Patient Handouts

David Rothman is developing a Patient Handout Search utilizing Google Custom Search Engine.  The simple design should be easy to use on mobile devices such as tablet PCs.

Printable handouts are culled from free authoritative sources such as UpToDate Patient Handouts, MedlinePlus, Mayo Clinic,, and InteliHealth. There are buttons for selecting Spanish language, seniors, low literacy, pediatrics, and large print. Additional languages may be added later.


Health podcasts

The Emerging Technology Librarian has posted a list of health podcasts and  podcast directories, ranging from NPR’s Science Friday to  Johns Hopkins Medicine.   Sites such as Podcast Directory: Health are especially useful as our patrons look for media in their own specialties.

Spectrum Health partners with Cerner & Microsoft

Medicine on the Net notes in its March 2008 “New on the ‘net” section that Spectrum Health/Butterworth (Grand Rapids, MI)  has a new system providing about 200 patients with “bedside technology to surf the Internet, communicate electronically with healthcare teams, watch videos, and enjoy movies and games powered by Xbox 360 software.”  The system, called Care Console, was developed in partnership with Cerner Corporation and Microsoft Corporation. 

“Hospital’s patients can surf Web, play video games.” Medicine on the Net 2008 Mar; 14(3): 8-9.  (Link to the Gale fulltext for Michigan readers)

The Medicine on the Net article cites the Detroit Free Press as its source.  I found the press releases more informative, at either of these websites:

Spectrum Health Collaborates with Cerner and Microsoft to implement technologies that empower patients

The system was displayed at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Jan. 7-10). 

I note, looking through various blogs and online news sources picking up on this announcement, that very few of them emphasize the “games and videos” aspect of the system. 

Snow day!

Blizzard conditions here in west Michigan make it a good day to catch up on blogwatching —

David Rothman is compiling a list of wikis for health librarians. He also points us to a Mayo press release touting their collaboration with Microsoft to develop consumer health products: Mayo Clinic, Microsoft Announce Strategic Agreement To Develop Consumer Health Management Tools.

The Krafty Librarian reports on the use of fantasy football to teach information literacy skills to college students in A New Slant Pattern On Teaching Information Literacy. I found her earlier commentary on a Life as a Healthcare CIO post to be right on the mark.

The New York Times posted an article for party-goers: Dip once of Dip Twice? The article points to research inspired by a Seinfeld episode, as to whether “double-dipping” a chip in a bowl of dip transfers bacteria to a communal bowl.

Becky Jerome at the Clinical Evidence, Searching Tidbits, and Other Minutiae blog brings an article from New Scientist to our attention: A Wii warm-up hones surgical skills. Researchers found some existing games more useful than others, and are planning to develop Wii software that will simulate surgical procedures.

Stephen Abrams notes that the 2008 Horizon Report is now available, in PDF, from Educause. This report predicts, for the next one to five years, “emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within learning-focused institutions.” Very interesting reading.

Stephen also announces the first of this year’s Sirsi Dynix Institute webinars: “Twenty-five technologies to watch and how.” The live presentation will occur on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 11:00 EST. Thereafter, find it at the Sirsi Dynix Institute archive ( I’m a podcast subscriber; I look forward to having it turn up on my iPod.

I found Four productivity-boosting Firefox extensions over at the Worker’s Edge very useful – at home.  At work, I’m still limited to Internet Explorer.

Well, that’s it for today.  Stay warm, and stay safe!

How the Internet is Changing Health Care

A couple of  stories posted at the Pew Internet & American Life Project  describe recent reports on “e-patient” use of the Internet to obtain information about their own health conditions – or that of a relative, neighbor or friend who is not so conversant with using the Internet.

Doctor-directed Health Resources  describes a recent Pew report, E-Patients with a Disability or Chronic Disease.  The report indicates that patients whose doctors direct them to vetted Internet sites for information do better than those seeking information on their own.  Patients with chronic disease are more likely than other “e-patients” to report that their Internet searches affected “treatment decisions, their interactions with their doctors, their ability to cope with their condition, and their dieting and fitness regimen.”

The Pew commentary also links an NPR story that expands on the E-Patients report, with patient interviews and information from additional resources.   Patients turn to the Internet for Health Information at the NPR website includes both a transcript and an audio file.

The second Pew post  links to a new Internet video series, Digital Health Revolution, at; Pew’s Susannah Fox is among the first guests.  ScribeMedia also produced a really cool 5-minute History of Medicine video and has an additional Health section at their website.  These are free resources, but in streaming video, which may be blocked by some hospital Internet filters.