Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Research and publication sharing networks

A colleague today invited me to join Mendeley a web and desktop application which helps to organise, share, and discover research papers.

I tried it out (as I often do when told about these sorts of applications) and I particularly liked the easy way to import references and whole papers from Google Scholar, publishers sites and electronic journals, with one click. This makes building an attractive CV much easier. I didn't like the fact that the "Medicine" discipline was the closest I could find to "health" & it didn't include a sub category for Health Informatics - but perhaps this will change.

The site also claims to help explore research trends and connect to other academics in your discipline, although as I only signed up this morrning it is too early to see how effective this will be. So far I have found it the easiest to use of all the sites of this type which I have tried. My own profile is at to give an idea what it looks like (but I haven't uploaded all my publications yet)

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records: Exploring Recommendations for Successful Implementation Strategies

The Journal of Medical Internet Research has recently published an interesting paper entitled: Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records: Exploring Recommendations for Successful Implementation Strategies by David Wiljer, Sara Urowitz, Emma Apatu, Claudette DeLenardo, Gunther Eysenbach, Tamara Harth, Howard Pai and Kevin J Leonard.

The paper reports the outcome of a Patient Accessible Electronic Health Record (PAEHR) Workshop attended by 45 participants who discussed recommendations for the implementation of patient accessible EHRs.

Recommendations were discussed under four subject domains:
1) providing patient access to the EHR,
2) maintaining privacy and confidentiality related to the PAEHR,
3) patient education and navigation of the PAEHR, and
4) strategies for managing institutional change.

The discussion focused on the need for national infrastructure, clear definitions for privacy, security and confidentiality, flexible, interoperable solutions, and patient and professional education. In addition, there was a strong call for research into all domains of patient accessible EHRs to ensure the adoption of evidence-based practices.

Although the report has North American focus the suggestions may well have use worldwide for patient engagement and empowerment.

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The web-based Personal Health Record - research implications report

An interesting report has recently been released which examines research implications for patients, consumers, health services and UK industry arising from developments in the web-based personal health record.

HOIP CIC was commissioned to undertake a scoping study into the implications of the web-based personal health record (PHR) and the resulting research priorities on behalf of the NIHR invention for innovation (i4i) programme and for the DH Policy Research Programme.

The report examines the following areas:

* The perspectives of participants and contributors to the study
* The challenge of commissioning and delivering research in web 2.0 timescales
* Policy implications and alignment
* Confidentiality, access and trust
* The user/consumer perspective
* The service perspective
* Technology perspectives
* The industry perspective

The report identifies 39 themes for further more detailed research. The research team are inviting those reading the report to take part in an online questionnaire to categorise these themes by their level of strategic or operational priority and the timescale within which the research needs to take place.

The full report, survey and forums to discuss the issues raised can be found at:

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Video Games Improve Medication Compliance

Play video games can help with pediatric patient medication compliance (16% increase). From the August 2008 issue of Pediatrics, cited in a Yahoo! (Reuters):

In Re-Mission (, developed by HopeLab, a Redwood City, California-based non-profit company, players control a tiny robot called Roxxi who moves around in a 3-D environment representing the inside of the body of a young cancer patient. Players can use Roxxi to blast cancer cells and control side effects, and winning the game requires taking chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics, using relaxation techniques, eating food, and keeping up with other types of self-care.
SOURCE: Pediatrics, August 2008.


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Nurses and decision support

Peter Murray, on his Release Zero Blog, has published a useful summary and comment piece entitled Nurses' decision making and new technologies: research report related to a major report examining "Factors likely to influence how nurses use new technologies to inform their decision making, in particular through their use of computerised decision support systems (CDSS)."

Peter makes some interesting points about the report and the lack of good evidence - I wonder whether his comments, and the findings of the report will be taken into account?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MSF Field Research database

Médecins Sans Frontières aanounced yesterday that it is making its database of research accessible to health workers in developing countries through a new open-access website known as the MSF Field Research database.

At its launch, the field research site included over 400 archived articles on issues including HIV care, malaria, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, refugees and health politics. It also features conference abstracts and a section called ‘Programme Descriptions’ that describes lessons learnt from MSF’s field experience.

The hope is that making these reports freely available, as opposed to hidden away in subscription based journals, will enable the sharing of experience and benefit those in developing countries that might not have been able to afford the subscriptions to the journals.

The journals who have agreed to this system include The Lancet, BMJ, New England Journal of Medicine, PLoS Medicine and Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and perhaps demonstrates a change in their business model to a more open access approach.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Researcher job for the NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme

An interesting looking job advert for a Research Associate/Fellow working on systematic reviews for the NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme has recently been advertised.

The job is at the School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health at the University of Edinburgh, in association with Imperial College London, and will involve undertaking a systematic overview of the impact of information technology on the quality and safety of health services. This will assemble a series of systematic reviews about information technology in health services and weave these into a comprehensive and authoritative report with reference to safety and quality of care.

If the outputs are up to the standard of the Report of Evaluation of Summary Care Record Early Adopter Programme published a few weeks ago then this could be very worthwhile work.

If I was in Edinburgh (and the post had a slightly higher salary) I would consider applying for it myself.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

professional issues in e-health - report

Bournemouth University, School of Health and Social Care, Centre for Practice Development have recently published a report on "An investigation of the emergent professional issues experienced by nurses when working in an e-health environment", which was produced in collaboration with Information in Nursing Forum at the Royal College of Nursing.

It provides a useful snap shot of the British nurses about ehealth and the gap between the vision presented and the experiences of frontline nurses, and has implications for management, education and practice.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Petition to the EU free and open access to research results

A petition, sponsored by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee, UK), SURF (Netherlands), SPARC Europe, DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany), DEFF (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek, Denmark), is currently available for people to sign at

The petition calls on the EC to formally endorse the recommendations outlined in the EC-commissioned Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe. Published in early 2006, the study made a number of important recommendations to help ensure the widest possible readership for scholarly articles. In particular, the first recommendation called for 'Guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research results shortly after publication'.

The EC-commissioned Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe is available at:

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