New Clinical Informationist!

We recently expanded our clinical rounding service by adding Emily Couvillon to the DML team as a Clinical Informationist. Her responsibilities include attending daily rounds, assisting with data management services, teaching information literacy classes and constructing searches for systematic reviews. Her research interests include developing digital marketing strategies for libraries and understanding consumer health information needs of vulnerable populations.

Emily received her BA in English from Tulane University and her Masters of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas. Previously she was Liaison Librarian at the Texas Medical Center Library.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys taking her dog for runs along DC’s trails, traveling and studying languages. She is passionate about connecting people with information and she is excited to have this opportunity to support evidence-based practice for the GUMC community.


Posted in General | Leave a comment

AAMC Workshop

Everywhere you look in academic medicine today major initiatives are underway that require fundamental changes in the way people work together. Effective teamwork takes a lot more than a group of individuals skillfully carrying out their specialized tasks. It requires interdependence: the ability of the team members to develop a system perspective, to understand how their respective work processes intersect, and to be responsive to each others changing needs and circumstances. What’s more, they need to be able to do this in real time, under conditions of performance pressure and uncertainty.

Brandeis University professor Jody Hoffer Gittell developed a theory of interdependent functioning called Relational Coordination (RC). This body of research has been used to demonstrate that teams or organizations with a high level of RC achieve higher quality, work more efficiently, better satisfy their customers/patients, and enjoy greater worker satisfaction and resilience. RC is now being used extensively to improve teamwork and performance worldwide in healthcare settings.

On February 2nd I will be attending the AAMC workshop Maximizing Interprofessional Teamwork in Clinical Care, Education and Research at the AAMC Learning Center here in Washington, DC. This one and a half day workshop will be facilitated by two experts in healthcare and Relational Coordination – Anthony Suchman, MD, MA and Diane Rawlins, MA, LMHC. The learning objectives of the workshop are:

  • Recognize the importance of interdependent functioning in achieving higher team performance, efficiency and satisfaction
  • Describe the seven factors that enable individuals or workgroups to effectively coordinate their work
  • Identify a framework and specific approaches for applying the theory of RC to improve the results of cross-functional, interprofessional and/or interdisciplinary teams

I hope to apply what I learn at the workshop to my work with the diverse group of healthcare professionals at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Posted in Clinicians, General, Hospital Rounds | Leave a comment

Linguamatics Text Mining Summit


Last month I attended the Linguamatics Text Mining Summit at the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod. I took a useful workshop on text mining for healthcare and participated in a roundtable on mining full text. I also heard many interesting speakers, and was particularly interested in the talks given by Stuart Murray of Agios Pharmaceuticals and Rick Lewis of GlaxoSmithKline regarding drug safety.


Posted in General, Patient Safety, Text Mining | 1 Comment

5th World Congress of Clinical Safety


Last week I attended the International Association of Risk Management in Medicine’s 5th World Congress of Clinical Safety at Harvard Medical School. The Congress theme was Smart Hospitals and Healthcare: Health Care Management & Leadership, Risk, Quality, and Productivity. I attended many interesting presentations and presented the poster “Reducing diagnostic error using decision support on rounds.” My poster showed how I use the Isabel diagnostic program on rounds to help prevent diagnostic error – dml_jth-iarmm-2016-poster

Posted in General, Hospital Rounds, Medical Informatics, Patient Safety | Leave a comment

Harvard Leadership Institute

I recently attended the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians in Cambridge, MA. The Institute was a week-long, thought-provoking educational program that focused on strategies for effective leadership in 21st century academic libraries. The course consisted of readings, lectures, films and small group work and was well organized. The course will have a lasting impact on me both in my current role as well as in future leadership positions. The most important concept I learned was how to reframe situations using a four-frame model (structural, human resource, political and symbolic) to enable more effective leadership. I also gained some great insights from small group discussions of current issues in academic library leadership, including how to effectively deal with the internal politics of academic institutions.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety


In 2004 Dave Mayer, Tim McDonald, Rosemary Gibson, Anne Gunderson and a small number of other thought leaders in patient safety began discussions in the hope that they could redesign medical education in such a way that students, residents and faculty would gain a greater understanding of patient safety throughout their training. Out of those discussions came the first Telluride Patient Safety Educational Roundtable in 2005. In 2010, the Telluride Patient Safety Student and Resident Summer Camps were born, a logical evolution of the Telluride Roundtables over the years. In 2013 and 2015 demand for this unique offering of patient safety education continued to grow, and additional weeks were added in Washington, DC and Napa Valley for both health science students and resident physicians.

I recently attended my third patient safety camp, which is now called the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety: The Telluride Experience. The camp included medical students, residents and nurses with a special interest in patient safety. I heard many informative speakers, including Grace Tran from the MedStar Institute for Innovation who spoke about the importance of human factors engineering in designing work environments that promote patient safety


Posted in General, Medical Education, Medical Students, Nursing, Patient Safety | Leave a comment


My recent webinar with Copyright Clearance Center is now a podcast, you can listen to it here – Meet the Informationist

Posted in General, Hospital Rounds, Medical Informatics, Text Mining | Leave a comment