Emergency Preparedness and Librarians: A Match Made in Hospitals                                                          ...
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Emergency Preparedness & Librarians: A Match Made In Hospitals


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The objective of this poster is to look at whether hospital librarians are actively involved in their organizations' emergency and disaster preparedness activities and to explore what those roles can and might look like to encourage further involvement. Involvement may range from sitting on committees to finding and providing related information to community outreach and everything in between.

This will be a mixed-method project, consisting of a case report, a narrative review of the literature (including gray literature), and a descriptive survey. The case study will be the author's experiences with her hospital emergency preparedness committee and the roles she has played since getting involved, including literature searches for emergency preparedness activities and working on outreach to both hospital employees and community members. The literature review will build off of Featherstone et al.'s Journey of the Medical Library Association paper, "Library Roles in Disaster Response: An Oral History Project by the National Library of Medicine" (PMID: 18974811) and will look specifically at the roles hospital librarians are playing in their organizations. The survey will be sent out over MEDLIB-L, DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB, and the MLA Hospital Librarians email discussion list to collect responses from hospital librarians on whether they are currently involved with emergency preparedness activities within their organizations, and, if so, how.

The author's own experience with her emergency preparedness committee over the course of her first year of employment has served as a case report. The literature review led to more than ten articles in MEDLINE, seven articles in CINAHL, and a number of reports and anecdotes in the gray literature describing ways hospital librarians are currently involved in disaster and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities as well as potential roles. The final survey results will be made available in full on the poster itself, but the preliminary results indicate that around a third of respondents are currently involved in emergency or disaster roles at their hospital, that a number play multiple roles, and that often even those librarians who are not actively involved have still identified or been assigned a role should a disaster affecting their organizations occur.

Hospital librarians can be and are involved with emergency/disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Moreover, opportunities exist for continued and increased involvement, and while many would gladly volunteer, some librarians may be asked to take on these challenging and rewarding roles even if they have not expressed interest. By documenting and connecting the collective hospital librarian experience, perhaps we can all be better prepared to respond to our hospitals' and our communities' needs in this vital area.

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Emergency Preparedness & Librarians: A Match Made In Hospitals

  1. 1. Emergency Preparedness and Librarians: A Match Made in Hospitals Amy Donahue, MLIS, AHIP Aurora Health Care 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado – these are well known examples of disasters that had huge impacts on local hospitals. In The Survey response to the awareness these events raised, hospitals around the 149 hospital librarians responded to the Google Documents survey between February 15th and March 1st, 2012*. They represent areas from all around the US (with 3 responders country have acknowledged the responsibilities they have in their outside of the country). They work in different types of hospitals in different sectors, but the majority were either involved in emergency activities or would like be. communities if a disaster should strike. Organizations from the Joint Commission to the Department of Health & Human Services have played their part, developing standards, initiatives and resources to help hospitals develop their roles in preparedness, response, and recovery (1). NN/LM Region Are you (or have you been) personally involved with emergency management Imagine a ballpark filled with fans who have (preparedness, response, and/or recovery) in any acknowledged hospitals’ responsibility in disasters. way at your current hospital? Up to bat: how did you get involved? This is a serious game, and hospital librarians can 3 common scenarios: (and have) stepped up to the plate. No, but would No, but What follows on this poster are the results of a mixed-method study 13 7 have some interested in 1. Librarians asking to be involved by directly contacting key hospital looking at the ways hospital librarians are involved in their hospitals’ South Central 8 assigned role being involved emergency or safety personnel. disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. By documenting and Outside the US 44 in the event of (n=47), 31% connecting the collective hospital librarian experience, perhaps we can all 14 a disaster 2. Librarians being invited to participate in activities, drills, committee Pacific Northwest (n=28), 19% be better prepared to respond to our hospitals and our communities work, etc. by hospital emergency or safety personnel. needs in this vital area – a home run in a game that can save lives. Midcontinental New England 3. Librarians required to be involved as managers or single person 14 Southeastern/Atlantic departments in greater, hospital-wide emergency activities. Pacific Southwest  Librarians provided numerous situations and stories as to how they got Mid Atlantic No & not interested involved, ranging from personal initiative to specific events. These are just a few: 22The Lit Review: Greater Midwest 36 (n=15), 10% 1. 9/11 footage prompted me to become a member of CERT. Our hospitals Disaster Planner has a role in CERT. My involvement and training inSearched MEDLINE & CINAHL (one additional Yes CERT sensitized me to the needs of the hospital, and I have beenarticle was found in an article’s references). (n=59), 40% involved in salvaging medical records due to water damage.Selected only articles that dealt specifically withhospital libraries or in hospital settings; additional 2. Previous experience as an EMT with a volunteer ambulanceliterature exists in academic health sciences and corps, experience as a firefighter on a volunteer fire In what ways are you or have you been involved in emergency/disaster activities at your hospital? department, instructor with American Red Cross for CPR and first aid.other library settings. Other 1521 articles were sorted into 4 categories. 3. I am a solo and am also the manager of our CME program. Our As a creator of an emergency plan for your library or department 34 Emergency Response Coordinator approached me to inquire aboutSix articles fell into the category of case As a researcher, providing lit searches on emergency and disaster topics 33 providing education for our physicians on emergency/disaster response.studies/real life examples of roles hospital librarians As a collector/provider of emergency/disaster resources for your users 28 We have provided several CME programs over the past three years.can play (2-7). As a member of a hospital Incident Command team 17 As a member of hospital emergency planning committees, councils, etc. 16 Example: Featherstone, Lyon, and Ruffin As a trainer, providing healthcare providers with demos or training 6 capture an oral history of the roles librarians As a community educator, involved with classes or outreach 5 * This poster was not the platform to present the entirety (including 4 hospital librarians) played in 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 of the survey results. It is hoped that full dataset will be actual disasters (4). published in a paper at some point in the near future.Three articles serve as general calls for hospitallibrarians to be involved in emergency management(8-10). Example: Volesko calls on hospital librarians to have plans in place so that they Acknowledgements can offer resources and services right away in The Case Study Many thanks to Cindy Love and Robin Featherstone for their advice, feedback, and support. And the event of a disaster (10).  Where: A brand new, 107 bed community hospital in many, many heartfelt thank-yous to all the hospital librarians who took the time to take this  Who: A newly minted hospital librarian (aka the author)Disasters in hospital libraries were another eastern WI survey, and to those who passed it along to their colleagues. This poster is the result of their work!frequent topic: five articles explored either hospital  What: Joined her hospital’s emergency preparednesslibrary-specific planning or described hospital library committee, helped with its information needs, became  Why: Recognition of the roles she could play, and an LIBR. 2003 Dec;3(4):11–24. Referencesdisasters (11-145. active with the local emergency preparedness interest in contributing. 12. Green D. After the flood: disaster response and recovery planning. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990 Jul;78(3):303– 6. 1. Sauer LM, McCarthy ML, Knebel A, Brewster P. Major Influences on Hospital Emergency Management and 13. Hayes S. Disasters and libraries: a short story. J HOSP LIBR. 2009 Jul;9(3):335–7. Disaster Preparedness. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. 2009 Jun 1;3(Supplement 1):S68.One common way hospital librarians get involved partnership, and received a Community Preparedness  How: By identifying the emergency preparedness 2. 3. Auflick PA. Bioterrorism and JCAHO. Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 2003 Jun;3(3):105–10. Estabrook AD, Byrnes GA, Gilbert CM. Terrorism. Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 2002 Mar;2(2):35–54. 14. 15. 16. Stoneham L. Immeasurable losses. Tex Med. 2001 Sep;97(9):58–62. Wells MJ. Disaster planning. J Am Med Rec Assoc. 1990 Nov;61(11):54–5. Editorial: The country hospital library. Med. J. Aust. 1974 Aug 10;2(6):190–1.in emergency management is by connecting with award from the NN/LM GMR. manager, and asking to come to a committee meting. 4. 5. Featherstone RM, Lyon BJ, Ruffin AB. Library roles in disaster response: an oral history project by the National Library of Medicine. J Med Libr Assoc. 2008 Oct;96(4):343–50. Gilbert C. Code yellow: library 9-1-1. J HOSP LIBR. 2008 Mar;8(1):25–37. 17. Coats TJ, Sutton S, Vorwerk C, Cooke MW. In an emergency--call the clinical librarian! Emerg Med J. 2009 May;26(5):321–3. 18. Gonnerman K. The health sciences library and professional librarians: important resources for busy ED nursestheir emergency departments. Seven articles looked 6. McKnight M. Health sciences librarians’ reference services during a disaster: more than collection protection. and nurse managers. J Emerg Nurs. 2003 Apr;29(2):183–6.at providing services to the ED (16-22).  When: March 2011-March 2012, and still going! 7. Med Ref Serv Q. 2006;25(3):1–12. Reynolds P, Tamanaha I. Disaster Information Specialist Pilot Project: NLM/DIMRC. Med Ref Serv Q. 2010 Oct;29(4):394–404. 19. Hamilton GC, Epstein FB, Jagger J, McCabe JB, Singer JI. A new library for emergency medicine. Ann Emerg Med. 1983 Nov;12(11):687–96. 20. Kirz HL, Turner KA. A sample reference library for the emergency department. JACEP. 1976 Mar;5(3):200– 8. Frey A. From the editor’s desk. NATL NETW. 2010 Feb;34(3):3. 4. 9. Glazer M. Hospital library emergency and disaster preparedness and response plans. MLA NEWS. 2010 21. Meyer TC, Hansen RH, Ragatz RT, Mulvihill B. Providing medical information to physicians by telephone Jun;50(6):11. tapes. J Med Educ. 1970 Dec;45(12):1060–5. 10. Volesko MM. It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built the Ark. Internet Reference Services Quarterly. 2001 22. Pearson KM Jr, Bloch AD. Dial access libraries: Their use and utility. J Med Educ. 1974 Sep;49(9):882–96. Sep;6(3-4):99–131. 11. Beales D. Before disaster strikes: essentials of formulating a library emergency management plan. J HOSP