Friday, August 24, 2007

Interested in being an editorial board member?

It's that time of year again - time for MLA members to think about which committees they might want to participate in during the upcoming year.

The JMLA Editorial Board is one of the MLA committee options. Members of the editorial board serve 3 year terms and are typically asked to review 1-2 manuscripts per month. We also hold an editorial board meeting at each MLA Annual Meeting.

The peer reviewer serves as an invaluable adviser to the editorial team and to authors, providing commentary and critique of manuscripts that aid the team in determining the disposition of each article (i.e. acceptance or rejection) and in recommending changes for improving the clarity and quality of prospective articles.

The peer review process requires rigorous attention to detail, some familiarity with research design, an understanding of principles of logical writing, and analytical and critical thinking skills to assess arguments and theses presented in papers.

Our recently launched JMLA Reviewer Tutorial provides an overview of editorial expectations and the time commitment that comes with being part of the editorial board.

The MLA committee application form is available online in the members-only section of MLANET. If you would like to be considered for a spot on the editorial board, we encourage you to indicate your interest on the application form. It will also be very useful to the editorial team if you use Section 4 of the application, Qualifications or Special Expertise, to share with us brief details regarding your interest in the JMLA and relevant experience (writing, editing, etc.).

Please also free to contact us at jmlaeditor[at]vanderbilt[dot]edu if you have questions!

(There are also lots of other great committee opportunities with MLA, so even if the JMLA board isn't your cup of tea, consider other opportunities for getting involved with the organization!)

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Web-based Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) Rounds

For the last several years, the AHRQ has been offering a forum for sharing and discussing issues of patient safety and healthcare quality, web M&M: Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web.

The site includes de-identified cases of medical errors and other safety and quality issues, with accompanying expert commentary on what happened and how the problem might be avoided in the future. There are also forums for discussing each case.

The cases are drawn from all areas of health care and are always interesting, also great for learning more about different areas of medicine. One of the summer cases is informatics related and focuses on a medical error associated with use of an electronic medical record, Copy and Paste, with commentary by William Hersh. His take-home points from this case:
  • Copying and pasting of patient information has probably been occurring since the beginning of recorded medical information.
  • EHRs make copying and pasting very easy.
  • When copying and pasting is done, the physician should be careful to attribute the source and to check that the information being pasted is not erroneous or out of date.
  • The most effective means for insuring medical plans are carried out is through the use of clinical decision support tools, and such tools are made easier and more acceptable to use when orders are bundled in sets.
The site also includes tutorials on issues related to Spotlight Cases like this one on resuscitation errors, with CME/CEU credit provided, and transcripts of interviews and expert perspectives on safety and quality issues.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

More on the TRIP database

The JMLA this year has published a couple of items on the Turning Research into Practice database (TRIP), including a usability study and a resource review, linked below.

A summer entry in the TRIP blog, Liberating the literature, includes 10 tips for searching TRIP.

Meats E, Brassey J, Heneghan C, Glasziou P. Using the Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP) database: how do clinicians really search? J Med Libr Assoc. 2007 Apr;95(2):156-63. free via PubMed Central archives

Resource review by Trina Fyfe, J Med Libr Assoc. 2007 April; 95(2): 215–216. free via PubMed Central archives

(thanks to Stephen Barnett and the Evidence-Based Nursing and Midwifery blog)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

MedlinePlus surgical video including ileostomy

The National Library of Medicine announced this week that MedlinePlus has added its first surgical webcast in Flash format.

The webcast, "Total Proctocolectomy for Synchronous Colon and Rectal Cancer," was filmed on July 24 at Retreat Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. At about 10 minutes into the video, the surgical footage includes anatomy of the small and large intestine and creation of an end ileostomy, one of the procedures discussed in the January JMLA case. Very interesting to hear the dialogue between the surgeons decision making and technique during the operation.

A full transcript of the webcast is also available, and additional surgical videos in RealPlayer format are also available on the MedlinePlus Videos of Surgical Procedures page.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The "real" experience of organ donation and transplantation

A few years ago, our local medical center news paper, Vanderbilt's Reporter, ran a memorable series of articles on tissue and organ donation. Focusing on actual experiences of patients, including recipients and donors and their families, the articles paint a striking picture of the experience of those who receive donated tissues or organs, the families and friends of those who love them, and the donors who make it possible.

Part 1 of "The Greatest Gift" focuses on bone marrow donation, Part 2 considers living donor kidney transplantation, and Part 3 provides a transplant surgeon's perspective on the entire process of organ donation and transplantation.

The site, produced by the US National Organ and Tissue Donation Initiative, also includes great stories of donors and recipients.

For more information on general and specific topics in organ donation, see the MedlinePlus entry on the topic.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

More on the Journal of Medical Case Reports

The BioMed Central blog today posts a video interview with Professor Michael Kidd, editor of the new Journal of Medical Case Reports. He talks about the role of the case report in medicine, multimedia potential of the online format for this journal, and ways that the journal may evolve in the future.

He also talks about the use of case reports in disease discovery and hypothesis generation -- figuring out which research questions need to be pursued next in larger scale clinical studies (e.g. using cases to prompt a cohort study or case control study or clinical trial).