More Noteworthy Papers

Every conference paper presentation I attend gives me a renewed respect for the complexity and quantity of work medical librarians tackle on a daily basis. Here are some things I learned in the Contributed Papers Session 4 on Sunday.

“The Significance of Disambiguated Authors in Institutional Publication Database”
Mark Wentz, who was later recognized with an Honorable Mention for this research paper, described the Mayo Authors Database (accessible only on the secure Mayo network) that tracks the scholarly publications of Mayo physicians, nurses, etc. from 1871 to the present. Of the 13,000 author names included in the database, a total of 43 percent of the names were searched at least once during the 18 months reviewed. The majority (57 percent) of database searches used the disambiguated authors’ field (includes surnames, initials, specialty fields, geographic locations) developed to help searchers distinguish between authors. Wentz estimated 80 percent of database processing time is spent on disambiguation, but the data review showed this search capability is important and justifies that effort.

“Patient Education Across the Continuum of Care”
Ruti Volk discussed the need for and creation of the Patient Education Clearinghouse for the University of Michigan Health System. The Clearinghouse allows health care providers and patients in UM clinics, health centers, and hospitals to easily locate and download the current version of approved patient materials (print, videos, and Internet). The materials are linked to the EPIC medical records, so use of the patient handouts is automatically charted and used to generate statistics for meaningful use. Health care providers are no longer duplicating efforts to create patient education materials, materials meet quality guidelines, and patients receive consistent information regardless of their location.

“Developing and Administering a Campus-Wide Survey: A First Step in Assessing Data Management Needs”
Xiaomei Gu, who was later recognized as the winner of the research paper competition, developed a Web-based survey with colleagues to assess University of Iowa needs for data management and to recruit volunteers for later face-to-face interviews. Efforts to encourage survey response included notification to deans of the forthcoming survey, and reminders were sent to participants. Preliminary review of the survey data showed most respondents returned the survey the day the initial request was sent or on the day the reminder was sent. Attendees especially appreciated Xiaomei’s humorous translation of a favorite research acronym — “IRB = insanely ridiculous boars!”