Library to host Walk-in Webinars: First screening July 30th!

Keep your eyes peeled on the SMH Intranet Events page as the Health Sciences Library will now be hosting a series of Walk-in Webinars.

Our first Walk-in Webinar screening will be held on July 30th, from 2:00-3:15pm in collaboration with the Patient and Family Education Program.

The Current State of Patient and Family Engagement Strategies in American Hospitals will be held in the LKSKI 353 Computer Lab. Popcorn will be provided.

For more information, click on the PDF below.

featurewebinarClick for PDF: featurewebinar





BMJ Quality Improvement Reports: a unique repository worth checking out

Scholarly literature is not always a good fit for sharing the results of quality improvement (QI) projects. For example, QI methods – while useful and valid in their own way – may not meet the methodological requirements for scholarly publication. In addition the publishing process can take a long time, delaying the spread of information.

Since 2012 BMJ Publishing has published BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, a searchable repository of QI reports on a variety of topics that undergo a “light touch” peer review process¹. The most recent reports include:

If you are curious about QI projects that have been completed at other hospitals around the world, try out BMJ Quality Improvement Reports!



¹All reports are available online at no cost, but publication is limited to subscribers of BMJ’s product “BMJ Quality”.

Free Trial of Northern Light – Try it Today!



The Health Sciences Library has recently begun a trial of the Northern Light Life Sciences Conference Abstracts database.

Northern Light’s collection provides a treasure trove of life sciences research information, often several years before that information is published in industry or academic journals. Search the full-text index of:

  • More than 1,200,000 abstracts and posters
  • From 1,600 life sciences industry conferences (2010-present)

Early data in grey literature such as this is critical to researchers conducting systematic reviews.

Try Northern Light today and email the Health Sciences Library to tell us what you think! Trial period ends Saturday, July 26th.

Link to Northern Light:







Public Health England publishes “Knowledge strategy: Harnessing the power of information to improve the public’s health”

Public Health England (PHE) is a government agency that began operating on April 1, 2013. Their main goal is “to ensure that decisions we all make about our personal health, and the health of the population more widely, are based on the best information available and deliver the best possible outcomes”. On June 17, 2014, PHE published its strategy to meet the following commitments:

  1. Support openness and innovation
  2. Understand and meet public health requirements for knowledge
  3. Provide the tools to let public health professionals do their jobs
  4. Develop cross-system networks, tools and services to share intelligence, expertise and experience
  5. Work with others efficiently
  6. Ensure everything we do has a positive impact and provides value for money

You can access the document here:

See page 36 of the knowledge strategy for a description the role of librarians. Some potential areas for librarian involvement include:

-       Evidence synthesis

-       Mediated literature searching and filtering

-       Current awareness services

-       Information skills training

It is very encouraging to see the work of health librarians recognized in a “big picture” strategic plan like this one.


Submitted by: Teruko Kishibe, Archivist/Information Specialist

You CAN Take it With You: Going Mobile for Health

On Wednesday June 11th, over 40 librarians from health care institutions across the GTA got together at the University of Toronto to learn about app development.  This was a joint event sponsored by the Toronto Health Libraries Association (THLA) and the Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto (HSICT).

The session began with a keynote address from Michelle Hamilton-Page from CAMH.  This dynamic speaker gave an overview of developing public health interventions that fit into the ways people currently use technology.  The newly released app “Saying When” (released June 4, 2014) was featured.  This allows people to self monitor and reduce or stop drinking.  It is based on a proven 20 year old program and is now a top selling medical app.

The second part of the day consisted of a panel of developers: one librarian, two social workers and one clinical engineer.  The theme of creating apps that met users where they were already using technology remained strong.  Ron MacPherson, the Electronic Services Librarian from UHN developed “Find Cancer Resources“, a curated list of free resources for physicians without access to paid subscription services.  Next social workers Marisa Cicero and Amanda Hignell presented “My Baby and Me Passport“, which was designed for precariously housed pregnant women.  While it was difficult for this transient population to keep up with appointments and locate services, they always had a cellphone.  They realized that the information could be stored in a device they already owned.  The passport helps by providing information on what to expect during pregnancy, tracking appointments and questions and where to get services.  They won the 2014 Microsoft Humanitarian Response Citizenship Award.  Lastly Melanie Yeung presented on the principle of empathy and human factors in design.  The apps were “breathe“, “Bant“, & “Medley“.  All of these apps allow consumers to manage their chronic health conditions more effectively.

For the final portion of the day, the librarians went to the MAD Lab at UofT.  Android and iOS devices were loaded up with apps to compare and evaluate.

Videos of the all of the speakers may be found on the THLA website.

Future Directions

We hope to have more events and focus on some of the mechanics of how to actually make apps.

Submitted by Pam Richards, Team Leader