Impact on Patient Care
A 1991 scientific study conducted in fifteen hospitals in the Rochester, NY, area revealed that 80% of 208 participating physicians said they handled some aspect of their patient's care differently as a result of information provided by their hospital library . Nearly all (96.5%) of the physicians said that information provided by their hospital librarians contributed to better-informed clinical decisions .
Overall, physicians rated the information provided by the hospital library more highly than that provided by diagnostic imaging, lab tests, or discussions with colleagues . These findings confirm a previous study of physicians in Chicago, in which 95% of the respondents said that information from the library contributed to higher quality care for their patients .
Physicians reported the following changes in specific aspects of patient care as a result of the information provided by the library :
Physicians also said that the information provided by the library helped them avoid the following in the patients they treated :
Immediate access to up-to-date patient care information is essential for informed clinical and management decision-making. Qualified health science librarians, aided by computer technology, can provide a broader range of information and locate needed information more quickly than other hospital employees or medical professionals doing the research on their own
Eighty-five percent of the physicians in the Rochester study reported that the information provided by their librarians saved them time, and 93% reported that the information provided them with new knowledge, with resulting cost savings and improved patient care for their institutions .
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2007 July 16