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1.  Patient-Held Maternal and/or Child Health Records: Meeting the Information Needs of Patients and Healthcare Providers in Developing Countries? 
Online Journal of Public Health Informatics  2011;3(2):ojphi.v3i2.3631.
Though improvements in infant and maternal mortality rates have occurred over time, women and children still die every hour from preventable causes. Various regional, social and economic factors are involved in the ability of women and children to receive adequate care and prevention services. Patient-held maternal and/or child health records have been used for a number of years in many countries to help track health risks, vaccinations and other preventative health measures performed. Though these records are primarily designed to record patient histories and healthcare information and guide healthcare workers providing care, because the records are patient-held, they also allow families a greater ability to track their own health and prevention strategies.
A literature search was performed to answer these questions: (1) What are maternal information needs regarding pregnancy, post-natal and infant healthcare, especially in developing countries? (2) What is known about maternal information seeking behavior in developing countries? (3) What is the history and current state of maternal and/or child patient-held healthcare records, do they provide for the information needs of the healthcare provider and what are the effects and outcomes of patient-held records in general and for maternal and/or child health in particular?
Specific information needs of pregnant women and mothers are rarely studied. The small numbers of maternal information behavior results available indicate that mothers, in general, prefer to receive health information directly from their healthcare provider as opposed to from other sources (written, etc.) Overall, in developing countries, patient-held maternal and/or child healthcare records have a mostly positive effect for both patient and care provider. Mothers and children with records tend to have better outcomes in healthcare and preventative measures. Further research into the information behaviors of pregnant women and mothers to determine the extent of reliance on interpersonal information seeking is recommended before expending significant resources on enhanced patient-held maternal and/or child healthcare records including storage on mobile devices. In particular, research is needed to explore the utility of providing targeted health messages to mothers regarding their own health and that of their children; this might best be accomplished through mobile technologies.
PMCID: PMC3615781  PMID: 23569604
Child Health Services; Developing Countries; Information Seeking Behavior; Maternal Health Services; Medical Records
2.  Ten years of international collaboration in biomedical informatics and beyond: the AMAUTA program in Peru 
Well-trained people are urgently needed to tackle global health challenges through information and communication technologies. In this report, AMAUTA, a joint international collaborative training program between the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and the University of Washington, which has been training Peruvian health professionals in biomedical and health informatics since 1999, is described. Four short-term courses have been organized in Lima, offering training to more than 200 graduate-level students. Long-term training to masters or doctorate level has been undertaken by eight students at the University of Washington. A combination of short-term and long-term strategies was found to be effective for enhancing institutional research and training enterprise. The AMAUTA program promoted the development and institution of informatics research and training capacity in Peru, and has resulted in a group of trained people playing important roles at universities, non-government offices, and the Ministry of Health in Peru. At present, the hub is being extended into Latin American countries, promoting South-to-South collaborations.
PMCID: PMC2995648  PMID: 20595317
Training; global health informatics; AMAUTA; Peru
3.  Developing capacity in health informatics in a resource poor setting: lessons from Peru 
The public sectors of developing countries require strengthened capacity in health informatics. In Peru, where formal university graduate degrees in biomedical and health informatics were lacking until recently, the AMAUTA Global Informatics Research and Training Program has provided research and training for health professionals in the region since 1999. The Fogarty International Center supports the program as a collaborative partnership between Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru and the University of Washington in the United States of America. The program aims to train core professionals in health informatics and to strengthen the health information resource capabilities and accessibility in Peru. The program has achieved considerable success in the development and institutionalization of informatics research and training programs in Peru. Projects supported by this program are leading to the development of sustainable training opportunities for informatics and eight of ten Peruvian fellows trained at the University of Washington are now developing informatics programs and an information infrastructure in Peru. In 2007, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia started offering the first graduate diploma program in biomedical informatics in Peru.
PMCID: PMC2777845  PMID: 19860918
4.  Integrating open-source technologies to build low-cost information systems for improved access to public health data 
Effective public health practice relies on the availability of public health data sources and assessment tools to convey information to investigators, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public. Emerging communication technologies on the Internet can deliver all components of the "who, what, when, and where" quartet more quickly than ever with a potentially higher level of quality and assurance, using new analysis and visualization tools. Open-source software provides the opportunity to build low-cost information systems allowing health departments with modest resources access to modern data analysis and visualization tools. In this paper, we integrate open-source technologies and public health data to create a web information system which is accessible to a wide audience through the Internet. Our web application, "EpiVue," was tested using two public health datasets from the Washington State Cancer Registry and Washington State Center for Health Statistics. A third dataset shows the extensibility and scalability of EpiVue in displaying gender-based longevity statistics over a twenty-year interval for 3,143 United States counties. In addition to providing an integrated visualization framework, EpiVue's highly interactive web environment empowers users by allowing them to upload their own geospatial public health data in either comma-separated text files or MS Excel™ spreadsheet files and visualize the geospatial datasets with Google Maps™.
PMCID: PMC2432052  PMID: 18541035
5.  Evaluation of a joint Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics international course in Peru 
New technologies that emerge at the interface of computational and biomedical science could drive new advances in global health, therefore more training in technology is needed among health care workers. To assess the potential for informatics training using an approach designed to foster interaction at this interface, the University of Washington and the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia developed and assessed a one-week course that included a new Bioinformatics (BIO) track along with an established Medical/Public Health Informatics track (MI) for participants in Peru.
We assessed the background of the participants, and measured the knowledge gained by track-specific (MI or BIO) 30-minute pre- and post-tests. Participants' attitudes were evaluated both by daily evaluations and by an end-course evaluation.
Forty-three participants enrolled in the course – 20 in the MI track and 23 in the BIO track. Of 20 questions, the mean % score for the MI track increased from 49.7 pre-test (standard deviation or SD = 17.0) to 59.7 (SD = 15.2) for the post-test (P = 0.002, n = 18). The BIO track mean score increased from 33.6 pre-test to 51.2 post-test (P < 0.001, n = 21). Most comments (76%) about any aspect of the course were positive. The main perceived strength of the course was the quality of the speakers, and the main perceived weakness was the short duration of the course. Overall, the course acceptability was very good to excellent with a rating of 4.1 (scale 1–5), and the usefulness of the course was rated as very good. Most participants (62.9%) expressed a positive opinion about having had the BIO and MI tracks come together for some of the lectures.
Pre- and post-test results and the positive evaluations by the participants indicate that this first joint Bioinformatics and Medical/Public Health Informatics (MI and BIO) course was a success.
PMCID: PMC2265703  PMID: 18194533
6.  Issues in Biomedical Research Data Management and Analysis: Needs and Barriers 
A. Identify the current state of data management needs of academic biomedical researchers. B. Explore their anticipated data management and analysis needs. C. Identify barriers to addressing those needs.
A multimodal needs analysis was conducted using a combination of an online survey and in-depth one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Subjects were recruited via an e-mail list representing a wide range of academic biomedical researchers in the Pacific Northwest.
The results from 286 survey respondents were used to provide triangulation of the qualitative analysis of data gathered from 15 semi-structured in-depth interviews.
Three major themes were identified: 1) there continues to be widespread use of basic general-purpose applications for core data management; 2) there is broad perceived need for additional support in managing and analyzing large datasets; and 3) the barriers to acquiring currently available tools are most commonly related to financial burdens on small labs and unmet expectations of institutional support.
Themes identified in this study suggest that at least some common data management needs will best be served by improving access to basic level tools such that researchers can solve their own problems. Additionally, institutions and informaticians should focus on three components: 1) facilitate and encourage the use of modern data exchange models and standards, enabling researchers to leverage a common layer of interoperability and analysis; 2) improve the ability of researchers to maintain provenance of data and models as they evolve over time though tools and the leveraging of standards; and 3) develop and support information management service cores that could assist in these previous components while providing researchers with unique data analysis and information design support within a spectrum of informatics capabilities.
PMCID: PMC2244904  PMID: 17460139
7.  The University of Washington Health Sciences Library BioCommons: an evolving Northwest biomedical research information support infrastructure 
Setting: The University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries and Information Center BioCommons serves the bioinformatics needs of researchers at the university and in the vibrant for-profit and not-for-profit biomedical research sector in the Washington area and region.
Program Components: The BioCommons comprises services addressing internal University of Washington, not-for-profit, for-profit, and regional and global clientele. The BioCommons is maintained and administered by the BioResearcher Liaison Team. The BioCommons architecture provides a highly flexible structure for adapting to rapidly changing resources and needs.
Evaluation Mechanisms: BioCommons uses Web-based pre- and post-course evaluations and periodic user surveys to assess service effectiveness. Recent surveys indicate substantial usage of BioCommons services and a high level of effectiveness and user satisfaction.
Next Steps/Future Directions: BioCommons is developing novel collaborative Web resources to distribute bioinformatics tools and is experimenting with Web-based competency training in bioinformation resource use.
PMCID: PMC1525310  PMID: 16888667
9.  A knowledgebase system to enhance scientific discovery: Telemakus 
With the rapid expansion of scientific research, the ability to effectively find or integrate new domain knowledge in the sciences is proving increasingly difficult. Efforts to improve and speed up scientific discovery are being explored on a number of fronts. However, much of this work is based on traditional search and retrieval approaches and the bibliographic citation presentation format remains unchanged.
Case study.
The Telemakus KnowledgeBase System provides flexible new tools for creating knowledgebases to facilitate retrieval and review of scientific research reports. In formalizing the representation of the research methods and results of scientific reports, Telemakus offers a potential strategy to enhance the scientific discovery process. While other research has demonstrated that aggregating and analyzing research findings across domains augments knowledge discovery, the Telemakus system is unique in combining document surrogates with interactive concept maps of linked relationships across groups of research reports.
Based on how scientists conduct research and read the literature, the Telemakus KnowledgeBase System brings together three innovations in analyzing, displaying and summarizing research reports across a domain: (1) research report schema, a document surrogate of extracted research methods and findings presented in a consistent and structured schema format which mimics the research process itself and provides a high-level surrogate to facilitate searching and rapid review of retrieved documents; (2) research findings, used to index the documents, allowing searchers to request, for example, research studies which have studied the relationship between neoplasms and vitamin E; and (3) visual exploration interface of linked relationships for interactive querying of research findings across the knowledgebase and graphical displays of what is known as well as, through gaps in the map, what is yet to be tested. The rationale and system architecture are described and plans for the future are discussed.
PMCID: PMC524025  PMID: 15507158
10.  Tribal connections health information outreach: results, evaluation, and challenges 
In 1997, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), initiated a program of intensified outreach to Native Americans, initially focusing on the Pacific Northwest in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Regional Medical Library (PNRML). This initiative, known as the Tribal Connections Project, emphasized the establishment or strengthening of Internet connections at select Indian reservations and Alaska Native villages and related needs assessment and training. The hope was that these efforts would improve tribal access to health information available via the Internet and the Web. Phase I included sixteen tribal sites—eight in Washington, four in Alaska, two in Montana, and one each in Oregon and Idaho. Phase I results indicate that the project was successful in assessing local needs and building awareness of the Internet, forging new partnerships with and between the participating Indian reservations and Alaska Native villages and other organizations, making real improvements in the information technology (IT) infrastructure and Internet connectivity at fifteen of sixteen sites, and conducting training sessions with several hundred tribal participants across thirteen sites. Most importantly, the project demonstrated the key role of tribal community involvement and empowerment and contributed to development of an outreach evaluation field manual and the evolving concept of community-based outreach. The knowledge gained from Tribal Connections Project Phase I is helping refine and enhance subsequent NLM-sponsored tribal connections and similar community outreach efforts.
PMCID: PMC141188  PMID: 12568158
13.  Enabling, empowering, inspiring: research and mentorship through the years* 
The interrelationship between research and mentorship in an association such as the Medical Library Association (MLA) is revealed through the contributions of individuals and significant association activities in support of research. Research is vital to the well-being and ultimate survival of health sciences librarianship and is not an ivory tower academic activity. Mentorship plays a critical role in setting a standard and model for those individuals who want to be involved in research and, ultimately, for the preparation of the next generation of health sciences librarians. Research and mentorship are discussed in the context of personal experiences, scholarship, and problem solving in a practice environment. Through research and mentorship, we are enabled to enhance our services and programs, empowered to look beyond our own operations for information puzzles to be solved, and inspired to serve society by improving health.
PMCID: PMC35192  PMID: 10658958
15.  Regional Health Information Systems 
In general, there is agreement that robust integrated information systems are the foundation for building successful regional health care delivery systems. Integrated Advanced Information Management System (IAIMS) institutions that, over the years, have developed strategies for creating cohesive institutional information systems and services are finding that IAIMS strategies work well in the even more complex regional environment. The key elements of IAIMS planning are described and lessons learned are discussed in the context of regional health information systems developed. The challenges of aligning the various information agencies and agendas in support of a regional health information system are complex ; however, the potential rewards for health care in quality, efficacy, and cost savings are enormous.
PMCID: PMC61491  PMID: 9067887
18.  Computers in Medical Education: A Cooperative Approach to Planning and Implementation 
After years of ‘ad hoc’ growth in the use of computers in the curriculum, the University of Minnesota Medical School in cooperation with the Bio-Medical Library and Health Sciences Computing Services developed and began implementation of a plan for integration of medical informatics into all phases of medical education.
Objectives were developed which focus on teaching skills related to:
1) accessing, retrieving, evaluating and managing medical information;
2) appropriate utilization of computer-assisted instruction lessons;
3) electronic communication with fellow students and medical faculty; and
4) fostering a lifelong commitment to effective use of computers to solve clinical problems.
Surveys assessed the status of computer expertise among faculty and entering students. The results of these surveys, lessons learned from this experience, and implications for the future of computers in medical education are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2245246

Results 1-19 (19)