News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for the ‘National’

One-Stop Searching for Social Media from Federal Officials on ProQuest Congressional

ProQuest Congressional is fantastic for finding information regarding government documents, especially compiled legislative histories, as we have written about before. A lesser-known feature of the product is the ability to search the social media of public officials.

From the home page, go to Social Media. There you can search what members of Congress and Federal Agency officials are posting on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and press releases. Search by individual or enter specific search terms.

A good strategy is to use this feature in conjunction with tracking legislation, or discovering what officials said in the past when legislation was being considered.

Free Online Research Tools: Congressional Research Service Reports

US Capitol Building illuminated at night The Library of Congress announced on September 17, 2018 that a new website is now live, making reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) available to the public. The CRS is Congress’ nonpartisan “think tank” that conducts research and publishes reports for Congressional committees and Members of Congress. The experts and researchers at CRS provide analysis of an extensive range of topics. The thorough and nonpartisan nature of CRS reports makes them a valuable source on important and current topics for anybody, including legal researchers. CRS reports can be useful for legislative history research because they provide unbiased background information from a legislative perspective on issues before Congress.

Despite the fact that CRS reports are taxpayer funded, these reports were only made available to legislators. Some reports eventually made their way out to the public, if a congressional staffer chose to share. Recently, efforts had been made to make more reports widely available to the public with websites such as working to collect and share over 14,500 CRS reports. The new website from the Library of Congress serves as an official source of CRS reports, with over 600 of the active reports available at launch and more being added over time. Users may enter keywords to search the database or browse the index by clicking the search button without entering terms.

For more on legislative history or additional law and policy sources, check out our Legislative History Research Guide and Free Online Legal Research Guide.

Pew/AMA/MedStar Report on Improving Electronic Health Record Safety

Graphic of Electronic Health RecordThe Pew Charitable Trusts, American Medical Association (AMA), and MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare recently released a report on “best practices and model test cases to guide rigorous safety assessments of EHRs.”  Ways to Improve Electronic Health Record Safety reports federal EHR certification requirements (see 45 C.F.R. 170) “do not address circumstances in which customized changes are made to an EHR as part of the implementation process or after the system goes live,” and there are no “requirements and guidance on how to test clinician interaction with the EHR for safety issues.”  These challenges “can fail to prevent – or even contribute to – patient harm.”  The report includes a multidisciplinary expert panel’s “recommendations on how to advance usability and safety throughout the EHR software life cycle” and “criteria detailing what constitutes a rigorous safety test case and the creation of sample test case scenarios based on reported EHR safety challenges.”  For more information, see the 8/28/18 Pew Charitable Trusts article Better Testing of Electronic Health Records Needed to Protect Patients and AMA Improving Electronic Health Records page (navigation: AMA > Delivering Care > Digital Health Leadership > Adoption & Scale of Digital Health Solutions in Practice).

ONC Request for Information on Electronic Health Record Reporting Program

Graphic of Electronic Health RecordThe U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking “input from the public regarding the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Program….  Responses will be used to inform subsequent discussions among stakeholders and future work toward the development of reporting criteria under the EHR Reporting Program.”  Written or electronic comments must be received by 5pm 10/17/18.  The EHR Reporting Program was established by the Section 4002 of the 21st Century Cures Act (Pub. L. No. 114-255 Title IV, § 4002, 130 Stat 1159, 12/13/16; codified at 42 U.S.C. § 300jj-19a).  The ONC is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary, and it supports “the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care.”

July Is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and organizations around the country are promoting mental health and wellness in diverse communities. The Office of Minority Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides statistics, information on mental health disparities, projects and partnerships and health resources and publications. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), also an HHS division, is another source for information on health disparities, and mental health and substance abuse information for specific racial and ethnic populations.

Some ideas for celebrating National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month at C|M|Law –

  • Check out our Mental Health and Well-Being resource guide
  • Browse our Mental Health and Wellness collection of books available for check out in the Ohio Room
  • Use the hashtags #MinorityMentalHealth or #MyHealthMyWay! or #NotACharacterFlaw
  • Treat yourself to a massage on campus
  • Tell a friend about the Counseling Center on campus
  • Keep an eye out for the Quiet Room, which is coming Fall 2018 in the Learning Commons – – it will be a space where all C|M|Law students can take a moment to quietly refocus
  • Be open and supportive with yourself and others in pursuing mental wellness at the law school and in the legal profession