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The provision of reference services in medicine:
an introduction for library technicians
Dean Giustini, UBC health librari...
AGENDA
Introduction
Handout & quiz review
What is medical reference?
Major user groups in medicine
The “Reference inte...
From the introductory quiz & pathfinder
Medical libraries
What is the name of the largest medical library? Where is it?
...
Sample reference questions I got today at my library:
• What is Google scholar? Can I use it to find citations from 1955?
...
What does Bill Katz say?
“…reference work is viewed in terms of questions and answers. A patron
has a question and expects...
Broadly defined as:
“…any assistance given by the library staff to users seeking health or medical
information…from a simp...
…“[medical reference] … may be defined as activities that provide
information to accomplish the goals of the organization....
Who do library staff serve in medical libraries?
 Physicians – medical students, residents, fellows
 Nurses
 Pharmacist...
Where is health reference provided?
 Medical libraries in universities and colleges
 Community and large hospitals like ...
Classic 1992 Rochester Hospital Study found:
• 80% of physicians said they definitely or probably would have handled ... a...
Reference interview similar in medicine
 What makes a good reference interview?
What’s important in health?
 Like a good...
What’s different in medical reference?
 Medical terminology is complex but terms can be learned using a dictionary
 We p...
 Who? are your users eg. doctors, nurses, etc.
 What? sources of health information will you use
 Where? do your users ...
Since the rise of the web, medical reference has changed rapidly
Many sources now online …. but print still needed
 What ...
1. Empathy, respect for and sensitivity to patient & physician needs,
confidentiality
2. Knowledge of medical searching, i...
What are the challenges of so much information?
 Information overload
 Change is constant
 Conflicting “evidence”
 Bur...
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  • Welcome to LIBR2195 and this presentation entitled “The provision of reference services in medicine: an introduction to medical reference services for library technicians”.
    My name is Dean Giustini and I’m your instructor librarian
    And I look forward to getting to know most of you over the next four weeks
    The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the role of medical libraries in health and why medical libraries are important especially since we provide reference services and consultations to health professionals who are caring for patients with a
    During this unit in class, we also spend some time discussing the importance of various information sources in medicine and how they are used
    So let’s take a look at our agenda on slide #2
  • Over the next 15-20 minutes,
    I hope to provide an introduction to medical reference, the major user groups in medicine, who those health providers are and where they work, and how the reference interview in medicine compares to other types of reference services – both its similarities and dissimilarities
    From there we discuss sources of information and the key information tools in medicine such as dictionaries, handbooks, drug books and compendia as well as the key tools and websites used daily such as PubMed and MedlinePlus as well as Canadian websites such as Health Canada and Statistics Canada
  • General reference service….now this is not necessarily in a medical context… but general reference services need a good definition and I quite like this definition which dates back to 1978 and a book by Bill Katz “An Introduction to reference work” Basic information sources. 3rd edition

    So what does Bill Katz say?
    “…reference work is viewed in terms of questions and answers. A patron has a question and expects the library to provide an answer, or at least where it can be found.” This is a great place for us to start but as you’ll see providing information is really only a part of what we do in most libraries these days
  • So what is medical reference?
    Medical reference may be broadly defined as: “…any assistance given by the library staff to users (and we’ll see who the various user groups are in a moment) seeking health or medical information … from a simple catalog search to extended searches [and this will include literature reviews and assistance with research projects, grants and clinical trials...”
    Nancy Calabretta. General reference services. In: Reference and information services in health sciences libraries. Metuchen, NJ: MLA; Scarecrow Press, 1994.
  • Another definition of medical reference comes to us from a book written by an American medical librarian by the name of Ruth Holst
    What is medical reference?
    …“[medical reference] … may be defined as activities that provide information to accomplish the goals of the organization. [it could be hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, etc.] These include literature and database searches, ready reference, Internet training (classes, how to do the literature reviews), document delivery and outreach services.”
    Ruth Holst. MLA Guide to Managing Health Libraries. New York: Neal Schuman, 2010
  • Speaking of major user groups some of the major users of medical libraries – who are they? Who do we as library staff serve in medical libraries?
    Physicians – medical students from their first year through the post graduate years until the physicians are residents and fellows
    Two other major user groups include Nurses & Pharmacists
    Therapists & Allied health personnel; therapies (art, music, pet, resp and so on)
    Non clinical staff; management, fund-raising arm at the hospital)
    Members of the public & Patients & Health consumers!
  • So what are the Types of health organizations that have health libraries? And where are health reference services provided?
    Medical libraries in universities and colleges
    Students studying for their degrees or in preparation for a degree in nursing, pharmacy, OT, PT
    Community and large hospitals like VGH; Toronto General, Vancouver General smaller hospitals in Nanaimo, Victoria and Prince George
    Various other kinds of health organizations in the community
    Pharmaceutical companies and other special libraries such as the BC College of Physicians and surgeons library in downtown Vancouver
    Finally Don’t forget: Public libraries also get questions in patient and consumer health!
  • I thought it would be useful to remind everyone of the value of health information services
    One of the most important studies is this 1992 Rochester Study which is a classic in medical librarianship. It found that:
    80% of physicians said they definitely or probably would have handled ... a clinical situation differently as a result of information provided by the library
    This study is being renewed by the original author Joanne Marshall who is a Canadian, and very well-known in our field
    Marshall JG. The impact of the hospital library on clinical decision making: the Rochester study. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1992; 80(2):270-309.
  • The reference interview in medicine is similar to other types of special library references services even though it has its own terminologies, reference tools and standards of practice
    What makes a good reference interview in medicine? Is a good question and one that requires a sensitivity to the patron and their specific health needs
    in providing health information, library professionals should, like a good doctor, ensure that the information is current, accurate and not overly technical
    Another important aspect of medical reference is confidentiality which must be respected at all times, and is regularly emphasized at the Vancover general hospital
    Another thing to point out is that health professionals are very busy & need information assistance as well as training on how to access and search for information on their own….
  • So what are some of the differences in medical reference?
    Medical terminology can be complex but terms can be look up in a good dictionary
    We provide different viewpoints & sometimes contradictory evidence is found which may prompt questions from patients about the information -- but remember we don’t interpret information, we merely present it to clients for their awareness
    Providing service to consumers & patients
    Library staff does not provide advice
    Sometimes patients are upset, and need consoling
    Patients and consumers can be demanding
  • Do a little review of
    Who? are your users eg. Physicians – medical students, residents, fellows, Nurses, Pharmacists, Therapists, Allied health personnel, Management, Members of the public Patients Health consumers!
    What? Certainly reference services; you need to know your sources of health information will you use
    Where? Is medical reference usually provided? do your users work eg. in hospitals?
    When? is the information needed today?
    Why? do users need the information:
    for a literature review?
    are they treating a specific critical patient?
    for a clinical study they are planning?
    because they are writing grant applications?
  • Since the rise of the web, medical reference has changed very rapidly
    Many sources now online …. but print still needed
    What formats are commonly used?
    How have handheld devices changed access?
    Print, electronic & other forms of information such as social media
    What are the key sources of information? See LIBR2195 Pathfinder
  • Top Five (5) Medical Reference Skills
    Empathy, respect for and sensitivity to patient & physician needs, confidentiality
    Knowledge of medical searching, information sources & databases (print & online)
    Reference skills, interpersonal & “soft skills” (courtesy & respect)
    Lifelong learning, computer & teaching skills (keeping up with new technology)
    Knowledge of health care environment (research, education, patient care)
  • So many sources… so little time~
    What are the challenges of so much information?
    Information overload
    Change is constant
    Conflicting “evidence”
    Burnout
    Medical publishing has a lot of duplication
    Collection development can be a challenge
    The Internet poses many challenges
    Mobile devices & social media
  • Transcript of "The provision of reference services in medicine"

    1. 1. The provision of reference services in medicine: an introduction for library technicians Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | dean.giustini@ubc.ca | LIBR 2195 (Winter 2015)
    2. 2. AGENDA Introduction Handout & quiz review What is medical reference? Major user groups in medicine The “Reference interview” in medicine Sources of information Key sources of information in medicine? dictionaries, handbooks, drug books key tools used daily Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195
    3. 3. From the introductory quiz & pathfinder Medical libraries What is the name of the largest medical library? Where is it? What is the name of Canada’s largest science library?  Where is it? What subjects does it cover? Sources of information in medicine What is the name of the largest medical database in the world?  What is the name of the nursing index? In groups of 2 from the pathfinder take five (5) minutes:  With your partner, discuss one key source of information in medicine … dictionaries, handbooks, drug books (not website)  Dean to say what sources he uses every day
    4. 4. Sample reference questions I got today at my library: • What is Google scholar? Can I use it to find citations from 1955? • What year did doctors find out that smoking caused lung cancer? • Can you find an address for a physician in Calgary named Dr. Ernst? • What is the difference between CINAHL & MEDLINE searching? • What is the difference between a librarian and a library technician? (A student from the US over e-mail) Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195
    5. 5. What does Bill Katz say? “…reference work is viewed in terms of questions and answers. A patron has a question and expects the library to provide an answer, or at least where it can be found.” General reference service . William A. Katz. Introduction to reference work, Vol. 1: Basic information sources. 3e. New York N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Press, 1978.
    6. 6. Broadly defined as: “…any assistance given by the library staff to users seeking health or medical information…from a simple catalog search to extended searches...” Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 What is medical reference? . Nancy Calabretta. General reference services. In: Reference and information services in health sciences libraries. Metuchen, NJ: MLA; Scarecrow Press, 1994.
    7. 7. …“[medical reference] … may be defined as activities that provide information to accomplish the goals of the organization. These include literature and database searches, ready reference, Internet training, document delivery and outreach services.” . Ruth Holst. MLA Guide to Managing Health Libraries. New York: Neal Schuman, 2010 Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 What is medical reference?
    8. 8. Who do library staff serve in medical libraries?  Physicians – medical students, residents, fellows  Nurses  Pharmacists  Therapists  Allied health personnel  Management  Members of the public  Patients  Health consumers! Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 Major users of medical libraries
    9. 9. Where is health reference provided?  Medical libraries in universities and colleges  Community and large hospitals like VGH  Health organizations  Pharmaceutical companies Don’t forget: Public libraries also get questions in patient and consumer health! Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 Types of health organizations
    10. 10. Classic 1992 Rochester Hospital Study found: • 80% of physicians said they definitely or probably would have handled ... a clinical situation differently as a result of information provided by the library . Marshall JG. The impact of the hospital library on clinical decision making: the Rochester study. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1992; 80(2):270-309. Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 Value of health information services Joanne Gard Marshall, famous health librarian
    11. 11. Reference interview similar in medicine  What makes a good reference interview? What’s important in health?  Like a good doctor, health information is vital – currency, accuracy a must!  Confidentiality must be respected  Health professionals are very busy & need information assistance Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 The reference interview
    12. 12. What’s different in medical reference?  Medical terminology is complex but terms can be learned using a dictionary  We provide different viewpoints & sometimes contradictory evidence but we don’t interpret!  Providing service to consumers & patients  Library staff does not provide advice  Sometimes patients are upset, and need consoling  Patients and consumers can be demanding Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 The reference interview
    13. 13.  Who? are your users eg. doctors, nurses, etc.  What? sources of health information will you use  Where? do your users work eg. in hospitals?  When? is the information needed today?  Why? do users need the information:  for a literature review?  are they treating a specific critical patient?  for a clinical study they are planning?  because they are writing grant applications? Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 The five Ws of medical reference
    14. 14. Since the rise of the web, medical reference has changed rapidly Many sources now online …. but print still needed  What formats are commonly used?  How have handheld devices changed access?  Print, electronic & other forms of information such as social media What are the key sources of information? See Dean’s wiki for Health Pathfinder for LIBR2195 Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 Sources of medical information
    15. 15. 1. Empathy, respect for and sensitivity to patient & physician needs, confidentiality 2. Knowledge of medical searching, information sources & databases (print & online) 3. Reference skills, interpersonal & “soft skills” (courtesy & respect) 4. Lifelong learning, computer & teaching skills (keeping up with new technology) 5. Knowledge of health care environment (research, education, patient care) Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 Top Five (5) Medical Reference Skills
    16. 16. What are the challenges of so much information?  Information overload  Change is constant  Conflicting “evidence”  Burnout • Medical publishing has a lot of duplication • Collection development can be a challenge • The Internet poses many challenges • Mobile devices & social media Dean Giustini, UBC health librarian & instructor | LIBR2195 So many sources… so little time~
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