Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pallimed Cited in the NEJM; Pallimed Readers Stand Up!

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgI am very pleased to announce that Pallimed has officially been cited in the New England Journal of Medicine! (members only).

The letter to the editor was written by my colleague at the University of Kansas, Lindy Landzaat, DO (a 2009 Harvard HPM Fellowship grad) based on Drew's post about Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD).  This came about because I knew of Lindy's interest in LVAD's since she had presented at the 2009 Case Conference in Austin on the topic, and encouraged her to write the letter after reading Drew's post.  The three of us worked on it over the next week with Lindy doing the bulk of the work.  It was submitted in mid-December and we got word soon after that it was approved for publication with a few minor revisions.

One important piece to include was a citation to the Pallimed since it really demonstrated the source of some of the viewpoints and allowed an expansion on the subject that a letter to the editor word limit would not allow.

Here is the sentence from the letter to the editor that was referenced:

Though left ventricular assist devices are increasingly helpful and reliable, they still represent a form of life support with a specific set of burdens and complications, particularly as patients die: difficult decisions for patients, families, and doctors surrounding planned device discontinuation; device failure; symptom-management issues; and coordinating end-of-life care that honors patients' wishes and values. 2


And here is how the citation looks:
2. Rosielle D. Rise of the machines. In: Rosielle D, Sinclair C, eds. Pallimed: a hospice & palliative medicine blog. (Accessed March 4, 2010, at http://www.pallimed.org/2009/12/rise-of-machines.html.)
(More on citing a blog in this Pallimed post. If you ever cite a blog it is always nice to leave a mention on the blog referenced.)

Pallimed Readers Stand Up!

Now this is not the first time a blog has been cited in a medical journal (Geripal had a reference in Lancet in Sep 2009 [damn upstarts!]), but I am also hoping that it will not be the last.  This moment raises many important issues about the exchange of ideas and blogs:
  • Transports information from blogs to the relatively insulated world of medical journals
  • Gains increased awareness about palliative care issues by keeping them in medical journals via letters to the editors, editorials
  • Reinforces blogging as a scholarly effort
  • Increases awareness of journal readers that blogs are a credible source of informal and post-publication peer review
  • Achieves formal archiving in the medical institutional memory of  important points brought up in blogs
  • Allows blog readers a streamlined path towards increasing publications
  • Crosslinks open access (blogs) with paywall access content

So earlier Wednesday night I spoke with Eric Widera of GeriPal and we have decided to start a workgroup to help help translate information from palliative care related blogs into academic journals.  This is a work in progress and open to any readers that would like to participate.  Some ideas of how it might work:

Any post on Pallimed or GeriPal (or another blog if you are interested) that cites a recent journal article is eligible.
  • If you find a post that resonates with you and you want to write up a letter to the editor, just comment on the article and email the author of the post. (If you don't know who that is email me at ctsinclair@gmail.com)
  • Gather the deadline, word count, submission instruction info for the cited journal
  • Within a week after the post is up (or sooner if necessary) the final authors for the letter will be confirmed and work will proceed by email to submit before the deadline.
With enough effort behind this we could start a listing of letters to the editor or editorials that were seeded by a blog post and demonstrate the effort of the crowd as a whole to contribute to medical information exchange.  But you must be the catalyst.  We have nearly 3000 subscribers, so if only 5% of our readers were interested in doing this we would have 150 people nearly continuously as a loose group working on letters.  That could be huge!

What we need from you:
  • More ideas on how this could (or could not) work
  • Your willingness to contribute and write a letter based off already formed themes.
  • Your desire to be first author on letters to many top notch journals
  • A cool name for this workgroup/project including some of the following words or phrases: blogs, social media, translation, stupendous, project, workgroup, GeriPal, Pallimed, awesome,add your own.
So are you in?
ResearchBlogging.orgLandzaat, L, Sinclair, CT, & Rosielle, D (2010). Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device New England Journal of Medicine

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