NHS Wales user needs study including knowledgebase tools report. Report for Informing Healthcare Strategy implementation programme

Rhian Thomas, Siân Spink, Jane Durbin, Christine Urquhart

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Executive summary The aim of the research for the A2K (Access to Knowledge) project was to inform development of a National Specification for the procurement of e-sources based on analysis of need. The objectives were to: · Assess the existing (published) evidence on the options for purchasing, development and implementation of e-library resources in the health sector · Investigate the existing and future user needs through empirical survey methods · Identify gaps in terms of content, functionality and accessibility for existing provision and the future, basing the framework for content, functionality and accessibility on the published evidence, and stakeholder views collected in focus groups, and interviews · Collate evidence from other relevant surveys and documents in Wales, surveys and statistics collected by libraries, to ensure the purchasing is informed by evidence and reflects policy requirements · Assess the requirements for knowledgebase tools, training and support of e-resources The key messages are: Current HOWIS e-library provision of knowledgebases, and evidence-based resources is meeting the needs of most staff for clinical governance. Staff value information for patient education but do not seem to be making optimum use of resources that might provide quality information for patients. Various professional groups (e.g. community pharmacists, primary care) have unmet needs. Some, such as dentists and ambulance staff require further negotiation to assess the gaps and how to meet needs. There is interest in the Map of Medicine approach. Some smaller clinical specialties may have unmet needs given the demand for e-journals, full-text material, such needs could be met, at least partly, through e-journals. Monitoring trends in usage would be considerably easier if authentication made it easier to identify main staff group usage (probably more useful than tracking usage by site). GPs, junior doctors and allied health professionals require information on complementary therapies, and non-drug therapies. Information on service planning, commissioning and reconfiguration is hard to obtain, and there is a perception that knowledge about practice in Wales could be easier to find. Users want a simple Google type interface, with easy access to full text materials, but some also appreciate trusted question answering services, and digests of the evidence. Health library services may need to liaise with RSC Wales services to find out how the needs of support staff (doing FE college courses) can be supported. Training and support for e-library use are the responsibilities of many stakeholders (CPD providers, e-learning providers, content providers/aggregators as well as health library services, health informatics and ECDL training). One-to-one support may provide confidence and competence, but the training and awareness gap is large and simpler interfaces are some way in the future. A strategy for training and promotion by health libraries should be innovative and, where possible, evidence-based.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPrifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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