Department Blog

Health Sciences Libraries

Changes to Library Account Logins

September 17th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

As part of the Library’s response to the campus initiative to remove barcodes from the new AggieCards, students, staff and faculty can now also use their Kerberos ID and passphrase to log into their library account via the My Account links on the left bar of the Library home page.  For older cards, both the 14 digit barcode numbers and 9 digit account numbers will work from the Other Accounts and Proxies login page.  Please consult the Account FAQ for additional information.

JoVE – Journal of Visualized Experiments

April 22nd, 2013 by Bruce Abbott

The Library has subscribed to all the parts of JoVE, so all content is now available. The URL for JoVE is:

RWJF County Health Rankings for 2013 released

March 27th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has posted its U.S. county health rankings for 2013. The data reflects 25 health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, family and social support, and other factors affecting health.

Included are videos and tweets, like the following. “People in unhealthy counties are dying too young w/ premature death rates twice that of the healthiest. #HealthRankings”

For more information, see the RWJF website.

Image courtesy DonkeyHotey via Flickr.

Library adds SMS service!

March 7th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

Get your Library notices via text messages!

Library patrons may sign up to receive SMS (text) notifications in addition to email when books arrive, are overdue or recalled. (excluding items arriving from Interlibrary loan and 2hr loans from Reserves)

SMS messages are sent in addition to standard email messages. You cannot opt to receive SMS messages instead of email. SMS messages may incur carrier charges to patron cellular accounts.

Current library users can sign up for SMS through My Account and new users through Activate My Library Card, both via Harvest. If a user wishes to update her SMS contact number or wishes to drop the SMS service, she can opt out via My Account.

Current Library Users

  1. Log into My Accounts/Renew books via Harvest
  2. Click on Address Update Form link
  3. Enter the telephone number where you want to receive text messages in the SMS number field
  4. Check Receive SMS box to enroll and uncheck Receive SMS box to stop receiving text messages
  5. Click on Update to finish the process

New Library Users

  1. Click on Activate Your Library Card link and follow instructions
  2. Enter the phone number where you want to receive text messages in the SMS number field and check the Receive SMS box

Image courtesy JonJon2k8 via Flickr.

NLM announces new Twitter feed for HIV/AIDS

February 11th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

The National Libraries of Medicine have announced that their Specialized Information Services (SIS) will feature a new Twitter feed aimed at those suffering from HIV/AIDS that are over the age of 50. Found at, this feed will provide a useful information source for victims of the virus:

NLM HIVplus50 ‏@NLM_HIVplus50

Depression is a major condition of those 50 and over affected by #HIV. Info from MedlinePlus: #HIV50

See more at the NLM_HIVplus50 Twitter feed.

Transparent Pricing Doesn’t Curb Doctors’ Use of High-Cost Hospital Imaging Tests

January 30th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

MRI Machine

Johns Hopkins Medicine released a study last week, examining “if doctors who are told the exact price of expensive medical tests like MRIs in advance would order fewer of them.”

From Johns Hopkins Medicine:

In a report published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, the researchers found that revealing the costs of MRIs and other imaging tests up front had no impact on the number of tests doctors ordered for their hospitalized patients.

“Cost alone does not seem to be the determining factor in deciding to go ahead with an expensive radiographic test,” says the study’s senior author, Daniel J. Brotman, M.D… “There is definitely an over-ordering of tests in this country, and we can make better decisions about whether our patients truly need each test we order for them. But when it comes to big-ticket tests like MRI, it appears the doctors have already decided they need to know the information, regardless of the cost of the test.”

Read more over at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Image courtesy thomas23 via Flickr.

NIH Director’s Blog

January 29th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

Francis Collins

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health,  started a blog a few months ago. Recent postings include a discussion of copy-editing the genome, the science of stuttering, and a new rheumatoid arthritis drug developed from NIH research. Dr. Collins also has been posting some stunning research-related images. Some content examples include:

– Smoking: It’s Killing Us

– MRSA In a New Light

– Copy-Editing the Genome: Extreme Personalized Medicine?

To follow his posts, please see his blog on NIH.

Image courtesy NIH.

“How and Why US Health Care Differs From That in Other OECD Countries”

January 23rd, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

Sign at Seattle's March and Rally for Health Care Reform on May 30, 2009.

Earlier this month, JAMA published a viewpoint article by Victor R. Fuchs, PhD, about the differences between the United States and other countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In it, he highlights key differences between the US and other OECD members:

“US health care is very different from health care in other countries. Potential reasons for the differences are discussed, leading to the conclusion that future efforts to control cost, provide universal coverage, and improve health outcomes will have to consider the United States’ particular history, values, and political system.”

Read the full article – JAMA.

Image courtesy seiuhealthcare77nw via Flickr.

NIH releases FY2012 grant numbers

January 18th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

The National Institutes of Health have released their 2012 grant numbers, and have shown a noted increase in award dollars compared to 2011 numbers. From NIH:

“Looking back on these data, the first thought that comes to my mind is, “We made it.” Despite a flat budget and complex fiscal times, we maintained last year’s success rate and slightly increased the amount of award dollars that went to research project grants. We continue to strive to maintain a diverse portfolio of biomedical research, and keep this important work moving along quickly.”

For the full comparison, see NIH Rock Talk.

Image courtesy FutUndBeidl via Flickr.

How to Decide Whether a Clinical Practice Guideline Is Trustworthy

January 15th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

A new article out from JAMA highlights criteria for judging a clinical practice guideline. From JAMA:

“The proliferation of practice guidelines and recent controversies about cancer screening guidelines highlight the need to decide which guidelines are trustworthy. Cancer screening guidelines exemplify the challenge of public trust in guidelines. A firestorm of controversy (created in part by news media, professional organizations, disease advocacy groups, and politicians) surrounds discussions of screening for prostate cancer (should screening be routinely recommended, discussed, or discouraged?), breast cancer (should screening start at age 40 or 50 years?), and colon cancer (is colonoscopy preferred or are any of several test strategies acceptable?). Trust is important because guidelines set the de facto standard for medical practice and therefore influence clinical decisions about individual patients, practice measures, insurance coverage, and reimbursement.”

How to Decide Whether a Clinical Practice Guideline Is Trustworthy.
Ransohoff DF, Pignone M, Sox HC.  JAMA. 2013;309(2):139-140. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.156703.

See the full article.

Image courtesy thefirebottle via Flickr.