RUSA Class: Health Information

Health Information 101

Next Session: March 3 – April 11, 2014
(Chats available upon request.)


Students who complete the required coursework for Health Information 101 will receive 1 CEU (Continuing Education Unit!) Registration rates–individual and group–for this course are $20 more than other courses in order to reflect this credit.
Course Description and Objectives:
With the March 23, 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), there is increased emphasis on patients’ active, rather than passive, participation in issues concerning their health status. And participation is difficult for the one in five U.S. adults who function at a basic or below basic literacy level.The over-65 population will constitute a full 20 percent of the total U.S. population by 2030. Six out of ten Baby Boomers will be managing multiple chronic illnesses and will need access to timely, reliable and accurate healthcare information in order to make timely and accurate healthcare decisions. Eight out of ten Internet users go online looking for health information and many feel overwhelmed and confused by the amount of information they find and frustrated by their inability to find what they were looking for. Of particular relevance to librarians is this: 75 percent of health seekers do not check the source or date of the information of the health information they find.

Learning Outcomes:
During this six week course, we’ll demystify and decode medical terminology then learn the basics of evidence-based biomedical literature searching. We’ll learn how to systematically evaluate a health website then look at some the best of best sites for medical, pharmaceutical and drug information. We need to be well-versed in the business of healthcare and we’ll learn about PPACA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HealthIT and HITECH, Meaningful Use, Physician and Hospital Rankings & Ratings, and the Personal Health Record. And finally, we’ll discuss health literacy issues and how to create partnerships with hospital and academic medical librarians through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

By the end of the six week “Health Information 101” course, students will be able to:

Construct an information search using medical terminology
Formulate a search strategy in PubMed utilizing both controlled vocabulary and natural language terms
Recommend consumer health resources based on patron literacy levels
Design a shame free environment within the library
Apply the Ten Question Consumer Health Website Evaluation Checklist when assessing consumer health website
Adopt health reference interview techniques
Describe healthcare reforms

Health Information 101 is asynchronous. This allows participants to work through course material at times convenient to them. Participants may also choose to schedule online chat time with the instructor.
This course was designed with public librarians in mind, however primary, secondary and academic librarians will find this course useful too.

The course is divided into six modules:

Medical Terminology
Evidence-based biomedical literature searching
Literacy and Health Outcomes
Evaluating health and medical websites
Consumer health resources
The Business of Healthcare
Maura Sostack, MLS, AHIP has been involved in the library science and research analytic field for 25 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. Ms. Sostack began her career working for the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs and was a Criminal Intelligence Analyst for the Pennsylvania Crime Commission. From 1997 through 2006, she was the Director of Library Services for Methodist Hospital, a division of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. Currently, she manages the Health Sciences libraries at Virtua Health and is a member of Virtua’s Speakers Bureau.
Sostack is the Government Relations chair for the Hospital Library Section of the Medical Library Association. She is also an active member of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Roundtable and serves on the OVID Technologies Advisory Board.

Registration Information
Registration limit for each session: 30
Registrations for this session will no longer be accepted once the 30 student limit is reached.

Registration Fees:
$150 for RUSA members
$195 for ALA members
$230 for non-ALA members
$120 for student members and retired members