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The Evolving Role and Value of Librarians in Health Care

From JAMA:

Recent research has shown the value of information in patient care and highlights the role of the library and librarian in supporting this information revolution. The Value Study, conducted by Marshall et al4 at 56 library sites serving 118 hospitals, surveyed physicians, residents, and nurses who were involved in patient care or clinical research and could recall an event in the last 6 months when they had used an information resource. Of the 16 122 survey respondents (including 5379 physicians, 2123 residents, and 6788 nurses), three-fourths reported that they had definitely or probably handled some aspect of patient care differently as a result of the information obtained from the library and information resources. Among the changes reported were advice given to the patient (48%), diagnosis (25%), and choice of drugs (33%). Most respondents (95%) reported that the information resulted in more informed clinical decisions. Respondents also reported that the information allowed them to avoid or reduce the possibility of the following adverse events: patient misunderstanding of the disease (23%); additional tests (19%); misdiagnosis (13%); adverse drug reactions (13%); medical errors (12%); and patient mortality (6%).


Sollenberger JF, Holloway RG Jr. (2013). The evolving role and value of libraries and librarians in health care. JAMA, 310(12), 1231-2. PMID 24065006