Friday, June 5, 2009

MBL/NLM MI Day 4: Informatics overload

I write these posts each morning between 6:45 and and 7:30 each morning before breakfast the day after class. As I'm sitting here this morning I'm honestly not sure how my brain will handle 4 more presentations today and one more tomorrow before our class project presentation and wrap up.

There will be at least one additional future post based on today's material when my ability to reflect, synthesize and operate at a higher cognitive level has returned. It's history now!

Rita Kukafka from the Department of Sociomedical Sciences & the Department of Medical Informatics at Mailman (yes really) School of Public Health in New York gave a presentation on public health informatics introducing us to the workplace & information needs of public health workers and showed a clear need for clinical information to integrate with them. This is currently further from being a reality than having electronic medical record (EMR) systems be compatible with one another.

She also highlighted a particularly innovative community project called Get Healthy Harlem that challenged the class belief that most residents there don't have Internet access. The reality is that 85% do, and this clearly surprised someone from another part of New York who apparently has a lower rate in a more prosperous area.

Alexa McCray, Co-Director at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Harvard, scored high on the rockstar factor for me as she started while she was at NLM and is an ardent advocate for open access publication.

I think I nodded enthusiastically along during her presentation about consumer health informatics more than any other between that perspective and the strong, clear need for keeping health literacy in mind when it comes to consumer health/patient information, informed consent forms, and understanding the barriers to understanding medical information due to cultural, emotional and other factors.

Of course this is my world at work, but a key observation of our class (includes many clinicians): I saw more people clicking and exploring PubMedCentral,, MedlinePlus and other featured websites during the presentation instead of working on crosswords or checking out the Onion.

Dr. Suzanne Bakken from Columbia University gave a presentation on decision-analytic methods for evidence based practice. Due to my previously explained inability to operate at a higher cognitive level I currently can't explain this very well, but we had a lot of fun being able to play with software that make flowcharts look like a preschool toy using Tree Age Pro to better understand the workflow.

Kevin Johnson from the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University wins the best-designed Powerpoint award thus far for his presentation on personal health records (PHRs). However, the notes I wrote on my copy of the slides live on a laptop in our classroom & they do add to the presentation.. I'll update this later with that information.

It's now 7:43 and I've had NO coffee thus far in addition to cognitive overload. I must go fix this situation immediately!

Here's an illegal cell phone picture from a walk I took along Penzance Point, an exclusive multi-million dollar community filled with many wild bunnies and not a single wild pirate. The guard at the gatehouse confiscated my Nikon.


Lin said...

Thanks for the updates about the training.I have all the presentations you posted kept in a folder. I was told I was put on the waiting list. Many many thanks!