Thursday, July 19, 2007

July JMLA case: organ donation

The July installment in the Journal of the Medical Library Association case study series is now up over at the JMLA Case Studies in Health Sciences Librarianship blog.

Reference: Todd PM, Jerome RN, Jarquin-Valdivia AA. Organ preservation in a brain dead patient: information support for neurocritical care protocol development. J Med Libr Assoc. 2007 July; 95(3): 238–245.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Medical images

Last month, the UK's Wellcome Trust made available a large collection of images under Creative Commons license - Wellcome's Images currently includes 40,000+ images representing the last 2,000 years.

And from Worth1000, an entertaining (and sometimes disturbing) collection of hoaxed medical images

(hat tip to BoingBoing)


Easy FeedBurner redirect

Making things a little simpler for Blogspot bloggers and their subscribers - the FeedBurner blog had a post yesterday about how to easily re-direct your Blogger feed to FeedBurner.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More on patient privacy

As a follow-up to this post on the new IOM committee examining research impact of the HIPAA privacy regulations, here are a few additional recent items on the HIPAA Privacy Rule:

- An article in the New York Times this week examines variability and errors in how HIPAA regulations are implemented at the institutional level, "Keeping Patients’ Details Private, Even From Kin"

- The Times also included a companion article, "A Health Official Discusses Privacy," a Q&A with Susan McAndrew, deputy director for health information privacy in the Office of Civil Rights at the US Department of Health and Human Services

- Scientific American also has two more informatics-focused considerations of patient privacy: "Privacy Isn't Dead, or At Least It Shouldn't Be: A Q&A with Latanya Sweeney" and "A Little Privacy, Please," a full article discussing Sweeney's privacy-focused research at Carnegie Mellon (she has a fascinating body of work; see her site for a full listing of projects, publications, etc.)

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Moore documentary available online

I plan to see this and haven't watched it yet, but wanted to pass along the link for those who are interested - Michael Moore's newest documentary, Sicko, examines the American health care system and is now available online (with permission) for free viewing in mp4 format -

Part 1
Part 2

(hat tip to the Consumerist)

IOM committee: the HIPAA Privacy Rule's effects on health research

A new Institute of Medicine committee has been formed to assess the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule -- the committee's charge is titled "Health Research and the Privacy of Health Information - The HIPAA Privacy Rule." It began June 1, 2007, first formal meeting in mid-June, and is expected to run for 16 months.

From the project description:

"An IOM committee will investigate the effects on health research of the Privacy Rule regulations implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) section on Administrative Simplification and prepare a report. In conducting the study, the committee will:
  • consider the range of study types, such as clinical trials, epidemiologic designs, research using tissue repositories and databases, public health research, and health services research, to the extent that available data and evidence allow
  • consider research carried out by the full range of sponsors: government, public and private academic, and for-profit sectors, including the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries
  • review provisions of the Privacy Rule relevant to health research, including those dealing with authorizations and accounting for disclosures of personal health information, de-identification of data, reviews preparatory to research, and others, and on reviewing them, may identify provisions that merit priority attention and analysis
  • take into consideration issues of interpretation and implementation of the Privacy Rule, as well as of harmonization with overlapping provisions of the Common Rule and FDA regulations, which have been in existence much longer
  • examine the potential impact of the Rule on public health research, on the recruitment of research subjects for studies, on carrying out research internationally, and on research using data and biomaterials in databases and tissue repositories
  • consider the needs for privacy of identifiable personal health information and the value of such privacy to patients and the public
Additional information:
- the committee membership roster and additional information is available here
- background and educational materials on the HIPAA privacy regulations and what they mean for health care researchers
- an Annals of Internal Medicine piece from last year noting some of the main concerns of clinical researchers related to the rule (PDF file)
- a quick PubMed search focusing on discussions of the rule's impact on research (informed consent, participation/recruitment, research collaboration networks, etc.)

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