Informaticopia

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

BBC NEWS | Health | NHS university axed in quango cut

BBC NEWS | Health | NHS university axed in quango cut

Announcement that NHSU & modernisation agency are to go as part of the Arms Length Bodies (ALB) review & be replaced by the "NHS Institute for Learning, Skills and Innovation".

For further info see: DoH Press Release

Chair of Health Informatics at CITY

Chair of Health Informatics at CITY

Maybe one day.... :-)

Monday, November 29, 2004

BBC NEWS | Health | Plan for new NHS ratings system

BBC NEWS | Health | Plan for new NHS ratings system

The plans for the new NHS "ratings" system have been announced with more emphasis on the patients experience.

Further discussion of this is available from Peter Davies in the Guardian

We will have to see the effects these changes have in practice.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Winter 2004 edition of UK Health Informatics Today

Winter 2004 edition of UK Health Informatics Today

The latest edition of UK Health Informatics Today (PDF) the newsletter of the UK Health Informatics Society includes several interesting papers on the use of handheld/palmtop/pda applications for medical practitioners ranging from access to pubmed and other evidence sources to virtual clinics and data management tools.

International Council of Nurses [Countdown to ICNP� Version 1]

International Council of Nurses [Countdown to ICNP� Version 1]

The ICN today released plans for the release of Version 1 of the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP®), which will officially be “launched” at the ICN Congress, in May 2005, in Taipei Taiwan.

I wonder how much influence this will have as many countries are developing their own thesauri and classification systems, often based on multidisciplinary approaches to both patient care and the recording of interventions.

Screening Internet websites for educational potential in undergraduate medical education

Screening Internet websites for educational potential in undergraduate medical education

This paper by Andrew Burd, Tor Chiu & Carmel McNaught in the current edition of Medical Informatics and the Internet in Medicine used students to identify and "score" educational materials on web sites for plastic surgery and then compared these with the opinions of final year medical students.

Their conclusion was that "it does not seem possible to construct any objective system of medical website evaluation", and suggests possible ways forward which may include "formally organized consortia involving agreements between medical schools may evolve".

EducationGuardian.co.uk | Higher | This is an emergency

Education Guardian| Higher | This is an emergency

There is an interesting speculative piece in today's Guardian by Donald MacLeod, about the possible future role, function and purpose of the NHSU once the report of the review conducted by Sir William Wells is released.

Much of the piece concerns the "University" aspiration balanced against the need to correct identified deficits in functional literacy and numeracy skills amongst the staff. It includes quotes from Bob Fryer (NHSu chief executive) and senior labour politicians supporting the vision of an NHSu and a confidential Strategic Health Authority submission questioning the money already spent on "glossy brochures".

As the article suggests, it will be interesting to see whether the NHSu is in the next labour manifesto or whether it will receive a similar fate to the UKeU.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Clinical Leaders for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT)

Clinical Leaders for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT)

A colleague has pointed out this page from the Dept of Health naming the clinical leads for the NPfIT. The nurse lead is Miss Heather Drabble.

I am unable to ascertain when this was published & wonder if the lack of fanfare about these appointments reflects the place of clinicians in the National Programme?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

The new "Scholar" service from Google is currently in Beta test & claims to:
"Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly
literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints,
abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use
Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic
publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and
universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web."

It's obviously still under development - but offer some potential to achieve higher quality information than is generally retrieved by a Google search.

WHO | World Report on Knowledge for Better Health

WHO | World Report on Knowledge for Better Health

This important report on ways in which we can bridge the gap between research and practice in healthcare will be highlighted at the World Ministerial Summit on Health Research in Mexico (November 16-20, 2004).

It highlights persistant health inequalities and makes recomendations for all countries in the developed and developing world and advocates methods of linking research, policy and practice more closely.

It will be interesting to see whether there is national & international action on this, backed up with appropriate resources or whether some of the vested interests which may be challenged by this report will maintain their power?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Evening classes for electronic records?

Evening classes for electronic records?

Ehealth insider has picked up some bits from yesterdays public health white paper which other media seem to have missed including NHS Direct becoming Health Direct & evening classes in adult education about understanding your electronic patient record.

EyeforHealthcare - Practical Steps to Implementation of NPfIT

EyeforHealthcare - Practical Steps to Implementation of NPfIT

I've just spotted details of this conference, next feb, which stands out from many of the others for the range of speakers & topics & perhaps not being "controlled" by NPfIT

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Non-Web-Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Change Outcomes

The Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Non-Web-Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Change Outcomes

An interesting article has just been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, which disputes the recent Cochrane review in concluding that web-based interventions change behavior and affect outcomes positively.

Dean J Wantland, Carmen J Portillo, William L Holzemer, Rob Slaughter, Eva M McGhee conducted a "meta-analysis to provide further information on patient/client knowledge and behavioral change outcomes after Web-based interventions as compared to outcomes seen after implementation of non-Web-based interventions".

"Sixteen of the 17 studied effect outcomes revealed improved knowledge and/or improved behavioral outcomes for participants using the Web-based interventions."

"The effect size comparisons in the use of Web-based interventions compared to non-Web-based interventions showed an improvement in outcomes for individuals using Web-based interventions to achieve the specified knowledge and/or behavior change for the studied outcome variables. These outcomes included increased exercise time, increased knowledge of nutritional status, increased knowledge of asthma treatment, increased participation in healthcare, slower health decline, improved body shape perception, and 18-month weight loss maintenance."

If these findinjgs acurately represent the world we are now living in more investment in these sorts of theraputic interventions may provide a cost effective addition to traditional approaches.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

MIDIRS Institutional Access

The MIDIRS service at http://www.midirs.org/ has been provding an excellent information and abstraction service for midwives for years, as an educational charity. It now now contains a database consisting of over 100,000 records of articles, book chapters, reports and other publications relating to maternity, pregnancy, childbirth, postnatalhealth, breastfeeding, and early infant care.

They have just announced a new initiative called MIDIRS Institutional Access ( MIDIRS I A ) which will provide access to the database for Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members via their web site http://
www.rcn.org.uk


While checking for more info on this I inadertantly typed http://www.midirs.org.uk
which is a commercial site with "sponered" links which I believe to be trying to make money out of the good name and quality of service. This highlights to me the importance of anyone creating web resources registering similar domain names to protect their intellectual (and possibly commercial) rights.

I will be interested to see if any action is taken over the commercial site - I've informed MIDIRS in case they were not aware of their "competitor".

Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information

The US National Institutes for Health (NIH) currently is consultating on its proposal for a move towards an science model.

The NIH is proposing that all published research supported by NIH funding must be included in their open access digital repository, PubMed Central
(http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/) within 6 months of publication.

The deadline for public comment has been extended to Nov 16, 2004. Visit http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-064.html for further details.

I wonder how we can get a similar system in the UK with govt, research council, NHS & other public body (paid for by UK tax payers) science published in a similar way?

A related area of development is Creative Commons approach to allowing legal sharing of text images etc - in particular the Science Commons project to be launched on 1st Jan 2005.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

New EU e-health funding will focus on integration

New EU e-health funding will focus on integration

According to E-Health Insider "A new call for proposals for the European Union’s e-health programme is due to be launched next week. Around €75m are available in total for successful projects submitted in this fourth round of awards."

This could be a good opportunity to move forward with some integration work with european partners.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Healthcare Commission - public consultation

Have your say on how we can improve local health services

The Healthcare Commission is starting a public consultation on 29th Nov "seeking your views on specific areas of their work – including the questions used to assess whether the Government’s Standards* are being met, as well as how they will carry out their annual assessment of each healthcare provider in England in order to produce performance ratings."

It will be interesting to see the range and scope of this consultation. Will it just be a way of saying it is responding to public need or just a way of reducing administrative depends on trusts etc?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Microsoft wins �500m NHS contract - ZDNet UK News

Microsoft wins �500m NHS contract - ZDNet UK News

It appears from this report that the NHS has placed a major contract (? £500m) with Microsoft over the next 9 years.

Although financial savings are claimed the implications of this deal for future developments in IT software for the NHS are unclear and the "Open Source Movement" are unhappy about tying the NHS to proprietry brands.