Using best evidence to evaluate clinical librarian services
To report on a multi-method evaluation study, which demonstrates evidence based library and information practice in action, to assess the impact of clinical librarian services in the UK.
The methodology has been designed following best practice recommendations for increasing the validity and reliability of CL Impact evaluations made by a recent systematic review (Brettle et al, 2011). Data collection is by questionnaire and semi structured interview and based on the Critical Incident Technique (CIT). The questionnaire was distributed by CLs via online survey 6 weeks following each use of a CL service over a 6 month period. Semi-structured interviews following a standardised schedule were carried out by 6 librarians on a reciprocal basis to illuminate and expand on questionnaire results. A key part of the study is to involve clinical librarians in the design and execution of the project.
Initial analysis suggests, 357 health professionals responded to the survey (45% response rate). Demonstrable impacts on service development and delivery, improved patient care and evidence based practice were highlighted and potential new roles for clinical librarians in areas such as efficiency and risk management emerged. Qualitative data from the interviews will be added to these results to illuminate the findings. Feedback from the librarians involved highlights the benefits of taking part in the project.
An evaluation tool was developed from best available evidence and has been used to evaluate the impact of clinical librarian practice. Emerging evidence suggests that clinical librarians can demonstrate impacts in a number of areas and taking part in such as study is a good way of improving skills in research and EBP.
- Brettle, A., Maden-Jenkins, M., Anderson, L., McNally, R., Pratchett, T., Tancock, J., Thornton, D. and Webb, A. (2011), Evaluating clinical librarian services: a systematic review. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 28: 3–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00925.x
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