls in the toilet, but drop it down a flight of stairs and it has a fair shot of still working.  Try that with a smartphone and some would shatter on the first step of the stairs.  In addition to owner created hazards, smartphones have more software and have more “parts” that can “break” with the latest software upgrade. 

These three things are definitely issues that must be addressed if a system is to move off the pager and on to the smartphone.  However, one thing to note is these issues are just dealing with the practical issues of paging doctors through their smartphone.  The whole reason doctors and other healthcare professionals want and use smartphones is that they can use them for so much more than paging.  A hospital begins to run into far bigger obstacles when they must address EMR and smartphone accessibility, patient/doctor notes on smartphones, and what happens if somebody loses the phone. 

Still it is an interesting quick read article, it would be interesting if we could hear more about Emory University Hospital’s transition and the unexpected positives negatives they encountered in their move.

E-Books Virtual Summit

Library Journal recently sponsored the online virtual conference, “ebooks: Libraries @ the Tipping Point.”  Bad news is the summit is over, it was held September 29, 2010.  Good news is they recorded the sessions and they are available. The archive of the summit is available for $19.95, all you have to do is fill and pay for registration before December 31, 2010. 

For those of you who already registered all you have to do is enter your email and password to access the archives. 

Access to the archives of the summit for $20 is a good deal, but I understand you may be unwilling to fork over your Friday night pizza money without knowing about the content of the summit. 

According to the website librarians discussed:

  • Librarians and library administrators learned about current best practices for library ebook collections and explored new and evolving models for ebook content discovery and delivery.
  • Publishers and content creators learned how to effectively identify and develop the right content offerings for each segment of the relatively untapped library ebook market.
  • Ebook platform vendors and device manufacturers learned just what libraries need and want in this rapidly changing environment.

If you are still undecided, The Librarian in Black, Sarah Houghton-Jan, wrote six blog posts on the summit discussing the keynote speakers and issues like ebooks impact on libraries, publishers and readers. 

If after reading through the description of the summit and Sarah’s blog posts, you find the information interesting, you might want to spring for the archive.  It might also serve as a nice spring board for the next MLA webcast ABCs of E-books: Strategies for the Medical Library and get your mind ready so that you have some good questions or discussion points to bring up during the webcast.

Nominate a Medical Librarian as a Mover and Shaker

Library Journal is seeking nominations for emerging leaders in the libraries.  Their 10th Annual Movers and Shakers will profile 50 or more up-and-coming people in the world of libraries.  These people are innovative, creative, and making a difference in libraries.  Anybody working in the library field (librarians, vendors, paraprofessionals, etc.) moving libraries forward are eligible. 

DEADLINE: November 1, 2010

Ok medical librarians, they are looking for fifty or more people to be LJ’s Movers and Shakers so we have got to make sure we have a good showing. I know there are a bunch of us doing some really cool things out there and we need to make sure that we aren’t the only ones who know it.  They deserve recognition from the rest of the library world too.   Put on your thinking caps and nominate somebody.

Go to http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA606274.html to nominate somebody working in medical, hospital, or health science libraries who is moving us forward and doing innovative things. 

The process is online and easy!

Safari Books Online Now Available to Mobile Devices, Just Not for Library Subscribers

Earlier this week I saw this recent announcement stating Safari Books are now available on mobile devices and mobile devices users can now share content using the “Share This” feature, take notes, tag, and save content in custom folders too. 

I was excited about this.  I know there are some people who don’t like or understand the idea of reading an article let alone a book on a 2.5×3 inch screen, but there are more and more people doing it these days.  It is a growing usage trend.  So I figured if Safari is offering it then it would be nice to offer it to people in my library who don’t mind reading on a small screen. 

What a disaster.  First I went to Safari through our library page (on my iPhone) and got the same old Safari screen that is not optimized for a mobile device.  So I decided to try the URL that is mentioned on Safari’s website http://m.safaribooksonline.com.  That didn’t work, it wanted me to login and is primarily for non-library users.  However that made me sit back and think and I realized we get our Safari books through Proquest.  So I tried adding the mobile part to the Proquest URL.  No dice.  Since I am on an iPhone and my hospital blocks access to the Intranet to iPhones, iPads, and other “non approved” wireless devices, I thought my institutional access was the culprit.  Nope.

It was only after I started looking around on the Internet to see if others had similar problems did I discover two things. First, the announcement about mobile devices is kind of old (despite BusinessWire’s September 27, 2010 date) because O’Reilly announced the beta version of Safari’s mobile site back in February 2009. Second, and more importantly, Proquest does not have a mobile version of Safari Online for institutions.  According to The Distant Librarian who contacted ProQuest Technical Support, he was told, “The Mobile version of Safari Online is not available with an institutional account. I can send this on to the Product Manager as an enhancement but would not be able to give a time frame for when or even if it would be implemented.”   He sent a request to Proquest for mobile access to the Safari books for institutions and as of June 27, 2010, Proquest has not responded.   

I have done several Google searches to try and figure out if Proquest has decided to offer mobile access to Safari books to institutional subscribers and I haven’t found anything to indicate that they are even looking into it.  I would love to hear from somebody at Proquest or from any other librarians who can either tell me that yes, Proquest is working on mobile friendly access or no, Proquest is not interested in providing mobile friendly access…and why.  Just looking at the comments on Paul’s site (The Distant Librarian) and based on the growing number of mobile users this is a feature that is wanted by users.

WiFi Access at MLA’s 2011 Annual Meeting

I just received an email from Section Council regarding Internet access at the meeting and I asked if I could share it and I can, so here is the email. 

MLA Headquarters reports that Internet access in guest rooms in MLA block at the Hilton will be wireless and without charge.

Most meetings will be at the convention center, a short walk from the hotel.   At the convention center MLA will offer the Internet Cafe with wireless WIFI, as in the past. 

To expand access, NPC and staff are looking into ways MLA can provide attendees WIFI access at plenary sessions. The technology is there to do it. Our challenge is being able to cover the cost.  Currently, we are getting bids and looking a potential fund raising sources.

Internet connectivity is becoming a must in our lives and I am happy to forward the news that MLA is working on Internet access for attendees and is making progress towards connectivity for the meeting.

Call for Papers and Posters for MLA 2011

Now is the time to get online and submit your structured abstract for a paper or poster at MLA 2011.

This year, the various sections will be sponsoring some great specifically themed programs as well as some “general” theme programs where the topic is fairly broad.  For example there is a general section program on Education, where somebody can submit a paper on the topic of education in all its forms.  This type of general theme allows people to submit quality papers and posters that don’t fit some of the narrower themes sessions but are equally important.

There are lots of great programs and I encourage everyone to submit to the program that best fits a theme.  Since I am the Chair of Section Programming for the Medical Informatics Section I would like to profile the four programs that we are sponsoring or co-sponsoring.  Please consider submitting your paper to these programs or the other ones listed in on the MLA website

Please review the instructions in the poster or paper FAQs, then begin the online submission process. The site is open and you can start now! Submission deadline is November 1, 2010.

Here are the programs MIS is sponsoring or co-sponsoring that are looking for people to contribute papers.

  • Rethinking the Librarian’s Role in EHRs, PHRs, and EMRs: A Place at the Table
    In the health care environment these days, if your library is not at the table, you are on the menu. The role of medical librarians has moved from operating physical libraries to their underlying responsibility: facilitating access to and use of evidence to support quality clinical care and patient education.
    The emergence of electronic health record (EHR), personal health record (PHR), and electronic medical record (EMR) systems provides new opportunities for libraries to participate in the integration of evidence into the clinical process and the documentation of appropriate resources for consumers. Librarians possess the expertise, skills, and resources that are integral to facilitating these connections between information and the clinician or consumer.
    The Fifth Annual Lecture on the Evidence Base will present an overview of the librarian’s role and experiences in integrating into institutions’ EHRs, PHRs, or EMRs. Topics may include, but are not limited to, convincing your organization to bring the library to the table, selecting and integrating of point-of-care evidence-based resources, designing systems, mapping clinical questions to appropriate resources, and documenting resources that are provided by the library to support patient care in the EHR, PHR, or EMR.
    There will be an invited speaker as well as the contributed papers
  • Top Tech Trends V
    Technology trend spotters will speak about the latest issues in technology and provide their opinions and thoughts on their impact on health sciences libraries. It will be a quick-paced and interesting discussion among the panelists, along with the aid of a Google jockey searching and highlighting the topics. Bring your mobile devices, and participate in the program online as a Twitter jockey will summarize each panelist’s thoughts, fostering the online discussion. Make sure to stay to the end of the session to take advantage of the Technology Petting Zoo, where you will be able to touch and play with the latest technology tools.
    There will be invited speakers and the sponsoring sections will solicit abstract submissions in the months preceding the meeting.
  • Rethink Technology (General Topic Session)
    What are you doing with technology in your library? Implementing a metasearch? Linking in the electronic health record ? Adding folksonomy to the catalog? We want to hear about it. If your technology-related paper idea does not fit into any of the section programming themes, this general topic session is the place for you.
    This will be all contributed papers.
  • Refining Research: From Start to Finish
    Research is an important part of defining what ideas, technologies, or programs work or don’t work in libraries. Listen to a panel of speakers talk about the process of defining the question, matching the method to the idea and question, refining the process, collecting and analyzing data, and summarizing the results. Then join roundtable discussions where MLA members who want to do research or begin a project will be able to talk with “experts” about the process and how to progress through it.
    This will session will have a panel presentation and roundtable break-out sessions.

MLA Awards and Grants…Nominate Your Colleagues!

‘Tis the season to be nominating your deserving colleagues for the various MLA Awards and applying for the grants.  Some of these awards  and grants have had no winners in the past.  I know there are great people out there so get out there and start nominating people or applying for them.  They can’t award it if they have no submissions. 

And if you read through these awards and grants and nobody still nobody is coming to mind, go to the MLA Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting.  At that ceremony you will hear about all of the things that the winners did to win these awards and perhaps that will jump start your mind into thinking of somebody who did something similar but sort of different who deserves that award.

Awards: For more information on the following awards go to http://www.mlanet.org/awards/honors/ Double check the application due dates, but it appears most of them are due November 1st.

  • The Virginia L. and William K. Beatty Medical Library Association Volunteer Service Award recognizes a medical librarian who has demonstrated outstanding, sustained service to MLA and the health sciences library profession.  The recipient will receive a certificate and $1,000.
  • The Louise Darling Medal, awarded annually by MLA, recognizes an individual, institution, or group which has made an outstanding contribution in health sciences collection development.   
  • The MLA Estelle Brodman Award recognizes a mid-career academic medical librarian, who demonstrates a significant achievement, the potential for leadership and continuing excellence. Recipients receive a certificate and a cash award of $500. 
  • Lois Ann Colaianni Award for Excellence and Achievement in Hospital Librarianship -Nominate a dynamic and exceptional hospital librarian, a visionary who deserves recognition for his or her outstanding service in hospital librarianship.   Self-nominations are welcome! 
  • 2011 Janet Doe Lectureship— Nominate a colleague who can share insights on the history and philosophy of medical librarianship through an informative yet entertaining presentation as the Janet Doe lecturer at MLA. The Doe lecturer receives a certificate, a $250 honorarium, travel expenses for the meeting, and publication of the lecture in JMLA.
  • The MLA Ida & George Eliot Prize is presented annually for a work published in the preceding calendar year which has been judged most effective in furthering medical librarianship.   The recipient receives a cash reward of $200 and a certificate at the annual meeting. 
  • Nominate a Colleague to be an MLA Fellow or Recognize a Dedicate Supporter of MLA! — For over 50 years, the Medical Library Association has recognized those who have made sustained, outstanding contributions to medical librarianship as Fellows, elected by the Board of Directors. Nominees must have been a regular member of MLA for at least fifteen years prior to nomination and have at least ten years of professional experience in health information science. 
  • MLA/Majors Chapter Project of the Year Award—Does your chapter have a project deserving recognition?  If so, consider applying for the Majors/MLA Chapter Project of the Year Award.  The $500 award and a certificate are presented to the project demonstrating advocacy, service, or innovation that contributes to the advancement of health sciences librarianship.
  • MLA Section Project of the Year Award— Has your Section completed a project in the last three years that has significantly improved the field of health sciences librarianship? Would your Section like to be memorialized as the FIRST recipient of the MLA Project of the Year Award?  
  • The Carla J. Funk Governmental Relations Award recognizes a medical librarian who has furthered the goal of providing quality information for improved health by demonstrating outstanding leadership in the area of governmental relations at the federal, state, or local level.  Nominate a colleague who contributed to information policy, increased awareness of legislative agendas or otherwise enhanced the Association’s governmental relations network. 
  •  The Murray Gottlieb Prize is awarded annually for the best unpublished essay on the history of medicine and allied sciences written by a health sciences librarian or archivist.  The recipient receives a cash award of $100 and a certificate at the Annual Meeting.
  • T. Mark Hodges Award– Established in 2007, The Hodges International Service Award recognizes outstanding individual achievement in the promotion, enablement, or improvement in the quality of health information internationally. 
  • MLA Section Project of the Year Award— Has your Section completed a project in the last three years that has significantly improved the field of health sciences librarianship? Would your Section like to be memorialized as the FIRST recipient of the MLA Project of the Year Award? 
  • The Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award honors an outstanding practicing librarian or library educator in the field of health sciences librarianship and informatics demonstrating skills in one or more of the following areas: teaching, curriculum development, mentoring, research, or leadership in education at local, regional, or national levels.
  • The Marcia C. Noyes Award is the highest professional distinction of the Medical Library Association, and recognizes a career that has resulted in lasting, outstanding contributions to medical librarianship.  The award jury considers sustained, notable achievement, and distinguished service and leadership. 
  • The Rittenhouse Award, established in 1967 by the Rittenhouse Medical Bookstore, is presented annually for the best unpublished paper or Web-based project on medical librarianship or medical informatics written by a student in an ALA-accredited school of library and information studies or a trainee in an internship in health sciences librarianship or medical informatics. The winner receives a cash award of $500, a certificate, and student Annual Meeting registration.  
  •  The Thomson Reuters/Frank Bradway Rogers Information Advancement Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the use of technology to deliver health science information, in the science of information, or in the facilitation of the delivery of health science information.  The recipient receives a cash award of $500 and recognition at the 2011 Annual MLA Meeting. 

 Grants: For more information on the following grants go to http://www.mlanet.org/awards/grants/ Double check the application deadline but it appears they are due December 1st.

  • Continuing Education Award – MLA members my submit applications for awards of $100-$500 to develop their knowledge of theoretical, administrative, or technical aspects of librarianship.  More than one CE award may be offered in a year and may be used either for MLA courses or other CE activities.
  • Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship – A fellowship for health science librarians from other countries outside of the United States and Canada.  The award provides for attendance at MLA Annual Meeting and observation and supervised work in one or more medical libraries in the United States and Canada.
  • EBSCO/MLA Annual Meeting Grant – Enables MLA members to attend the annual meeting.  Awards of up to $1,000 for travel and conference related expenses will be given to four librarians who would otherwise be unable to attend the meeting. 
  • Hospital Libraries Section/MLA Professional Development Grants provides librarians working in hospitals and similar clinical settings with the support needed for educational or research activities.  Up to two awards may be granted each year.
  • David A. Kronick Traveling Fellowship, one $2,000 fellowship is awarded to cover the expenses involved in traveling to three or more medical libraries in the United States and Canada for the purposes of studying a specific aspect of health information management.
  • Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship (Application Deadline November 15th) – provides a $10,000 grant annually to fund research aimed at expanding the research knowledgebase, linking the information services provided by librarians to improved health care and advances in biomedical research.
  • Medical Informatics Section/MLA Career Development Grant provides one individual $1500 to support a career development activity that will contribute to the advancement in the field of medical informatics.
  • MLA Research, Development and Demonstration Project Grant is to provide support for research, development, or demonstration of projects that will help to promote excellence in the filed of health sciences librarianship and information sciences.  Grants range from $100 to $1,000.
  • MLA Scholarship is $5,000 for a student who is entering a Masters program at an ALA accredited library school or who has yet to finish at least one half of the program’s requirements in the year following the granting of the scholarship.
  • MLA Scholarship for Minority Students  is $5,000 for a minority student entering a Masters program at an ALA accredited library school or who has yet to finish at least one half of the program’s requirements in the year following the granting of the scholarship.
  • MLA/NLM Spectrum Scholarship is to support minority students in their goals to become health sciences information professionals.
  • Thomson Reuters/MLA doctoral Fellowship is for $2,000 to foster and encourage superior students to conduct doctoral work in an area of health sciences librarianship or information sciences and provide support to individuals who have been admitted to candidacy.

Save the Date Reminder for MEDLINE

Just like the “Save the Date” reminders one often gets for weddings, NLM has sent out their own version via the Technical Bulletin for MEDLINE

November 17th NLM will temporarily suspend adding fully indexed MEDLINE citations to PubMed.  Publisher added and “in process” citations will still be added.

Mid December (no exact date yet) PubMed citations, translation tables, and MeSH database will be updated to reflect the 2011 MeSH.

Speaking of the 2011 MeSH.  NLM is working on the MEDLINE year end processing duties which includes cleaning their closet and removing the out dated MEDLINE terms and bringing in the fresh new line of 2011 MESH terms to wear.  So don’t forget to freshen up your own SDI closets with the latest MeSH terms and subheadings for a more precise fit and feel to your search results.

Friday Fun: Can Saturday Night Live Predict Future Technology

Back in 2001 when the iPhone was just a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eye, Saturday Night Live did three skits based on an ultra hip and pretentious store called Jeffrey’s.  The skit centered around two snooty store employees dressed in black making fun of customers as they wanted to buy clothes.  In the end, the store manager, Will Ferrell would come out in some outlandish outfit on a mobilty scooter.  Soon after Will enters the scene a phone ring would ring and he would fish out an incredibly tiny (postage stamp size) cell phone and talk about some “important” event happening.  They would all rush out of the store with their designer man bags to event.  There were three sketches in all and in the second one the cell phone was smaller than the first, requiring Will to don special magnifying glasses and use a toothpick to type.  However, the last sketch the tiny cell phone is absent.  The phone rings and Will pulls out a giant brick phone (circa 1983) and talks on it.  The ultra hip employees are stunned until Will pronounces, “Big is the new small,” then they dash off again.    

Two of the three videos can be found online, unfortunately I could not, for the life of me, find the final sketch with the brick phone, but I did find its transcript.

As I mentioned these skits were written and produced in 2001, well before the iPhone.  Most of the cell phones looked like this and the ability to take pictures with them was new and a big deal.  It wouldn’t be much of a jump though to say phones would be getting smaller and smaller, but to say that they would be getting bigger well that is just for laughs in comedy sketches right?

That is what I thought until I read the article, When Phones Are Too Big For Pockets, on CNNTech.  The article describes how some new cell phones are now too big to fit in a jeans pocket.  I read the article and this quote just jumped out at me:

As mobile phone technology improved, “there definitely was a trend for smaller and there definitely was a trend for thinner,” said Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst who covers mobile technology for IDC. “But I think we’re seeing the pendulum swinging back in favor of larger phones.”

Immediately I heard Will Ferrell’s voice in my head stating, “Big is the new small,” and for fun I typed the terms Will Ferrell and cell phone into Google. I had hoped to just watch that specific Jeffrey’s skit for a quick laugh and then get on with my day.  But low and behold I found another article, “How Will Ferrell Predicted the Diorphone.” 

It looks like I am not the only one wondering if the writers at SNL have a crystal ball.