Tag Archives: librarians

New Authoritative List of Resources in the Health Sciences

In the early sixties a librarian named Alfred Brandon recognized the growing need for an information tool to help guide medical librarians in their collection development decisions. The “Brandon/Hill Selected List of Print Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library” was first published in 1965. From its beginnings as a core list of clinical titles for hospital libraries, the Brandon/Hill list grew to become an indispensable selection tool for small hospital libraries as well as large academic medical libraries.

With the death of Dorothy R. Hill, co-author of the “Selected List,” the final edition of the “Brandon/Hill” medical list ceased publication in 2003. In 2010, members of the Medical Library Association’s Books Panel realized the need that had arisen for a resource that could be used for collection development purposes just as the Brandon/Hill lists had been used, especially in the area of digital and online publications.

The Medical Library Association’s Master Guide to Authoritative Information Resources in the Health Sciences is that new, indispensable collection development tool for librarians. It includes over 1,600 authoritative book and serial recommendations in print, digital and online formats. The editors of the Master Guide selected 108 contributors for their subject knowledge and expertise to compile the “best titles” across 35 specialties for this unique guide.

Now, Dana Medical Library is thrilled to recognize one of their own as a contributor to The Master Guide. Frances Delwiche, MLIS, MT(ASCP) is the expert contributor of the Clinical Laboratory Science specialty section in this work, that is sure to become an updated option to the iconic Brandon/Hill Selected List.

Proposed Systematic Review Guidelines Include Librarians

Transparency, objectivity, and consistency are criteria that should form the foundation for new standards for clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews, according to two reports recently released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The reports were commissioned by Congress following passage of the 2008 Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act. Among other features, the reports argue for the role of medical librarians in overseeing sound literature search strategies when systematic reviews and guidelines are being developed.

With the explosion in medical literature, physicians and other health care providers have come to rely on practice guidelines and systematic reviews for their synthesis of the literature and evidence-based approach to patient care. However, the number of clinical guidelines produced has also risen substantially since the early 1990s. In fact, the National Guideline Clearinghouse and the Guidelines International Network, two premier guidelines databases, now include more than 9,500 guideline standards.

Unfortunately, the methods behind creating all these guidelines and systematic reviews vary so greatly that stakeholders have increasingly questioned their quality and reliability. Each of the two new IOM reports sets out to establish “gold standard” practices at a critical time in the health care reform movement.

A key element of both reports is an emphasis on making clinical practice guidelines more inclusive of and accessible by patients and the public. To achieve this goal, the Institute of Medicine identified eight areas for improvement of guideline development, including process transparency, disclosure of all conflicts of interest, and a rating scale for strength of recommendations among others.

The Guidelines companion report on improving systematic reviews sets a similarly high bar. The report notes that the quality of current systematic reviews varies widely from excellent to poor. To strive for quality and usability across the board, the IOM report recommends 21 standards for producing high-quality systematic reviews.

Standard 3.1 is of particular importance to the systematic review project team. The elements of this standard address conducting a comprehensive, systematic search of the literature for evidence. It specifically recognizes the importance of working with “a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy” (Standard 3.1.1) as well as using “an independent librarian or other information specialist to peer review the search strategy” (Standard 3.1.3).

Right now, it’s unclear how organizations that develop clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews will handle the challenges of these new recommendations. The key goal for the Institute of Medicine continues to be restoring trust in the process of assessing medical evidence and applying that evidence to the development of quality clinical guidelines and systematic reviews.

Both Institute of Medicine reports : Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust (W 84.4 AA1 I59c 2011 ) and Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews (W 84.3 I59c 2011 ) are available at the Dana Medical Library.

Medical Library Association Webcast

Now’s the Time: Understanding the Electronic Health Record Maze and Health Sciences Librarians Roles

Program goals: To clarify the terminology surrounding the emerging electronic health information environment and to illustrate how and why health sciences librarians can and should become engaged with the efforts to achieve the national 2014 goal of instituting an electronic health record for each person in the United States.

Program Objectives:

  • To remove the ambiguity and confusion revolving around the electronic health environment. Technology, management, and the exchange of health information will be discussed.
  • To illustrate the emerging electronic health information environment by profiling working electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records (EHRs), and personal health records (PHRs).
  • To highlight the recent involvement health sciences librarians have had with EMRs, EHRs, and PHRs.

Program Agenda

Part I: Introduction to the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Concept
Part II: A Hands-on Look at EHR Systems
Part III: The Role of Health Sciences Librarians
Part IV: Wrap Up

The Dana Medical Library is located in the building between Fletcher Allen Hospital and UVM’s Medical Education Center.

Parking is available at FAHC, 111 Colchester Ave Burlington, VT

The webcast will be from 2-4 on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 in Room 200 of the Health Sciences Research Facility (HSRF)

Plan to arrive a little early and come to Dana; we’ll lead the way to HSRF 200.

Register online: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PQ8W8BQ.