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J Med Libr Assoc. 2013 Jan;101(1):38-46. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.101.1.007.

The value of library and information services in patient care: results of a multisite study.

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School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 100 Manning Hall, CB# 3360, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360, USA.



The research conducted a large-scale, multisite study on the value and impact of library and information services on patient care.


THE STUDY USED: (1) 2 initial focus groups of librarians; (2) a web-based survey of physicians, residents, and nurses at 56 library sites serving 118 hospitals; and (3) 24 follow-up telephone interviews. Survey respondents were asked to base their responses on a recent incident in which they had sought information for patient care.


Of the 16,122 survey respondents, 3/4 said that they had definitely or probably handled aspects of the patient care situation differently as a result of the information. Among the reported changes were advice given to the patient (48%), diagnosis (25%), and choice of drugs (33%), other treatment (31%), and tests (23%). Almost all of the respondents (95%) said the information resulted in a better informed clinical decision. Respondents reported that the information allowed them to avoid the following adverse events: patient misunderstanding of the disease (23%), additional tests (19%), misdiagnosis (13%), adverse drug reactions (13%), medication errors (12%), and patient mortality (6%).


Library and information resources were perceived as valuable, and the information obtained was seen as having an impact on patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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