This research studied hospital administrators' and hospital-based health care providers' (collectively, the target group) perceived value of consumer health information resources and of librarians' roles in promoting health information literacy in their institutions.
A web-based needs survey was developed and administered to hospital administrators and health care providers. Multiple health information literacy curricula were developed. One was pilot-tested by nine hospital libraries in the United States and Canada. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to evaluate the curriculum and its impact on the target group.
A majority of survey respondents believed that providing consumer health information resources was critically important to fulfilling their institutions' missions and that their hospitals could improve health information literacy by increasing awareness of its impact on patient care and by training staff to become more knowledgeable about health literacy barriers. The study showed that a librarian-taught health information literacy curriculum did raise awareness about the issue among the target group and increased both the use of National Library of Medicine consumer health resources and referrals to librarians for health information literacy support.
It is hoped that many hospital administrators and health care providers will take the health information literacy curricula and recognize that librarians can educate about the topic and that providers will use related consumer health services and resources.