North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum

What a delight to have a reception in North Dakota’s Heritage Center and State Museum!  From the beautiful architecture of the new galleries to the fascinating exhibits presented inside, the center makes for a wonderfully educational introduction to the state’s history.

And some of that history is ancient!  I think everyone enjoyed the dinosaurs and how engagingly they were displayed.  Should I ever get a cat I am naming him or her after Dinictis (transl. Terrible Stab) the inhabitant of North Dakota from approximately 30 million years ago (what a fantastic name!).

I was also delighted that the gift shop stayed open late for our event because I was able to pick up some North Dakotan chippers that I had heard so much about since I arrived.  I brought them home to share to immense success.  A truly delightful evening in a fantastic setting!

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A First Time at the Midwest Chapter’s Annual Meeting

Thank you to Beth Layton for the picture!
Thank you to Beth Layton for the picture!

This was a conference of firsts for me! As first time Midwest member and a first time meeting attendee, I was also lucky enough to be traveling to North Dakota for the first time as well.  And, perhaps it was beginners luck, but the lucky firsts continued throughout the trip and conference.

Without the generosity of the Midwest Chapter’s Scholarships I wouldn’t have been able to attend.  So I was truly grateful and honored to receive one of the first time attendee awards. It meant a lot to my whole institution: in addition to all the conference firsts, I’m one of three librarians at a brand new medical school in its very first semester.  I had a lot of questions for my peers!  (Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to troubleshoot all of my problems!  All of you are awesome!)

The flight into Bismarck was a delightful first of being on a plane half full of librarians and half full of pheasant hunters.  And I think that has to be the first time I have had such a delightfully short trip from airport to hotel: so convenient!  I will forever jealously remember the ten minute ride in Bismarck whenever I am stuck in traffic on the way to O’Hare.

Exploring all the shops and restaurants around the hotel was equally delightful and delicious.  I think everyone enjoyed the dining circles (as pictured above during one of the groups in Peacock Alley), especially for the firsts of trying buffalo burgers.  With everything just a short walk from the hotel, it made it fun for exploring between sessions.

The final and most glorious first was that of receiving a mustache!  Who new just sticking mustaches on all parties resulted in a perfect ice breaker?  Along with the casual dress code, the mustached crowd made for a relaxed, fun atmosphere.  A wonderful way to start a first Midwest Chapter meeting!  I hope it’s the first of many, many more.

Reducing Diagnostic Error

Dr. Mark Graber spoke today regarding diagnostic error and how librarians can help. Obviously, anything with the term “error” in its name is not going to be a good thing, but Dr. Graber really brought the costs of diagnostic error home with the story of Rory Staunton, a boy whose sepsis was misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis, as well as these sobering facts:

  • Falls, medication errors and other patient safety issues have seen improvements in recent years; Dx errors are still largely unrecognized.
  • 40,000-80,000 deaths a year may be due to Dx error, making it the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Dx error results in more malpractice costs that any other issue.

However, the presentation was not all doom and gloom, as Dr. Graber had a number of suggestions. He pointed to the fact that real change requires both system change–policies, procedures and culture–as well as cognitive change at the individual level. And there are a number of ways librarians can help:

  • Participate on clinical teams and committees to reduce Dx error.
  • Educate medical professionals on the difference between analytical and intuitive thinking, as well as tacit and explicit knowledge.
  • Explore tools like Dxplain and Isabel.
  • Consider participating in the SIDM Librarians on Call project.

Campfire Conversation: AHIP

A new program of this year’s meeting was Campfire Conversations. I attended the one on AHIP moderated by Jolene Miller, Director of Mulford Health Science Library, University of Teledo.  AHIP stands for Academy Of Health Information Professionals.  It is Medical Library Association’s (MLA’s) credentialing program established in 1989. It is a peer-reviewed professional development and career recognition program. Jolene said having AHIP after one’s name is often a conversation starter, and the term peer-review resonates with faculty.

AHIP is often listed as a preferred item in job openings. So being an AHIP member could give one an edge in the job market. There are five membership levels: Provisional Member Level, Member Level, Senior Member Level, Distinguished Member Level, and Emeritus Member Level. Application fees varies depending on the membership level. See more information on the application process on MLA website.

Decisions about AHIP applications are made by the MLA Credentialing Committee. Jolene served on the committee for several years. She offered the following advice for those who are considering becoming AHIP members.

  • Get into the habit of regularly documenting your professional development and continue education. This can be as simple as a folder on your computer or a physical paper folder.
  • Document more points than needed.
  • Visit MLA website regularly to keep current with changes on points and documentation.

Which Campfire Conversation did you attend? Share with us in the comments area.