Take time to consider: On which of the following questions from the Research Agenda would you like to contribute to a systematic review of the literature?
You may choose up to three but will only be assigned to one. Assignments will be based on these selections. They are unedited from their original submission.
Is there a significant difference in patient outcomes (or research output or educational outcomes) between institutions with and without libraries?
What is the added value libraries bring to education, research, and patient care in the health sciences and health care fields? Even if it is not possible to quantify benefits, documenting qualitative research results rigorous enough to stand the scrutiny of administrators and researchers would be of great value.
Low health literacy can result in medication errors, noncompliance of treatment regimes, poor health outcomes and even death. What is the role of the medical librarian with health care providers, community organizations, local public libraries and members of the public to improve health literacy among entire communities?
What are the information needs of practicing physicians and other health care workers? The 1985 Covell article is still heavily cited but was published way back in 1985. The information environment has changed dramatically. We need to update that study in lite of new educational strategies, resources, technology and social networks.
The explosion of information, expanding of technology (especially mobile technology), and complexity of healthcare environment present medical librarians and medical libraries opportunities and challenges. To live up with the opportunities and challenges, what kinds of skill sets or information structure do medical librarians or medical libraries are required to have or acquire so as to be strong partners or contributors of continuing effectiveness to the changing environment?
Does what we do matter? Longer form: Do the resources we provide - materials, reference services, and educational offerings - make a difference to our customers - save lives, shorten length of stay, improved educational outcomes, increase research dollars, improve research results?
How do we provide information support in a clinical world that functions based on electronic medical records systems and other similar informatics platforms and tools. What is the library's role, if any, in providing preclinical education with respect to informatics applications like electronic medical records systems?
Do health sciences libraries and librarians have any measureable (statistically significant) positive impacts on consumer health, the outcomes of medical care, the productivity of biomedical researchers and the knowledge obtained by graduates of biomedical and health sciences training programs, and at what total cost?
How best to objectively document library/librarian impact on the 'bottom line' (time, money saved, shorter length of stay, ROI for expensive electronic resources, support training programs/Magnet status, funded research support, etc.)?
As a profession, how do we measure our impact in our environment—be it clinical or academic—in such a way that it influences the decision makers in our institutions? [I "stole" this from the previous study, but I think that it is still the most important question facing us.]
Does the intervention/instruction/assistance of a professional medical librarian have a long term impact on the information seeking behaviors of health care professionals?
What are the most effective instructional methods for teaching informatics/knowledge management/EBP within health sciences curricula? In medical schools where librarians are included in the curriculum, do the students have a greater degree of information literacy than students in schools where librarians are not part of the curriculum?
What skills and knowledge must librarians possess in order to be able to design tools to help researchers visualize, mine, and otherwise manage large and complex data gathered during both quantitative and qualitative research?
There are still a number of relevant questions from the 2008 research agenda, but to me this is most critical: "What is the quantifiable evidence that the presence of a librarian, not just information resources, improves patient outcomes, increases research dollars, improves student outcomes (e.g., better board scores), or increases hospital intelligence (e.g., if the top hospitals have access to hospital librarians/libraries)?"