Friday, May 30, 2008

IOM report on medical care for the elderly

The Institute of Medicine recently released a report from the workgroup charged with assessing geriatric care in the US, including how our clinicians are trained, trends in the expected demand for geriatric care and the clinical workforce that cares for them -- it also proposes recommendations for changes that need to happen to effectively meet the needs of this growing group. The report is titled "Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce" and you can read it for free on the IOM website.

The IOM's overview notes:
The resulting report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, says that as the population of seniors grows to comprise approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and critically unprepared to meet their health needs. The committee concluded that if our aging family members and friends are to continue to live robustly and in the best possible health, we need bold initiatives designed to

- explore ways to broaden the duties and responsibilities of workers at various levels of training;
- better prepare informal caregivers to tend to the needs of aging family members and friends; and
- develop new models of health care delivery and payment as old ways sponsored by federal programs such as Medicare prove to be ineffective and inefficient.
The AMNews also has a nice synopsis of the report and links to the AMA's initiative focusing on caring for the elderly and several advocacy initiatives related to geriatric health.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update on search challenge 4

Search challenge 4 (here and here) looked at the incidence of vasovagal syncope among blood donors.

This week's JAMA includes an article that adds an interesting perspective on this question, one I hadn't considered before -- a study by Eder et al. employed Red Cross data to examine adverse events in 16 and 17 year old blood donors, and found a higher incidence of complications and related injury -- might be an interesting way to parse through the results of the PubMed strategy we came up with in the strategies for search challenge 4, to share with the reader the possibility that the incidence of fainting might vary with age and perhaps other variables in the included data (e.g. gender, ethnicity, weight and BMI).

So then, using our searching expertise to provide data that answers the question "what is the overall incidence of fainting in the blood donor population?" as well starting to get at the question "how do we know who might be at greater risk of this adverse event?"

The JAMA reference: Anne F. Eder, MD, PhD; Christopher D. Hillyer, MD; Beth A. Dy, BS; Edward P. Notari IV, MPH; Richard J. Benjamin, MD, PhD. Adverse Reactions to Allogeneic Whole Blood Donation by 16- and 17-Year-Olds. JAMA. 2008;299(19):2279-2286.


Search challenge 8: strategies

I know, I've gotten behind in the search challenges -- I've realized that they take a little more time to pull together than I had expected (mostly because I love searching so much that I can't help but spend time in the search..), so I'm going to start posting them on a monthly basis, rather than weekly, to give myself and all the wonderful commenters a chance to really kick the tires of each of these... I'll post the new challenge and the preceding strategies, on the first Tuesday of every month, starting Tuesday June 3rd.

Until then, thoughts on search challenge 8 with help from Matt and Rachel, the two commenters on this challenge...

Tips for setting up automatic searches in PubMed using MyNCBI--
- using the preview/index feature to search for alternate spellings/misspellings for your institution's name, the authors you want to track, and OR-ing them all together
- building a search hedge using the author names for a given department (right now I'm working on one that tracks all of our Biomedical Informatics faculty publications, in a few different databases)

Other tips: using Google Alerts,, the librarian's RSS engine LibWorm, automated searches in other databases (e.g. Web of Science, CINAHL)

Who to share search results with: opportunities for communicating with institutional leadership, the communications/PR department, other departments in the institution that publish or otherwise appear in the news media frequently, the institution's office of Research or equivalent body.

Other thoughts or suggestions?

Will post the next challenge on June 3rd!


Google Health launched

Google Health launched to the public yesterday-

More news here:
- WSJ blog
- AP story

And Google Health itself, of course:

Google Health puts you in charge of your health information. It's safe, secure, and free.

  • Organize your health information all in one place
  • Gather your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies
  • Keep your doctors up to date about your health
  • Be more informed about important health issues

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