Sep 22

Survey: Health Sciences Librarians and EBM

Posted by request from Lin Wu:

Dear Colleagues,

We are inviting all medical librarians to take this survey. The purpose of the survey is to explore the roles of health sciences librarians in enhancing and supporting evidence-based medicine (EBM) practice. Results will be reported only for research purposes. The survey will take no more than 10 minutes.

Take this link to the survey:

Thank you for your time and participation!

If you have questions about the survey, please contact Lin Wu directly:

Lin Wu
Reference Services Librarian
Health Sciences Library
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
877 Madison Avenue; Memphis, TN 38163
Email: lwu5 [AT] utmem [DOT] edu
Toll-free: 877-747-0004; Local: 448-5404

Sep 19

Congratulations to Mark Rabnett

Mark Rabnett, Pharmacy and Pharmacology Librarian, was the recipient of a 2008 CAUT Dedicated Service Award. Each year the Canadian Association of University Teachers recognizes individuals for exceptional service to their academic staff associations. Recipients are nominated by their association.

Mark served for six years as the Contract Administrator for the University of Manitoba Faculty Association and eight years as UMFA representative for the Libraries Constituency.


Mark is hereby forgiven for not posting a lot of excellent entires lately on his blog.

Sep 12

iPod Touch (NOT iPhone) in the Healthcare Setting

I don’t own any Apple hardware (dang it), so I’ve stayed out of discussions about the use of the iPhone in a healthcare setting– but when someone like John Halamka opines about such things, I pay attention.

Check out John’s post on why “…the iPod Touch is a device to watch for clinical and educational applications.”

If anyone would like to buy me an iPod touch, please feel free.

(If you’re interested in technology and healthcare, you should be reading John’s blog: Life as a Healthcare CIO [feed])

Sep 10

Where to Find Embeddable Health Information Videos

There are a good number of sources for online health information videos, but I tend to take special note of those sites that will allow me to embed videos on any Web page I want.



“The Insidermedicine Project is a physician-led news and knowledge-translation initiative that allows patients, doctors and medical students to keep up on the latest medical information by watching our unique videos that are created each and every weekday by our team of medical experts. Our goal is to reach patients, medical doctors and students around the world to ensure that each is receiving a daily “evidence based” health and medical update.”

[Full disclosure: I did a very little bit of consulting for Insidermedicine]

Medical Videos


“ is an online library dedicated for videos and movies related to Medicine and Surgery to provide one easy place to find whatever a doctor,medical student,nurse or any individuals involved in medicine to find whatever he/she looks for.With a simple broadband connection you can enjoy the high quality medical videos either to learn new techniques or to be updated with the latest advances in medicine.”



“The content on the eMedTV Web site is designed to help users better understand their health and play a more active role — together with their physician — in planning their healthcare.”


“CDC-TV is a new online video delivery resource available through Web visitors can now view or download videos on a variety of health, safety and preparedness topics. Most videos are short and all include closed-captioning (some videos are also open-captioned), so they are accessible to all interested viewers. The library of videos will expand to include single-topic presentations as well as different video series focused on children, parents, and public health professionals.”[via]



Above: Embedded video in which icyou describes itself.

Sep 05

Sharing files online: Best Services for Libraries

I started drafting this post about 4 months ago. Sheesh.

If I send an ILL request to many large academic medical libraries, I’ll often be sent a password and a link where I can log in and securely download the PDF. This is great because my IS department has pretty strict limits on the size of our email accounts and if mine gets too large, my ability to send new emails will be blocked.

Smaller libraries might want to offer a similar service, but not have access to a secure server (or the software or the know-how) with which to set it up.

There are a great number of free online services for sharing files, so how do we narrow down the right ones to try?

Features we want:

  • We want a simple, easy-to-use interface
  • We want to be able to share even very large PDFs- say up to 15 MBs.
  • For legal reasons, we want the file to be password-protected
  • Bonus: It’d be great if the file was automatically deleted after a certain number of days had passed.

If we use these criteria, the choices narrow down very quickly. has quickly become my favorite for the following reasons.

  1. You can assign any (previously unused) URL you like that follows the pattern[fill in this blank], which means you could use a PMID or Docline request number.
  2. You can upload files up to 100 MB in size
  3. You can set a password AND set the file to delete automatically after a day, a week, a month, or a year.

Also nice: No registration is required. It also doesn’t hurt anything that looks really cool. Great design.

One also-ran:

Transfer Big Files (brilliant name) almost matches in meeting our needs, except that it can’t apply an expiration date to the file.

Did I miss any other file sharing services that meet the criteria I outlined?

Sep 04

USP’s Drug Error Finder

As a service to healthcare practitioners, industry, consumers, and others, USP has developed a free tool for accessing drug names that have been identified with a medication error. USP’s Drug Error Finder allows a user to search more than 1,400 drugs involved in look–alike and/or sound–alike errors. It not only lists the other drugs involved in a mix–up, but also designates the severity of the error where at least one report was received through USP’s Reporting Programs. Use USP’s Drug Error Finder.

More info here

[Via ResourceShelf (via iHealthBeat)]

Sep 03

Proof that this blog has the Best Readers Ever

Last week I posted Rachel Walden’s readlly good idea for a useful 3rd-party PubMed/MEDLINE tool and received several exciting responses.

Martin Gerken

Martin Gerken was the first to make an attempt that you can try at:

…but Rachel got some error messages from it.


Martin and Rebecca both suggested using GoPubMed.

David (not David Rothman) confirmed that GoPubMed worked nicely but had some problems (which GoPubMed’s Dr. Liliana Barrio-Alvers later answered).

David’s (not Rothman) Tool

David (again, not David Rothman) also made an attempt at creating the tool that Rachel asked for that you can try here:

I threw in a list of PMIDs and got useful results presented in a pleasant manner:

Nice, huh?

Rajarshi’s Tool

Rajarshi Guri was next
to build a tool to do this. His, though, doesn’t have an interface- you just add your PMIDs to the URL. Here’s an example using the same PMIDs I used to test David’s tool.

Rajarshi also built a Ubiquity command (more on Ubiquity here) that functions reasonably well as an interface- though still not as well as a simple Web form- and without a simple Web form, the tool isn’t really available to a lot of potential users.

Pierre’s Tool

Pierre Lindenbaum spent 30 minutes building a tool to match Rachel’s specs. I was unable to get it to work, but you can download it here and give it a try.

You people rule.