Thursday, June 26, 2008

Health privacy framework for Google and Microsoft

via the WSJ Health Blog: Google, Microsoft Agree to Health Privacy Standards (endorsed by AAFP and AARP, among others)

The 8MB full framework document is available for downloading here (along with a Flash presentation of key issues and points).

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Million-dollar babies

The July case study, due out in the next JMLA issue sometime next month, focuses on care of a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This week, Business Week considers the ethics and economics of NICU care - "Million-Dollar Babies."


Another partner for Google Health

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announces collaboration with Google Health - from WSJ Health blog: Massachusetts Blues team up with Google on records
Patients will be able to view their treatment details on-line based on the insurers’ records. Information in the records would come from doctors as well as laboratories and pharmacies. Other health-care history that doesn’t come from insurance claims records would have to be entered by patients’ doctors, however.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

URL decay in Medline abstracts

Published today in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making:

Ducut E, Liu F, Fontelo P. An update on Uniform Resource Locator (URL) decay in MEDLINE abstracts and measures for its mitigation. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2008, 8:23.

An excerpt from the abstract:
Methods: MEDLINE records from 1994 to 2006 from the National Library of Medicine in Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) format were processed yielding 10,208 URL addresses. These were accessed once daily at random times for 30 days. Titles and abstracts were also searched for the presence of archival tools such as WebCite, Persistent URL (PURL) and Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Results: Results showed that the average URL length ranged from 13 to 425 characters with a mean length of 35 characters [Standard Deviation (SD) = 13.51; 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.25 to 13.77]. The most common top-level domains were ".org" and ".edu", each with 34%. About 81% of the URL pool was available 90% to 100% of the time, but only 78% of these contained the actual information mentioned in the MEDLINE record. "Dead" URLs constituted 16% of the total. Finally, a survey of archival tool usage showed that since its introduction in 1998, only 519 of all abstracts reviewed had incorporated DOI addresses in their MEDLINE abstracts.
(A quick search of PubMed using the search "http*[tiab]" (without the quotes) yields some examples of URLs included within the abstract)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Atlantic Monthly: Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr has an interesting piece in the July/August Atlantic Monthly, pondering the effect of the internet and the quick availability of easily digested pieces of information via Google on one's ability to read and enjoy longer essays, books, etc.
My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

(via Lifehacker)

Monday, June 09, 2008

More piloting of patient e-health records

Via today's Wall Street Journal: Microsoft, Kaiser to Launch New Health-Records Program--
Microsoft Corp. and healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente plan to launch a pilot program to exchange patient information, the latest in a series of efforts to allow people to better maintain control over their health records.

The effort will involve securely transferring data maintained in Kaiser's personal health record -- an online repository containing data about topics such as patients' test results, prescriptions and immunizations -- to Microsoft's HealthVault, a Web-based service that allows patients to store and manage medical data from a variety of Web sites and selectively share information with them.
The program will initially roll out to ~156,000 Kaiser Permanente employees.

Also in...
- Kaiser Permanente press release
- the New York Times

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Google advanced search update

Making Boolean searching easier in Google advanced search, via Lifehacker
Google adds a little Javascript magic to their Advanced Search page, which now dynamically builds your query using operators like OR, -, and quotes around exact phrases.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Search challenge 9

This month's search challenge has two parts: Can you find literature that discusses physician/nurse collaboration and communication, and assessments of associated effects on nurse retention?

In the comments, please share your thoughts on appropriate terms, databases, other resources, good articles, etc!