Category Archives: Work

Another Informatics Post

Check out this video that News & Public Affairs posted to the VUMC YouTube Channel last week.  It highlights a project here at the medical center that leverages work done by the Informatics Center for which I work.  I’ve not been involved in this project personally, but it is a great demonstration of the ways in which we help with patient care.  And, I have been a patient in our emergency rooms a few times (as has Kaleya), so I’ve seen my own data on it. Cool. If you want to learn more about medical informatics in general, hit up Wikipedia.  🙂

What I Do At Work

Shameless plug for my library! Our medical center has a YouTube channel, and recently posted this video about our website, MyHealthAtVanderbilt (MHAV). MHAV allows you, if you are a patient at Vanderbilt, to log into the site and access parts of your medical record (such as lab test results, immunization data) and you can send messages to your physician, access your appointment and billing data and more.

One of my responsibilities at work is working with my colleagues to integrate links to consumer health information throughout the MHAV website. This means for example, that if you are looking at your lab results and don’t understand what they mean, our library provides links to websites that help explain the lab test procedure and what the results mean. We also link to and create a variety of information resources to help patients undertand their health data. This is a very rewarding project to be involved in.

This week in fact, I have been working with some co-workers in putting together a poster to present at our professional annual meeting this coming week about our work to add information targeted to kids through MHAV.

So, without further ado here is a video about the site and how it works. Just a small glimpse into a little bit more about what I do at work!

Cholera & Nashville

This map (which I found from an online exhibit from the National Library of Medicine), is of Nashville in 1873 that shows a Cholera outbreak. Why do I post this? Because today I had a history lesson on Cholera in Nashville.

Today, a group of coworkers and I went to Traveller’s Rest, a plantation/museum here in town that was the home of Judge John Overton, a prominent figure in Nashville history. His home was also a base of operations during the last campaigns around the Battle of Nashville. I won’t go into the history of the battle, but I learned quite a bit about that today as well.

The reason for our visit was to see the Disease & Medicine exhibit they are currently hosting. Our library helped provide some of the information for the exhibit, so we received a few free passes. The group of us that went won them as a result of a drawing.

It was quite interesting. Apparently, cholera outbreaks in Nashville were very common throughout the entire 19th century and at one point, Nashville was the most dangerous city to live in because of these outbreaks. More dangerous than Calcutta, more dangerous than NYC. The outbreaks were so bad b/c of the very rapid growth of Nashville during this time which resulted in thousands of people living in very close quarters, disposal of wastes into alleyways, and germs being absorbed into the ground and eventually tainting the city’s water supply – the Cumberland River. Because medicine did not really understand bacteria at the time, it would just continue. The cure for cholera is rehydration but of course they were rehydrating with tainted water. Not good.

Overall, I’m glad I went. While I was there, they had a book in the gift shop that I almost purchased, but decided to hold off. It was a book that had many images representative of the history of blacks in Nashville. My interests in Nashville history are growing and I even found a connection with someone whom I’m helping in her genealogy research of ancestors from Nashville.

Experimenting With Second Life

I finally signed up for Second Life yesterday. Though I’ve been reading about Second Life for more than a year now, I had not yet explored it. So, in order to learn more I signed up. It is very interesting.

My avatar it Taneya Kumaki and I’m still learning how to do things like change appearance, even move around properly. I still have not yet learned how to fly. I took a visit to some of the health/medical locations that I knew of as a beginning.

I visited the HealthInfo Island Consumer Medical Library and the Medical Library on the same island. I also visited the Ann Myers Medical Center. I am eager to learn how to build areas next, but overall, my couple of hours of experimentation last night was productive!

Some screenshots:

You can see my other Second Life “snapshots” here.

Business Trip

I’m in Philadelphia this weekend on a business trip. It is that time of year again – time for the annual conference of the Medical Library Association! This is an annual conference that I tend to attend fairly often. Kalonji’s holding the fort down and taking care of Kaleya.

Yesterday upon arrival, we had lunch at Reading Terminal Market and while I don’t usually eat Philly cheese steaks – when in Rome, do as! So, I had one and it was quite tasty.

Today, some of my co-workers and I taught a continuing education class on filtering the medical literature, and this evening I spent time visiting the exhibits area. The next couple of days are more conference activities and I head back home Monday.