Difference information needs of Emergency Department staff: getting relevant evidence from a clinical librarian program
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One of the most important transformations that will occur in Emergency Departments (ED) in hospitals over the next few years is the application of new information technologies in clinical practice (1). In particular, it is important to know the requirements for an information system suited to Emergency Medicine (EM), the usual strategies of data gathering, and the types of information related projects in the field of EM. Computer systems support clinical practice but there are many problems associated with this new technology. In an Emergency Department, information needs arise twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With the average length of stay declining in hospitals, information must be retrieved to influence clinical decision-making and treatment as soon as the need arises. A number of studies have collected data on usage of databases and the librarian's role in the process. One response to the effort to better meet clinical information needs was the evolution of the Clinical Medical Librarian program. Library and information professionals need to work as 'clinical librarians' to meet the need for accurate and timely information. This study emphasizes clinical librarians' work in Emergency Medicine. When clinical librarians are considered part of the health care team, their responsibilities depend upon whom the clinical librarian is serving. This changing role of the clinical librarian may raise new questions about 'normal' library practice. A librarian in a health care setting could have special duties regarding the health of others that may complicate usual access to information.
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