(the) health informaticist – here yesterday gone today

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2014 by Alan Lovell

We’ve been rather naughty. Today it is April 2014, and our last post was in January 2012. To the more observant of our, err, regular readers, it has been apparent for some time that we are no longer, err, regular.

It’s been fun. 352 posts, 471 comments (some of which weren’t by the authors). We’ve had about 50,000 views, 6 of which occured today from Tunisia. Our top ten posts were:

  1. Guides on how to develop integrated care pathways (6,686 views)
  2. What’s an informaticist? (1,826 views)
  3. Google Chrome (979 views)
  4. Difference between quality of life & standard of living (716 views)
  5. Rate your doctor (666 views)
  6. Boots teams up to Web MD to provide patient info (640 views)
  7. Google Street View and the threat to our privacy (490 views)
  8. Pharm line database now open access and DH stop smoking app (473 views)
  9. An example of cloud computing: Tim (448 views)
  10. NICE’s plans for the specialist collections (448 views)

But, you know, other interests and new-fangled social media get in the way and take up our time and before you know it two years have passed and you’ve not posted anything. So we have decided to say a rather belated cheerio from the four of us. You can find Alan F at his new blog Evidently & @alanfricker, while Danielle is also tweeting @danni4info. Hanna and Alan L aren’t really social media-ing these days, though, as Justin Bieber says, never say never.

And that is that. Thanks for reading.


Default searches in Wiley Online Library and how not to help

In Eresources on January 20, 2012 by africker Tagged: , , ,

We recently bought some oBooks from Wiley (do other companies call online ebooks obooks?).

One of these is “Enabling learning in nursing and midwifery practice” – a popular text with our users (in paper form – look forward to seeing if they use the oBook).

Sorting out the linking for this item I tried to retrieve it on Wiley Online Library.

I searched for – enabling learning nursing – seems a fair search to me.

Result – “No results found for: enabling learning nursing.”

A search for – enabling learning – works fine.

A search for – enabling learning in – works fine to.

Clearly this is an issue.  Being a helpful customer I report this via the online form spelling out the series of search strings, location of search and so on.

Response – “Please send us screen shots”

This is not a hard to replicate fault – I have replicated it several times to check it really was an issue before logging it.  I click the link to update the enquiry – it fails.

I start a new enquiry (I am a helpful and determined customer) including the reference from last time and spend quality time preparing a document that includes all the screen shots you might want to see.

Response – ” Thank you for your reply and screen shots to 120117-000375

You may use the “Advanced Search” functions to search for the journal you are interested of.

Attached is the User Guide for your reference in using Advanced Search function.

Hope this information helps.”

So a report that your main front page search function is at some level broken draws the suggestion I need to read the manual and /or use an alternative search option?  Of course the link to respond to the enquiry fails so I cannot easily continue the discussion but why bother?


Using Google Calendar to share interesting events

In CPD23 on July 26, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , , ,

I am skipping past Thing 7 but I will come back to it shortly!

Thing 8 is Google Calendar.  I only started using this relatively recently.

Like most I used to be happy with a pocket paper diary but unfortunately this left my colleagues frequently unsure as to when I was around or where I had disappeared off to.  To help remedy this I acquired a Dell Axim x30 PDA and started using Outlook.  It was already a dated bit of kit at the time but it has served me well and I am not looking forward to it finally pushing up the digital daisies (a relative has taken to buying replacements for his Psion on ebay when they die but I don’t care for it that much).

I have stayed away from Google Calendar for lack of need.  Lately it has also joined the group of sites that do not work with IE6 so it is hard to use at work.  However – I recently took on looking after a Google Calendar for Cilip in London where I am adding events that may be of interest to those working in knowledge, library and information roles.  The Calendar also feeds through to the CILIP in London Twitter account.  The plan will be to slowly build up a group of people who keep an eye out for things of interest and of CPD organisers who want to promote their events.  Please have a look and send suggestions along for  items to add.



LinkedIn and CILIP Communities et al

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2011 by africker

Thing 6 is all about professional online networks (though we have dealt with them a little already).

The main interest for me in this Thing is LinkedIn.  I signed up without ever being fully convinced of how I would use it.  My profile is fairly skeleton at present (jobs, degrees, MCLIP) and I probably should add some detail.  I have more than few groups – I’ll come back to this.

Over time I have connected with a fair few folk – this seems to go in bursts – both in terms of invitations sent and received.  I got into the habit of asking people I connected with what value they were finding in LinkedIn – not a single person ever came up with a good reason to be there.

What I have been interested in is the way that the CILIP on LinkedIn seems to have started to come to life.  This seems to be in marked contrast to CILIP Communities.  I get regular emails updating me on various discussions in the group and some of these draw many comments.  I wonder if the LinkedIn group could supercede the CILIP Communities Forum?  It has the advantage of convenience (apart from for IE6 people) and neatly links to peoples rich professional profiles.  It would be interesting to see how CILIP could build on this participation.

I wonder also if LinkedIn could support something to officially badge people that are currently Chartered / a Fellow or whatever (particularly if we made recorded CPD a requirement of ongoing Chartered status) .  In this way employers checking us out before interview would have that marker of professional commitment.  It would also knock out those who use the letters but should no longer do so.


On reflection

In CPD23 on July 11, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , ,

I am sure this won’t be the only CPD23 post with this title.  Thing 5 is reflection and this will be familiar territory for anyone engaged in meeting the information needs of NHS staff and nursing students in particular.  I can walk you blindfolded to the reflective practice books.  Reflection is also a regular topic in HILJ with a  systematic review (free online) from Maria Grant in 2007 and others well worth a look (go to the site and then search for reflection – many of you will have HILJ in one of the bundles your institution subscribes to or ask your local NHS Librarian).

I make regular attempts to be more systematic in my reflection but like most am incosistent.  My big hope is that CILIP will bring in mandatory CPD and will help us do this by offering a simple online track and reflect type tool (like pebblepad).  At least that is the excuse I am using today.


UpToDate, Algorithms and NICE Standards

In Evidence-Based Medicine on July 7, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , ,

An interesting article in Forbes (NHS readers be aware – IE6 hates Forbes) describing UpToDate as “Medicine’s Killer App”.  It identifies some of the reasons that clinicians are so fond of what is essentially a textbook and adds an interesting perspective on some of the previous discussion around this product.

The UpToDate article is one of a series of four with the most interesting article for me being about Standards and practice.  This is well worth a read for considering how guidance may and may not be adopted and when considering the Quality standards under development at NICE.


Stylist magazine on complementary and alternative medicine

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 by Danielle Tagged: , ,

Thank you to a friend for pointing out this by turns arrogant and naive article (which I couldn’t find on the Stylist website), focused on how we have all given up on medicine and are seeking solace in woo. What irks me the most is the suggestion that all women are “wired to the right side of their brain” so are creative, emotional types drawn to hokum treatments. How ridiculous and clearly untrue.

According to this article, “acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy, chiropractice and herbal medicine” are supported by scientific evidence. Is this news to you? Because they actually aren’t supported by any real evidence, except to say in some cases there may be a placebo effect. So you could actually be doing more good by prescribing someone a sugar pill, a glass of water or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) if, as the author says, they go to acupuncture in order to talk to someone for an hour and a half.

Why do people believe any of it? Because, as my friend said, “people are stupid.”


Alan Moore knows the score on Thing 4

In CPD23, Uncategorized on July 5, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

An excellent outing last night to the British Library for the latest talk accompanying the Out of this world exhibition.  A nice illustration of the benefits of CPD – I was looking around the BL site for upcoming events for the CILIP in London Google Calendar of interesting stuff in London (fancy contributing? get in touch) just when they were adding the events listing.  The result was myself and a mate were in a packed crowd for Alan Moore in conversation with Stewart Lee.  I suspect tickets would not have come my way if I had heard about it through slower channels.

It was a fascinating discussion ranging across scifi, science, religion, technology, genre, labels and who can remember what else.

There were demonstrations of IP red in tooth and claw – for example why some comic books are movies and others are not.  And how clashes over IP have impacted on the quality of writing in comics.  Alan Moore apparently gets no money from the sale of V for Vendetta Merchandise – but does get an enormous sense of personal well being from seeing them at demonstrations around the world (DC less so – apparently we won’t be getting any more V movies as a result).

Moore takes an interesting position on technology being extremely interested and reading widely about it but largely refusing to adopt it.  He no longer has a television since they dropped the analog signal in Northampton, refuses to have a mobile and has no email address.

There was a fab quote from Stewart Lee “what is twitter if not voluntary surveillance” that gave me a wry chuckle thinking of all the people who might be signing up for CPD23 over this week.  I originally joined Twitter as part of my involvement in the CILIP Defining our Professional Future exercise so I must be slightly past my one year of involvement.  I do find it useful (as well as entertaining) but access at work is limited which prevents me integrating it into the flow of my day in the way I might like.  I recently signed up for TweetyMail that has helped with some of the link sharing issues caused by using Twitter predominantly via Snaptu.

RSS is not a new thing for me.  I had a long love affair with Bloglines that I used for a good six years and I have commented already about my current RSS consumption.

I was surprised to find that I was able to get Pushnote installed on my work computer.  I say installed as I am struggling to decide if it is working or not.  I follow a fair few people on Twitter but there is little sign of them being involved in this and I cannot really see the point.  I do not seem to be alone in this based on peoples tweets.  Maybe a use will become apparent.

You can find some other Alan Moore & Stewart Lee footage on the web.  At the time of writing there a still tickets available for R.U.R. on the 6th of July – it has been a brilliant series of events.


Search strategy reporting and clarity

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 by Danielle Tagged: , ,

In a recent search of PubMed I was surprised to see a chastening letter by Nakao and colleagues published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that criticised a 2010 meta-analysis by Sciarretta et al on antihypertensive treatment and development of heart failure in hypertension published in the same journal. Althought the paper in question searched PubMed and Embase as well as checking the references of a 2009 meta-analysis, it did not publish the search strategy. Even worse, it appears to have missed significant and recent studies (e.g. the CASE-J trial, the Kyoto Heart study and the HIJ-CREATE study) that it ought to have included.

While I haven’t investigated this for myself, it is interesting to see a complaint about search strategies not being published. This is a brick wall where there should be transparency. Perhaps researchers and publishers need to overcome their reluctance to print what may look like gibberish (diab$ adj3 oedema?.ti,ab anyone?) to some.  Or perhaps many researchers still don’t even see a lack of explicit search strategy as a problem. A study selection algorithm is great, but it is no replacement for a proper foundation to this calibre of research.


CPD23 Thing 7: regional and national groups, special interest groups – in real life

In CPD23 on June 29, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , ,

Announcing an event aimed at CPD23 participants

Date: Thursday 21 July 2011
Time: 5:30pm for a 6.00pm prompt start – runs till 7:45pm
Venue: CILIP, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE

Over 700 people are now registered on CPD23 – a self directed course aimed at helping people develop their “personal and professional development as a librarian, information professional or something else”.

CILIP in London are pleased to be able to offer a chance for participants to meet up, network and consider Thing 7 (Offline networks, regional and national groups, special interest groups) during the appropriate week.

The evening will feature brief informal talks looking at the CPD impact of various bodies and networks as a stimulus to discussion and we hope that it will make for some good blog posts!

Drinks and nibbles will be available and there will be the opportunity to relocate to a pub afterwards.

We encourage you to blog or tweet about this event – #CILIPLNDN #CPD23.

This CILIP in London event is free and open to all with a professional interest in the topic; you do not need to be a CILIP member.

Priority will be given to CPD23 participants so please include your blog address when reserving a spot.

As space is limited, please let us know if you are coming to: