Collaborative Librarians

Data don't tell the whole story.

Our poster at the PHI08 conference in Seattle September 23, 2008

Filed under: Portal Development,Resources — Emily @ 10:01 pm
Last Thursday and Friday, Betsy and I presented a poster at PHI08 in Seattle, WA. Our poster focused on the process of developing portals for biomedical research collaborations. 
The conference was a gathering of leaders, experts, practitioners and learners coming together to address communications, health care technologies, information exchange, and global health. Global Partners in Public Health Informatics (GPPHI) is a new organization coordinated by the Center for Public Health Informatics (CPHI) at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.  “Envisioning Options for Integrated Public Health Information Systems for Low Resource Settings: Components, Connections, Partners, Strategies” was the theme of this year’s meeting.  There were more than 50 organizations and 15 countries represented!
We were in good company for the software and culture side of things. There were several  posters on informatics, health, global health information and reporting systems. Some highlighted e-learning, dissemination of information and best practices.
What did our poster have in common with (most) other posters? How was our discussion similar?
  • We talked about the people (researchers, IT, collaborators) involved in the processes and technologies demonstrated in posters. 
  • We named challenges and limitations. The culture, politics, stresses and resources of participants have a bearing on how efficiently or readily researchers are able to collaborate.
  • There is more than one way to do “information exchange right.” There are numerous tools available to relay hard data, summaries, dashboards and related communications in real time. 
  • We all face some technical roadblock due to language or geography. If modern technologies such as network access and internet capabilities are not available, data exchange and collaboration –when up-to-date information is at a premium– can be stifled or halted.
  • We are all working toward improving global health. Our collaborators direct the gathering of epidemiologic and heath care data or samples from the field. There is some broad overlap of goals of our respective work groups and those of the conference attendees.
How was our poster different (from most other posters)? How was our discussion different?
  • We were mostly interested in conveying the process for development and the role of information specialists.
  • Other posters focused on means for transmitting data, overviews of standards implementation, infrastructure, GIS systems, and e-learning. They showed systems getting, using, and sharing electronic health data.
  • Our poster focused on encouraging efficiencies in innovation and reduce the lag time from discovery to knowledge.
  • Finally, our role in supporting global health research and data exchange is happening at a different time, in a different environment, and on a different scale.
Our captive audience (in the poster room and later at lunch) included colleagues and notables from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Library of Medicine,  Macro Inc., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Washington and more.
Check out the poster. If you cite it, please include the following:
Rolland, Betsy, Emily Glenn and Jeffrey Kim. (2008, September). A Process for Developing Collaborative Portals for International Biomedical Research Collaborations. Poster session presented at Global Partners in Public Health, PHI08 conference, Seattle WA.


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