Archive for the 'Special Libraries' Category

Zika Virus: What We Know, What We Don’t Know

The Zika virus has been around for decades, but only recently has gotten the attention of the U.S. with the rapid spread of the virus in the Western Hemisphere. The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection with mostly mild symptoms like fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes – many will never even know they were infected. While mosquito seasons vary across the U.S., they often come with warming temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and with summer underway, many areas are now addressing ways to prepare for increased exposure to mosquitoes.

Spread of the Zika virus in the United States thus far has been limited to travel-associated cases, 591 as of May 25, 2016. While the majority of transmissions occur through the bite of an infected female Aedes species mosquito (only females bite humans), the virus can be transmitted from mother to fetus, through sexual contact with an infected male, and through blood transfusions. Transmission from mother to fetus is especially troublesome because it can cause microcephaly – babies are born with unusually small heads and brains that have not developed properly, and other birth defects.

Because sexual transmission seems tied to the Zika virus’s presence in infected males’ semen, proper condom use or not having sex are prevention measures. It’s not known if an infected woman can transmit the virus through sexual contact, or if it can be passed through vaginal fluids or salvia. For women trying to get pregnant, it’s now recommended waiting at least 8 weeks before trying to conceive if they or their partner live in or are returning from Zika infected areas.

While there have been no confirmed blood transfusion-transmission in the U.S., there have been several confirmed cases in Brazil.

Consumer/Patient Education Resources

If you know of a great resource, let me know and I will add it! Please feel free to share or reuse this post.

Dana Abbey, MLS[i]  dana.abbey@ucdenver.edu

[i] Funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

 

Health Insurance Literacy

Health insurance is not only one of the costliest products a consumer will purchase, with an average health insurance marketplace price tag of $386 per month for an individual, it is also one of the most complex products to understand. Many people think they have the skills and knowledge to select and utilize their health insurance, but the evidence shows otherwise. Some examples:

  • A 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 37% of enrollees did not know the amount of their deductible, and 46% thought they were getting a subsidy though it was actually 85%.
  • Three out of 4 people in a 2013 survey by the American Institutes of Research stated confidence in their knowledge of health insurance, but only 20% could calculate the out-of-pocket cost for a visit with an in-network doctor.
  • A 2014 report from the Urban Institute noted that nearly 50% of adults reporting limited literacy and low numeracy skills, with income below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), had difficulty locating information to help them support their insurance plan choices.

This lack of literacy can prove detrimental to the consumer if they select a plan that doesn’t provided needed benefits or puts them at financial risk. The concept of “health insurance literacy” is fairly new, and while there is no official definition it has been described as “the degree to which individuals have the knowledge, ability, and confidence to find and evaluate information about health plans, select the best plan for their financial and health circumstances, and use the plan once enrolled.” Another key issue not addressed in this definition is the ability of the consumer to retain insurance coverage over time.

In 2014, the American Institutes of Research reported on their work to develop a measure of health insurance literacy. They created a conceptual model containing four domains: Knowledge, Information Seeking, Document Literacy, and Cognitive Skills. Each domain presents a number of facets that might prove difficult for a consumer to understand, but could also be used as a tool for those developing information for consumers, or those assisting consumers navigate the health insurance landscape.

Resources for those assisting consumers/patients

Resources for consumers/patients

  • Get free help applying, selecting a plan and enrolling in your area at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#intro.
  • FairHealth.org. Numerous healthcare decision-support tools to help individuals understand healthcare costs.
  • HealthCare.gov. Resources for selecting or changing a plan, plan categories, determining the total cost of care, and understanding the different kinds of plans.
  • MedlinePlus: Health Insurance. Resources to assist consumers understand and select insurance, includes patient handouts. Many in Spanish.

If you know of a great resource, let me know and I will add it! Please feel free to share or reuse this post.

Dana Abbey, MLS[i] dana.abbey@ucdenver.edu

[i] Funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

2015 Kraemer Copyright Conference

Need to learn more about copyright and how to navigate it in the library world? Register for the 2015 UCCS Copyright Conference! The conference is FREE, and open to staff from public, academic, school, and special libraries!

When: June 1 & 2, 2015

Where: The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918

Learn more and register for the conference!

 

Health Insurance Literacy Tools, or “What good is it if I don’t know what I’m doing?!”

Navigating health insurance can be a difficult and confusing process for even the most experienced of us. For someone who has never had insurance before and never needed to navigate the health care system, it can be overwhelming. A patient cannot benefit from having insurance if they do not understand their benefits, or how to access services. This includes people who are unsure of where to go for services, how to make an appointment, or how to prepare for their visit with a health care provider.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services oversees the From Coverage 2 Care initiative. This initiative aims to help people with new health care coverage to understand their benefits and connect with primary care and preventative services to improve their health. They offer an 8-step resource guide for patients including sections, “Know Where to go for Care,” with the companion consumer tool “Differences Between Your Provider’s Office and the Emergency Department, ” “Make an Appointment,” and “Next Steps After Your Appointment,” among others. These resources are all available in English and Spanish. They also offer an 11-part series of videos covering the same topics that are available to watch online or download. These are also offered in both English and Spanish. These From Coverage 2 Care resources and additional promotional materials, sample tweets, and badges are available at: https://marketplace.cms.gov/technical-assistance-resources/c2c.html.

Additionally, CMS has supplemental information for special populations, including glossaries in multiple languages, list of substance abuse and mental health services and providers, tools on enrollment for immigrants and refugees, multimedia resources and more. View the list of categories and select by topic here: https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/outreach-and-education.html.

CMS has more than just consumer health tools, they also offer a large collection of technical assistance resources on eligibility, enrollments, tax credits, exemptions, training materials for navigators and much more. Available at: https://marketplace.cms.gov/technical-assistance-resources/technical-assistance-resources.html.

The Internal Revenue Service also offers a guide on the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act titled, “Health Care Law: What’s New for Individuals and Families.” It includes a list of forms and publications that can be used for preparing a tax return, as well as a glossary of terms, information about qualifying for an exemption and the new premium tax credit. It is available in several languages and can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5187.pdf.

Dana Abbey, MLS
Health Information Literacy Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Health Information Resources for Limited English Proficient Persons

Numerous studies over the past 25 years have demonstrated a strong connection between language and health. Language can affect the accuracy of patient histories, the ability to engage in treatment decision-making, understanding a medical diagnosis or treatment, patient trust level with care providers, underuse of primary and preventative care, and lower use or misuse of medications. Culture also plays a significant role in health, healing and wellness belief systems – impacting how illness, disease, and their causes are perceived by the patient and the care provider.

The story of Mohammad Kochi illustrates how language and culture can impact health outcomes.  Mr. Kochi, a 63-year-old from Afghanistan, is diagnosed with stomach cancer. While he agrees to surgery, he declines chemotherapy due to religious beliefs, language barriers, and family conflict. Mr. Kochi is a Limited English Proficient (LEP) person.

An LEP person is defined as an individual who does not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. An LEP person’s national origin is based on ancestry, not citizenship. There are an estimated 25.3 million LEP individuals in the United States – up 81% since 1990.[1]

These persons are protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all organizations receiving Federal financial assistance have a responsibility to take “reasonable” steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by persons with LEP. Title VI applies to many types of organizations including schools, hospitals, public health clinics, police departments, and social services.

Libraries can play a key role in supporting an organization’s ability to provide meaningful access, especially in the area of health information. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has developed many no-cost LEP-friendly health information resources for a variety of age and language groups. In addition, there are government agencies and authoritative non-profit organizations creating free health information content to address the linguistic diversity of the communities you serve. (Resources)

Spanish is the predominant language – other than English – spoken in the MidContinental Region (MCR) though you may see communities with strong German, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Navajo, or Algonquian populations[1]. The following table shows the LEP populations ages 5 and over in the MCR[2]:

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Supporting LEP Person’s Access to Health Information

Public Libraries

Public libraries are highly focused on serving their local constituency, and continue to be an excellent conduit for transferring health information to community members with trained staff and technology infrastructure. For many citizens, the public library is the go-place for health information.

INVESTIGATE:

  1. What languages are represented in your community?
  2. What health information resources do you have access to in other languages?
  3. What organizations in your community might you work with to assist a non-English speaker with health information?

SHARE WITH:

  • Local health departments, emergency responders, police and fire departments, clinics, hospitals, schools, churches.

K-12, Colleges, and Universities

Students whose first language is not English require language supports in order to meaningfully participate in school. Schools must also adequately communicate with limited-English-speaking parents about important school-related information in their preferred language.[1]

If you work in a K-12 setting, educators can utilize these resources in the classroom to help introduce, reinforce, and supplement health and science curricula; and school nurses can use them to enhance communication with students and parents. Here are the percentages of school-aged children of immigrants in the MCR[2]:

  • Colorado        24.30%
  • Kansas            28.52%
  • Missouri         29.67%
  • Nebraska        30.29%
  • Utah                29.06%
  • Wyoming        dataset too small for percentage

If you work with colleges or universities offering allied health or health sciences degrees, students would benefit from knowledge of these resources as future healthcare workers.

INVESTIGATE:

  1. What languages are represented in your school district, college, or university?
  2. What health information resources do you have in other languages?
  3. Who in your institution or community would benefit from these resources?
  4. Do you have access to trained interpreters? If so, what languages?

SHARE WITH:

  • Teachers, faculty, school nurses, students, parents, administrators.

Medical Care and Public Health

Communication problems are the most common cause of serious adverse events with LEP patients and clients. They are at higher risk for longer hospital stays, readmission, misdiagnosis, and inappropriate treatment.

INVESTIGATE:

  1. What languages are represented in communities served by the medical care or public health staff?
  2. What health information resources do you have in other languages?
  3. Who in your institution or community would benefit from these resources?
  4. Do you have access to trained interpreters? If so, what languages?

SHARE WITH:

  • Clinical staff, compliance staff, volunteers, case workers, patient navigators.


[1] U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Title VI Enforcement Highlights, July 2012, p. 13. Accessed July 18, 2014. http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/title-vi-enforcement.pdf.

[2] Urban Institute, Children of Immigrants Data Tool, 2011. Accessed July 21, 2014. http://datatools.urban.org/features/childrenOfImmigrants/chart/coi.html


[1] See the Resources section for multi-language and language identification tools.

[2] Authors’ tabulations from the US Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey (Table B16001. Language Spoken at Home by Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over). Accessed July 18, 2014. http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/data/census/table1.txt.


[1]Migration Policy Institute, Limited English Proficient Population of the United States. Accessed July 18, 2014. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/limited-english-proficient-population-united-states/.

How the Election Affects Libraries and What We Can Do About It

You are invited to attend this virtual meeting hosted by the  Colorado Association of Special Libraries:  Topic: How the election affects libraries and what we can do about it

Speaker: David Sanger, co-chair of the CAL Legislative Committee

When: Friday, December 12, from 12-1pm MT

Login: Join this Adobe Connect session

Anyone is welcome to attend this informational session.  Please share this information far and wide.

Funding Announcement: K-12 Partnership

Call for Applications (CFAs):

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR), under contract with the National Library of Medicine, announces the availability of K-12 School Partnership funding.

The MCR plans to fund four awards up to $1,500 in Option Year 3 (May 2014-April 2015):

  • Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2014.
  • Recipients will be notified by October 7, 2014.
  • Projects must be completed by April 30, 2015.

Purpose:

The purpose of this award is to support new projects or enhance existing collaborative projects between a library (public, community college, or academic health sciences) and a K-12 school entity (school library, school nurse, health/science teacher) involving National Library of Medicine health and/or science information that can serve as a model for other partnerships.

Examples of projects include:

  • Partnerships to provide access to health information to support health and/or science curriculum.
  • Partnerships to conduct innovative health and/or science information outreach programs.
  • Partnerships to benefit community access to health information.
  • Partnerships to improve access to health information for underserved/vulnerable populations.

Eligibility:

Partners must be an NN/LM MCR Full or Affiliate member. Membership(s) may be confirmed by entering a zip code in the NN/LM Member Directory. Not a member, sign up today, it’s free.

Allocation of Funds

Reimbursements will be made to project leader upon receipt of invoice(s). Indirects and overhead are not allowable.

Reports:

Quarterly and final reports are required.

Application:

Apply online.

Questions:

If you have questions regarding this award, contact Dana Abbey or Monica Rogers, MCR Health Information Literacy Coordinators.

Who says you can’t learn from history?

Humors-mainThree great topics were recently presented at the Breezing Along with the Regional Medical Library session on July 16, 2014.

  • Judi Bergjord, Creighton Health Science Library, along with Chris Carmichael and Madonna Knutson presented their event featuring the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Traveling Exhibit – Shakespeare and the Four Humors.   They collaborated with other Creighton faculty/services to provide a lecture on the four humors, a Maypole dance, fortune telling, a soliloquy performance and Renaissance food.   Most inventive and a great way to give some attention to both the Health Science Library and the Reinert undergraduate library.
  • John Schleicher, Head of Special Collections from University of Nebraska Medical Center, presented a humor/cartoon collection covering more than 50 years of medical humor.   The times have changed and so have cartoons!
  • And as another tie-in to History of Medicine, Trenton Boyd presented a fascinating look back on Veterinary History of Medicine, and the collection at the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Any type of library – public, special, academic, medical – can participate. How do you get an NLM traveling exhibit at your library? Find out here.

The session is viewable at:  http://goo.gl/b4kBYj

 

Next CSL in Session – Tending the Garden of Innovation

CSLinSession

  • Does everyone have the potential to be innovative?
  • What does it take to cultivate your own creativity?
  • What tools could you use to stimulate the growth of new ideas from the group you’re working with?
  • What are three key tools to ensure that your project is grounded in fertile soil?

Please join us as Jane Martel, Customer Experience Coordinator for the Arapahoe Library District shares practical information and tips for harnessing your inner innovator!

The session will be offered via Adobe Connect. You can access the classroom via the CSL in Session website. No registration is necessary!

Next CSL in Session: Wildly Successful Meetings: Impossible Dream or Easy Peasy Reality?

  • CSLinSessionWith: Sharon Morris
  • When: 04/17/2014 | 12:00p – 1:00p, Mountain Time
  • Where: CSL in Session

 

 

So… you have to run a meeting and you want it to awesome…or at least not as bad as those meetings that people walk out of saying, “What a waste of time.” Join this interactive session!

Sure, we will start by kvetching about what goes wrong in meetings, but by the end you will have practical and easy techniques for meetings. You will get tips for planning so that everyone is focused and the content is relevant, facilitating so that you bring out the best in everyone in the room, and be able to come to consensus about where you are heading.

Bring your own success stories and strategies too, because with CSL in Session, everyone shares expertise.