Prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease
Examine patients and obtain medical histories
Order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests
Counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare
Information related to a specific patient problem
Information on diagnosis or management
Patient education materials
Accessing the latest research on specific topics
Accessing new information in a disease area
New therapy or product information
Drug dose information
Types of information:
(Davies, 2007, 82)
Directly related to the patient
General information on a condition or disease
Example: Groundbreaking research/studies currently being performed at a top-named institution
Online subscriptions of journals
National and local continuing medical education (CME) meetings
(Dorsey, 2005, 113)
Purposive, formal (majority)
Realization of lack of knowledge:
A doctor “becomes aware of some lack in understanding a problem that stops or slows progress in addressing that problem. The awareness becomes sufficiently tangible to look for ways to address the gap between what a physician currently knows and what is needed to understand the problem.” (Bennett 32)
Unintentional information gathering
glimpsing or encountering information
Portable information seeking methods are becoming more popular:
PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
Principle of Least Effort
“ Predicts that seekers will minimize the effort required to obtain information, even if it means accepting a lower quality or quantity of information.” (Case, 2007, p. 154)
Example – Drug substitution
“… Explains behavior in terms of a tradeoff between the effort required to employ a particular type of strategy (e.g. eliminating choices by looking at their worst possible outcomes), and the quality of the resulting action.” (Case, 2007, p. 154)
Example – Patient heart diagnosis
Work role user base
Work roles and work tasks
Prime motivators for information seeking
Considers individual demographics
Age, specialization, etc. –
“ Variables that influence or shape the information needs”.
Emphasis on facts in working life
Non-ELIS model as beliefs and attitudes are less relevant for this field.
Most significant in Leckie’s model
Familiarity and prior success with the source (or the search strategy employed)
Work roles (Medical Doctor) Tasks Characteristics of information needs Sources of information Awareness of information Outcomes feedback feedback Information Is sought (Case, 2007, 128)
National Library of Medicine (NIH)
NLM Catalog provides access to NLM bibliographic data for journals, books, audiovisuals, computer software, electronic resources and other materials
Welch Medical Library (Johns Hopkins)
2 million dollar budget for online resources
Suburban Hospital Medical Library
Newest member of Johns Hopkins
Maintains appropriate information sources
Text sources (searchable online catalog, Verso)
Online medical databases (OVID, MDConsult, etc.)
Physical presence and gathering place
Close to Physician Lounge and Medical Staff Office
Low key and very casual
Advertises the services of the Medical Library
Medical knowledge and background – trusted source
Attends early morning patient rounds with the doctors
Serves on the patient education committee and palliative care committee
Adaptive search strategies - Lack of content-based searches
Time and location-based constraints
Advertising, regular part of orientation
Bedside consultations with librarian
Create systems that incorporate searches based on things like color, shape, and texture
Library Consult Service (LCS) application
Bennett, N. L., Casebeer, L. L., Kristofco, R. E. & Strasser, S. M. (2004). Physicians’ Internet information-seeking behaviours. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 24 (1), 31–38.
Bryant, S. L. (2004). The information needs and information seeking behaviour of family doctors. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 21 (2), 84-93.
Case, D. O. (2007). Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior (2 nd ed.) . San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Davies, K. (2009). Quantifying the information needs of doctors in the UK using clinical librarians. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26 (4), 289-297.
Davies, K. (2007). The information-seeking behaviour of doctors: a review of the evidence. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 24 (2), 78-94.
Dorsey, M. & Detlefsen, E. (2005). Investigating information-seeking behaviors of primary care physicians who care for older depressed patients and their family caregivers: a pilot study. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, 26 , 111-116.
Schwartz, A. & Millam, G. (2006). A web-based library consult service for evidence-based medicine: Technical development. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 6 , 1-12.
Suburban Hospital. (2009). Suburban Hospital – For Physicians: Medical Library . Retrieved June 13, 2010, from http://www.suburbanhospital.org/ForPhysicians/MedicalLibrary.aspx
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (1993). National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health . Retrieved June 13, 2010, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/
William H. Welch Medical Library. (n.d.). Welch Medical Library . Retrieved June 13, 2010, from http://www.welch.jhu.edu/index.cfm
Younger, P. (2010). Internet-based information-seeking behaviour amongst doctors and nurses: a short review of the literature. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 27 (1), 2-10.