October 06, 2010
HealthCare.gov is now online
Health care consumers will be pleased to discover HealthCare.gov, the new website put up by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide information about 2010 Affordable Care Act. This Act, which took effect on September 23, is designed to curb abusive practices in the health insurance industry. In addition to explaining the new law, the HealthCare.gov allows consumers to locate private insurance plans and compare benefits, premiums, and coverage between different plans and providers. Providers are also now required to submit data on how many applicants have been denied coverage and how many of the enrolled customers are paying higher costs due to health conditions, and this data is published as well.
The site allows the user to search for area hospitals and nursing homes, and allows comparisons between them based on patient surveys or other quality measures. Another section provides preventative health care information and links to Healthfinder.gov.
To aid in discovering and accessing HealthCare.gov, it has been added to SearchTools.
December 20, 2009
The Good Hospital Visitor
Do you have a friend or relative in the hospital? Have you ever wondered what would be the right thing to do - visit or not, bring a present or not, send flowers or not? Several of us in the library have recently been impressed to read "The Good Hospital Visitor" from Disabled World.
Disabled World: The Good Hospital Visitor: http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/hospitalvisitors.shtml
Please, go read the whole article, but just to whet your interest, here are the brief high points.
1. Stay home if you are sick.
2. Wash your hands before and after.
3. Sanitize the bottom of your purse, bag and shoes after you leave the hospital.
LEAVE AT HOME:
2. Plants or flowers for ICU patients.
HELP IMPROVE PATIENT CARE:
1. Make sure there is someone there 24/7 to be a patient advocate.
2. Create a Care Team Notebook (read this part especially!)
3. Ask the patient if they have a durable power of attorney.
1. Obey posted hospital visitation policies.
2. Contact advocate and ask if it is ok to visit.
3. Avoid visits at shift change and procedure times.
1. Offer to assist nursing staff.
2. Give family members a break.
3. Learn "hospital speak".
4. Take care of yourself.
5. Manage your own stress.
6. DON'T STOP VISITING!
September 07, 2009
2009 DHHS Flu Prevention PSA Contest Winner
The innovative DHHS-sponsored contest to get the best ideas from the general public on how to teach about preventing swine flu has finished and decided on a winner! Take a look at the creative effort from Dr. John D. Clarke of the Long Island Rail Road.
You can see more finalists here.
YouTube: USGovHHS: http://www.youtube.com/usgovhhs
July 06, 2009
Responding to cardiac arrest
The one-minute PSA from the American Heart Association instructed listeners, in the event of cardiac arrest, to perform chest compressions very hard to the beat of the 1970s Bee Gees song "Stayin' Alive." When someone suffers cardiac arrest, as pop singer Michael Jackson did last week, the heart stops functioning completely, and brain death begins within four to six minutes if the victim doesn't receive help.
Many people are under the misconception they need formal training to help someone in cardiac arrest, says Allyson Perron, advocacy director for the American Heart Association in Massachusetts. She says while it's best to take a CPR class (they last about three and a half hours), just doing chest compressions can get a person's heart going again.
July 03, 2009
Pandemic Influenza Storybook from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control has released a wonderful Flash online storybook providing personal stories and recollections from survivors of the 1918 and 1957 pandemics.
Pandemic Influenza Storybook: http://www.cdc.gov/about/panflu/
Sections of the Flash-based storybook include:
- Courage and unbearable loss
- Where there's a will ...
- Sickness comes in hate ...
- 1957 Pandemic Flu
New stories are being added all the time, and people are invited to add stories from their families. One example, the story of Jennie O'Neal Givens tells the story of a teenager who, not understanding the situation, defies her mother to attend a dance during quarantine, which is followed by her mother dying of the flu.
The "Where there's a will" section tells stories of people making ends meet, making creative use of local resources to preserve health and promote survival. The section "Sickness comes in haste" describe the longterm personal impact of the pandemic, how people's lives were shaped, the memories that never left them, how these stories were passed on to their children and grandchildren.
This wonderful resource brings the issues to life, puts a human face on them. It is one of the best ways for people to visualize the implications and possible outcomes of the current pandemic, why the interventions are significant and what has worked best in the past.
May 03, 2009
H1N1/Swine Flu iGoogle Tab, Version 3
The original Swine Flu iGoogle tab has been updated to include symptoms, new videos, and to reflect the now preferred name of H1N1 instead of the inaccurate name of "swine flu". The newest version of the tab can be found here:
H1N1/"Swine Flu" iGoogle Tab: http://tinyurl.com/cjma3l
April 30, 2009
Update on Swine Flu Information iGoogle Tab
Monday after the influenza health emergency was announced we started working quickly to make information available to our communities, just as did many other medical libraries across the country. While one group in the library worked to add links and update our Influenza guide with new information, Patricia Anderson (Emerging Technologies Librarian) took an idea from fellow librarian Whitney Townsend and quickly gathered some RSS feeds and Google gadgets into an iGoogle tab to share.
The idea was to get helpful information out as fast as possible. When Whitney pioneered this idea some months ago, it got some nice attention, but not as many folks noticed as might have. This week, connecting this personal information management tool with social media in an emergency situation, it got a lot more attention as a potential information rapid prototyping tool. To start with, here is the original post.
Swine Flu Information via iGoogle Tab: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/hsl/archives/2009/04/swine_flu_infor.html
Shortly after sending this out to the email list Disaster Information Outreach by Librarians, emails started to roll in, many from people at NIH. Among them were requests about how the tab was made and suggestions to share the tool with other email lists. In response to their queries, it was time for a second blogpost explaining a bit more about how the iGoogle tab was made and shared.
ETechLib: iGoogle for Tracking Swine Flu: http://etechlib.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/igoogle-for-tracking-swine-flu/
This was picked up by other libraries and information services.
UCSD: Biomedical Library Blog: Swine Flu current awareness tool via iGoogle: http://blog.ucsd.edu/bml/2009/04/27/swine-flu-current-awareness-tool-via-igoogle/
The Swine Flu Outbreak Daily Update: How People are Tracking the Swine Flu Emergency: http://swineoutbreak.com/flublog/?p=138
Then there was a request from NIH to use the information on their website.
NIH Library: Swine Flu Resources: http://nihlibrary.nih.gov/Announcements/swineflu.htm
We are delighted to have brought this wonderful tool to the attention of so many other people. We hope that you are finding it useful. Remember, if you are interested in learning more about how to use iGoogle for productivity and outreach, you can contact the library for either personal assistance or to request a workshop for your team.
March 10, 2009
iGoogle for MHealthy, Part Three: Fitness & Workout Tools
Continuing our series of iGoogle tabs collecting health and wellness resources, here is one with Fitness and Workout tools. Remember, you can use these yourself, for your own health and wellness goals, but you can also share them or recommend specific tools to patients or health care consumers.
Click here to add this tab to your own iGoogle: iGoogle: Fitness and Workout Tools
* Water Tracker
* My gym workout
* Log Your Run
* My Walking
* Cool Running
* Life Tips Exercise
* My Map / My Fitness Workout
* Days Since ...
February 18, 2009
iGoogle for MHealthy, Part Two: Stress Tips and Tools
Here is a continuation in our small collection of iGoogle tabs to share with you in support of the goals of MHealthy.
If you have a Google account, then you can use iGoogle to customize and personalize your searching experience. To make your own tabs, log in to your Google account, then in the upper right hand corner click on the iGoogle link, then click on Add stuff to explore widgets and gadgets made by other people. Pick what you want, then, when you go to Google to search for things, you will see your iGoogle tabs. This can help you remember things you want to do, collect information you want to track, and generally put a lot of useful stuff in one place where it is easy for you to find.
Today's selection is on Stress tips and tools. Here is what it looks like for me.
Alright, now we are going to give you a link. If you click on the link, and have a Google account, the link will take you to a page where you can either add the tab to your account the way I have it set up, or you can choose just the pieces that most interest you. Check the boxes you want, or uncheck the ones you don't want. Click the "Add to Google" button.
iGoogle: Stress Tips
Have fun! A little MHealthy present for you from the Health Sciences Libraries.
February 15, 2009
iGoogle for MHealthy, Part One: Diet and Nutrition
I am very lucky to have my desk located near the desk of another person who shares many of the same interests and passions. When this happens, sometimes amazing synchronicities are facilitated. Right now, you are about to reap the benefit. At least, I hope you find it a benefit.
Anna Schnitzer and I had been gabbing over the cube walls about how to help provide information and tools to support the MHealthy initiative here at the University of Michigan. Last week we started to partner on making a small collection of iGoogle tabs to share with you in support of the goals of MHealthy.
"Hunh?" you might ask, "What is an iGoogle tab?" Well, if you have a Google account, then you can use iGoogle to customize and personalize your searching experience. To make your own tabs, log in to your Google account, then in the upper right hand corner click on the iGoogle link, then click on Add stuff to explore widgets and gadgets made by other people. Pick what you want, then, when you go to Google to search for things, you will see your iGoogle tabs. This can help you remember things you want to do, collect information you want to track, and generally put a lot of useful stuff in one place where it is easy for you to find.
I can get more into this later. For today, being librarians, we wanted to make this easy for you. Anna and I have looked around in the iGoogle widget collections, and selected some that support some of the MHealthy goals. We have collected these in groups and are sharing them with you.
Today's selection is Diet and Nutrition tools. Here is what it looks like for me.
Alright, now we are going to give you a link. If you click on the link, and have a Google account, the link will take you to a page where you can either add the tab to your account the way I have it set up, or you can choose just the pieces that most interest you. This is what the choosing page would look like.
Here's the link:
iGoogle: Diet & Nutrition
Check the boxes you want, or uncheck the ones you don't want. Click the "Add to Google" button. Have fun! A little MHealthy present for you from the Health Sciences Libraries.
December 01, 2008
World AIDS Day
March 01, 2007
From the National Library of Medicine
This blog post gives a quick outline of the issue and links to the audiofiles. Great gift idea for family members interested in consumer health - especially since subscriptions are free.
February 14, 2007
The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America
Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries become narrowed and hardened due to a buildup of plaque. Are you at risk? Watch "The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America" on Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 9 pm on PBS.
February 09, 2007
Consumer Health Information in Many Languages
Health Information Translation is a product of three Ohio-based medical centers to provide high quality consumer health information in a variety of languages and topics.
LANGUAGES: Arabic; Chinese Simplified; Chinese Traditional; English; French; Hindi; Japanese; Korean; Russian; Somali; Spanish; Ukrainian; Vietnamese.
TOPICS: Disaster Preparedness; Diagnostic Tests; Diseases and Conditions; Exercise and Rehabilitation; Food and Diet; General Information; Health and Wellness; Home Care; Pain and Comfort; Pregnancy and Baby Care; Safety; Stress and Coping; Surgery & Treatments.
Health Information Translations: http://www.healthinfotranslations.com/
While Health Information Translations is realtively new (2005) and much needed, there are other excellent sources of information for consumer health information in non-English languages. Much of the United States government health information has been translated at least into Spanish. Here is a gateway page to help you find those.
NNLM: Multilingual NIH Publications: http://nnlm.gov/mcr/resources/community/multilingualNIH.html
SPIRAL is a resource that focuses on providing information in Asian languages.
Selected Patient Information Resources in Asian Languages (SPIRAL): http://spiral.tufts.edu/
The 24 Languages Project identified the most important health information and has collected it in the most diverse collection of languages of these types of projects.
The 24 Languages Project: Consumer Health Brochures in Multiple Languages: http://library.med.utah.edu/24languages/
In Australia, the government funded an effort to locate and collect translated health information wherever they could find it. This massive database is searchable and contains over 10,000 consumer health items in various languages.
Australia: Victorian Government Health Information: Health Translations Directory: http://www.healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/