Hospital clinicians' information behaviour and attitudes towards the 'Clinical Informationist': An Irish survey

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Department of Medicine, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Health Information & Libraries Journal (Impact Factor: 0.89). 03/2011; 28(1):23-32. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00917.x
Source: PubMed


  Hospital clinicians are increasingly expected to practice evidence-based medicine (EBM) in order to minimize medical errors and ensure quality patient care, but experience obstacles to information-seeking. The introduction of a Clinical Informationist (CI) is explored as a possible solution.
  This paper investigates the self-perceived information needs, behaviour and skill levels of clinicians in two Irish public hospitals. It also explores clinicians' perceptions and attitudes to the introduction of a CI into their clinical teams.
  A questionnaire survey approach was utilised for this study, with 22 clinicians in two hospitals. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics.
  Analysis showed that clinicians experience diverse information needs for patient care, and that barriers such as time constraints and insufficient access to resources hinder their information-seeking. Findings also showed that clinicians struggle to fit information-seeking into their working day, regularly seeking to answer patient-related queries outside of working hours. Attitudes towards the concept of a CI were predominantly positive.
  This paper highlights the factors that characterise and limit hospital clinicians' information-seeking, and suggests the CI as a potentially useful addition to the clinical team, to help them to resolve their information needs for patient care.

17 Reads
  • Source
    • "A systematic review by Davies (2007) revealed that issues with ICTs, time, skills, and irrelevant content were the major barriers that limited doctors from searching information in the electronic environment. Similar findings were also reported in Ireland (Flynn and McGuinness 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study investigated the information seeking behaviour of physicians at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Tanzania. Questionnaires were personally distributed to all physicians (n = 259) at MNH. The rate of response was 83 percent (n = 215). Based on the literature review, a Wilson (1996) model was used to systematically guide the assessment of the physicians’ information seeking behaviour at MNH. The study found that physicians needed specific medical information to enhance their knowledge on a daily basis, particularly they needed information on patient care, rather than information for research and further education purposes. In order to fulfil their information needs, physicians preferred to seek information from formal sources, which included printed textbooks, electronic resources and printed journals. However, there was low use of the Internet for prescribing various drugs and diagnosis. Factors such as poor ICT infrastructure, lack of access to a computer, frequent power cuts and lack of time were the major barriers that inhibited physicians to seek information. It is thus important for the MNH management to promote information literacy (IL) issues, improve ICT infrastructure, establish a resource centre, and integrate use of the Internet and e-resources for patient care within clinicians working hours; and for the government to improve the supply of reliable electricity at MNH for effective medical practices.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Information Development
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reviews are seen as a way of exploiting existing data or research findings more fully and can offer a summarised insight into the current understanding of the evidence. Library and information science (LIS) workers can use reviews to inform their decision-making and service planning. Although the LIS evidence base continues to grow there will frequently be times when no published reviews are available. In these instances, you may consider undertaking your own review. Different types of review require different approaches and, by deciding from the outset what kind of review yours will be, will inform your methodology. Guidelines on writing reviews for the Health Information and Libraries Journal are presented.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Health Information & Libraries Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To measure the effect of including a clinical librarian in the health care team on medical residents and clinical clerks. In 2009, medical residents and clinical clerks were preassigned to one of two patient care teams (intervention and control). Each team had a month-long rotation on the general medicine teaching unit. The clinical librarian joined the intervention team for morning intake, clinical rounding, or an afternoon patient list review, providing immediate literature searches, formal group instruction, informal bedside teaching, and/or individual mentoring for use of preappraised resources and evidence-based medicine search techniques. Both intervention and control teams completed pre and post surveys comparing their confidence levels and awareness of resources as well as their self-reported use of evidence for making patient care decisions. The nonintervention team was surveyed as the control group. The clinical librarian intervention had a significant positive effect on medical trainees' self-reported ability to independently locate and evaluate evidence resources to support patient care decisions. Notably, 30 of 34 (88%) reported having changed a treatment plan based on skills taught by the clinical librarian, and 27 of 34 (79%) changed a treatment plan based on the librarian's mediated search support. Clinical librarians on the care team led to positive effects on self-reported provider attitudes, provider information retrieval tendencies, and, notably, clinical decision making. Future research should evaluate economic effects of widespread implementation of on-site clinical librarians.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Show more