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1.  Reference librarians' perceptions of the issues they face as academic health information professionals 
Background: Leaders in the profession encourage academic health sciences librarians to assume new roles as part of the growth process for remaining vital professionals. Have librarians embraced these new roles?
Objectives: This research sought to examine from the reference librarians' viewpoints how their roles have changed over the past ten years and what the challenges these changes present as viewed by both the librarians and library directors.
Method: A series of eight focus groups was conducted with reference librarians from private and public academic health sciences libraries. Directors of these libraries were interviewed separately.
Results: Reference librarians' activities have largely confirmed the role changes anticipated by their leaders. They are teaching more, engaging in outreach through liaison initiatives, and designing Web pages, in addition to providing traditional reference duties. Librarians offer insights into unanticipated issues encountered in each of these areas and offer some creative solutions. Directors discuss the issues from their unique perspective.
Conclusion: Librarians have identified areas for focusing efforts in lifelong learning. Adult learning theory, specialized databases and resources needed by researchers, ever-evolving technology, and promotion and evaluation of the library are areas needing attention. Implications for library education and continuing professional development are presented.
PMCID: PMC385304  PMID: 15098052
2.  Vital pathways for hospital librarians: present and future roles 
The research objectives were to (1) describe the current and future roles of hospital librarians and the challenges they face and (2) find evidence supporting the hypothesis that librarians are essential to hospitals in achieving the organizations' mission-critical goals.
The authors used results from a previous research study that identified the five organizational mission-critical goals important to hospital administrators and then searched the literature and solicited examples from hospital librarians to describe the librarian's role in helping hospitals achieve these goals.
The literature supports the hypothesis that hospital librarians play important roles in the success of the hospital. Librarians support quality clinical care, efficient and effective hospital operations, continuing education for staff, research and innovation, and patient, family, and community health information needs.
Hospital librarians fulfill many mission-critical roles in today's hospital, providing the right information at the right time in a variety of ways to enhance hospital and medical staff effectiveness, optimize patient care, improve patient outcomes, and increase patient and family satisfaction with the hospital and its services. Because hospital librarians and their services provide an excellent return on investment for the hospital and help the hospital keep its competitive edge, hospital staff should have access to the services of a professional librarian.
PMCID: PMC2759170  PMID: 19851493
3.  The evolving role of the librarian in evidence-based medicine. 
Librarians' participation in evidence-based medicine (EBM) is rooted in past practices, most notably in clinical medical librarianship. EBM extends the librarians' role beyond identification of the literature to involvement in practicing and teaching quality filtering and critical appraisal of the literature. These activities require librarians to acquire new knowledge and develop new skills. A professional development program for librarians at the Library of the Health Sciences (LHS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is described. The program's goals are to increase librarians' skills and support the EBM curricular initiative at the UIC College of Medicine (COM). The unique program has been a collaborative effort of the LHS and the COM. The locally developed classes provide librarians with instruction in clinical study designs, statistical concepts, and critical appraisal of the literature. Other interventions such as an EBM round table are also described. The programs' success is measured by librarians' growing involvement in EBM medical curricula, journal clubs, and morning reports. Additionally, librarians gained competence in new skills and professional satisfaction from working collegially with COM students, residents, and faculty.
PMCID: PMC226592  PMID: 10427434
4.  The health sciences librarian in medical education: a vital pathways project task force 
The Medical Education Task Force of the Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians reviewed current and future roles of health sciences librarians in medical education at the graduate and undergraduate levels and worked with national organizations to integrate library services, education, and staff into the requirements for training medical students and residents.
Standards for medical education accreditation programs were studied, and a literature search was conducted on the topic of the role of the health sciences librarian in medical education.
Expectations for library and information services in current standards were documented, and a draft standard prepared. A comprehensive bibliography on the role of the health sciences librarian in medical education was completed, and an analysis of the services provided by health sciences librarians was created.
An essential role and responsibility of the health sciences librarian will be to provide the health care professional with the skills needed to access, manage, and use library and information resources effectively. Validation and recognition of the health sciences librarian's contributions to medical education by accrediting agencies will be critical. The opportunity lies in health sciences librarians embracing the diverse roles that can be served in this vital activity, regardless of accrediting agency mandates.
PMCID: PMC2759163  PMID: 19851492
5.  Breaking the barriers of time and space: the dawning of the great age of librarians* 
This lecture, reflecting on future roles, posits the potential dawning of a “great age of librarians,” if librarians make the conceptual shift of focusing on their own skills and activities rather than on their libraries.
In the digital age, physical libraries are becoming less relevant to the communities that they serve. Librarians, however, are more necessary than ever in helping members of their communities navigate the increasingly complex information space. To meet their social responsibilities requires that librarians seek new roles and recognize that their most important activities will take place outside of the physical library.
A great age of librarians is possible, but not guaranteed. We are at the very beginning of the development of a digital culture that parallels the print culture that has been dominant for five hundred years. Innovative and creative librarians have the potential to shape the development of that culture in ways that will truly serve the needs of their communities.
PMCID: PMC3257492  PMID: 22272154
6.  Emerging roles for biomedical librarians: a survey of current practice, challenges, and changes 
This study is intended to (1) identify emerging roles for biomedical librarians and determine how common these roles are in a variety of library settings, (2) identify barriers to taking on new roles, and (3) determine how librarians are developing the capacity to take on new roles.
A survey was conducted of librarians in biomedical settings.
Most biomedical librarians are taking on new roles. The most common roles selected by survey respondents include analysis and enhancement of user experiences, support for social media, support for systematic reviews, clinical informationist, help for faculty or staff with authorship issues, and implementation of researcher profiling and collaboration tools. Respondents in academic settings are more likely to report new roles than hospital librarians are, but some new roles are common in both settings. Respondents use a variety of methods to free up time for new roles, but predominant methods vary between directors and librarians and between academic and hospital respondents. Lack of time is the biggest barrier that librarians face when trying to adopt new roles. New roles are associated with increased collaboration with individuals and/or groups outside the library.
Conclusion and Implications:
This survey documents the widespread incorporation of new roles in biomedical libraries in the United States, as well as the barriers to adopting these roles and the means by which librarians are making time for them. The results of the survey can be used to inform strategic planning, succession planning, library education, and career development for biomedical librarians.
PMCID: PMC3794683  PMID: 24163599
7.  Metropolis redux: the unique importance of library skills in informatics 
Objectives: The objective is to highlight the important role that librarians have in teaching within a successful medical informatics program. Librarians regularly utilize skills that, although not technology dependent, are essential to conducting computer-based research. The Metropolis analogy is used to introduce the part librarians play as informatics partners. Science fiction is a modern mythology that, beyond a technical exterior, has lasting value in its ability to reflect the human condition. The teaching of medical informatics, an intersection of technology and knowledge, is also most relevant when it transcends the operation of databases and systems. Librarians can teach students to understand, research, and utilize information beyond specific technologies.
Methods: A survey of twenty-six informatics programs was conducted during 2002, with specific emphasis on the role of the library service.
Results: The survey demonstrated that librarians currently do have a central role in informatics instruction, and that library-focused skills form a significant part of the curriculum in many of those programs. In addition, librarians have creative opportunities to enhance their involvement in informatics training. As a sample program in the study, the development of the informatics course at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is included.
Conclusions: Medical informatics training is a wonderful opportunity for librarians to collaborate with professionals from the sciences and other information disciplines. Librarians' unique combination of human research and technology skills provides a valuable contribution to any program.
PMCID: PMC385302  PMID: 15098050
8.  The librarian's roles in the systematic review process: a case study* 
Question/Setting: Although the systematic review has become a research standard, little information addresses the actions of the librarian on a systematic review team.
Method: This article is an observational case study that chronicles a librarian's required involvement, skills, and responsibilities in each stage of a real-life systematic review.
Main Results: Examining the review process reveals that the librarian's multiple roles as an expert searcher, organizer, and analyzer form an integral part of the Cochrane Collaboration's criteria for conducting systematic reviews. Moreover, the responsibilities of the expert searcher directly reflect the key skills and knowledge depicted in the “Definition of Expert Searching” section of the Medical Library Association's policy statement, “Role of Expert Searching in Health Sciences Libraries.”
Conclusion: Although the librarian's multiple roles are important in all forms of medical research, they are crucial in a systematic review. As an expert searcher, the librarian must interact with the investigators to develop the terms required for a comprehensive search strategy in multiple appropriate sources. As an organizer and analyzer, the librarian must effectively manage the articles and document the search, retrieval, and archival processes.
PMCID: PMC545126  PMID: 15685279
9.  Utilization of the medical librarian in a state Medicaid program to provide information services geared to health policy and health disparities 
Objective: The role of two solo medical librarians in supporting Medicaid programs by functioning as information specialists at regional and state levels is examined.
Setting: A solo librarian for the Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) program and a solo librarian for the New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO) functioned as information specialists in context to support Medicaid policy development and clinical, administrative, and program staff for state Medicaid programs.
Brief Description: The librarian for MassHealth initially focused on acquiring library materials and providing research support on culturally competent health care and outreach, as part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care Standards. The NESCSO librarian focused on state Medicaid system issues surrounding the implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The research focus expanded for both the librarians, shaping their roles to more directly support clinical and administrative policy development. Of note, the availability and dissemination of information to policy leaders facilitated efforts to reduce health disparities. In Massachusetts, this led to a state legislative special commission to eliminate health disparities, which released a report in November 2005. On a regional level, the NESCSO librarian provided opportunities for states in New England to share ideas and Medicaid program information. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare are working with NESCSO to explore the potential for using the NESCSO model for collaboration for other regions of the United States.
Results/Outcomes: With the increased attention on evidence-based health care and reduction of health disparities, medical librarians are called on to support a variety of health care information needs. Nationally, state Medicaid programs are being called on to provide coverage and make complex medical decisions regarding the delivery of benefits. Increasing numbers of beneficiaries and shrinking Medicaid budgets demand effective and proactive decision making to provide quality care and to accomplish the missions of state Medicaid programs. In this environment, the opportunities for information professionals to provide value and knowledge management are increasing.
PMCID: PMC1435841  PMID: 16636710
10.  A pathway for hospital librarians: why is it vital? 
By the mid 2000s, reports of hospital librarians losing jobs and hospital libraries closing were rife. In 2005, Vital Pathways: The Hospital Libraries Project was established by 2005/06 MLA President M.J. Tooey, AHIP, FMLA, to assess the truth of these reports and to study and develop strategies to support hospital librarians. Throughout this long-term project, opportunities were sought to understand the issues more clearly.
A steering committee, along with three task forces, was established to carry out the work of the project. The steering committee provided oversight and had responsibility for promoting and marketing the project. The three task forces were responsible for conducting a survey on the status of hospital librarians, determining the involvement of librarians in medical education and accreditation, and researching and writing a document reviewing current and future roles for hospital librarians. Along the way, these responsibilities grew and evolved.
After a little more than three years, the Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians Steering Committee presented a final report regarding its accomplishments to the MLA Board of Directors. A sampling of these accomplishments includes the status of hospital librarians survey, a website, a position document with an accompanying executive summary, a short promotional brochure, and a final culminating activity, this symposium.
Although these are difficult times for all libraries, hospital librarians and libraries seem particularly affected. In a competitive health care environment that is driven by the bottom line, influenced by real estate hunger, and affected by the belief of hospital administrators that access to health information comes from the Internet and is free, the hospital librarian seems doomed. However, even in these difficult times, there are hospital librarians who are not only surviving, but thriving. Is it because they are entrepreneurial? Opportunistic? Innovative? Flexible? All of the above? None of the above? There are no clear predictors of success or of failure. However, the Vital Pathways Project has shed light on some of the issues and identified opportunities and strategies for the future.
PMCID: PMC2759155  PMID: 19851490
11.  Expert searcher, teacher, content manager, and patient advocate: an exploratory study of clinical librarian roles 
The research explored the roles of practicing clinical librarians embedded in a patient care team.
Six clinical librarians from Canada and one from the United States were interviewed to elicit detailed descriptions of their clinical roles and responsibilities and the context in which these were performed.
Participants were embedded in a wide range of clinical service areas, working with a diverse complement of health professionals. As clinical librarians, participants wore many hats, including expert searcher, teacher, content manager, and patient advocate. Unique aspects of how these roles played out included a sense of urgency surrounding searching activities, the broad dissemination of responses to clinical questions, and leverage of the roles of expert searcher, teacher, and content manager to advocate for patients.
Detailed role descriptions of clinical librarians embedded in patient care teams suggest possible new practices for existing clinical librarians, provide direction for training new librarians working in patient care environments, and raise awareness of the clinical librarian specialty among current and budding health information professionals.
PMCID: PMC3543140  PMID: 23405048
12.  New activities and changing roles of health sciences librarians: a systematic review, 1990–2012 
The paper identifies and documents new health sciences librarian activities and roles during the period from 1990–2012.
A systematic review of the literature was conducted using MEDLINE, Library and Information Abstracts, Library Literature, Scopus, and Web of Science. To find new roles that might not yet have been described in the literature, job announcements published in the Medical Library Association email discussion list archives from 2008–2012 were searched. For inclusion, an article needed to contain a substantive description of a new role and/or activity performed by librarians and be in the field of medical or health sciences librarianship. Papers that did not describe an actual (rather than proposed) librarian role were excluded.
New roles identified through the literature search were: embedded librarians (such as clinical informationist, bioinformationist, public health informationist, disaster information specialist); systematic review librarian; emerging technologies librarian; continuing medical education librarian; grants development librarian; and data management librarian. New roles identified through job announcements were digital librarian, metadata librarian, scholarly communication librarian, and translational research librarian. New twists to old roles were also identified: clinical medical librarian, instruction librarian, outreach librarian, and consumer health librarian.
While the main purposes of health sciences librarianship remain the same, the new roles represent major new activities so that, for many librarians, daily on-the-job work is completely different.
This list of new activities should inform students contemplating medical librarianship careers, guide formal and continuing education programs, and encourage other librarians to consider these new services.
PMCID: PMC3794682  PMID: 24163598
13.  Library roles in disaster response: an oral history project by the National Library of Medicine*† 
To develop a knowledgebase of stories illustrating the variety of roles that librarians can assume in emergency and disaster planning, preparedness, response, and recovery, the National Library of Medicine conducted an oral history project during the summer of 2007. The history aimed to describe clearly and compellingly the activities—both expected and unusual—that librarians performed during and in the aftermath of the disasters. While various types of libraries were included in interviews, the overall focus of the project was on elucidating roles for medical libraries.
Using four broad questions as the basis for telephone and email interviews, the investigators recorded the stories of twenty-three North American librarians who responded to bombings and other acts of terrorism, earthquakes, epidemics, fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornados.
Through the process of conducting the oral history, an understanding of multiple roles for libraries in disaster response emerged. The roles fit into eight categories: institutional supporters, collection managers, information disseminators, internal planners, community supporters, government partners, educators and trainers, and information community builders.
Librarians—particularly health sciences librarians—made significant contributions to preparedness and recovery activities surrounding recent disasters. Lessons learned from the oral history project increased understanding of and underscored the value of collaborative relationships between libraries and local, state, and federal disaster management agencies and organizations.
PMCID: PMC2568836  PMID: 18974811
14.  Innovation and education: unlimited potential for the teaching library. 
The information age demands that health sciences librarians take active roles in the educational process. Librarians have traditionally taught users how to access information. Now, with the proliferation of information, librarians must accept new roles and teach the user efficient techniques for evaluating and processing information as well. Innovative roles for librarians at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center include teaching users to use technology for information management, to appraise literature critically for quality, and to develop skills for lifelong learning. This paper reviews the history of educational activities in health sciences libraries and describes the teaching programs at Texas Tech.
PMCID: PMC227296  PMID: 2720206
15.  Exploring the roles of librarians and health care professionals involved with complementary and alternative medicine* 
Objectives: The researcher conducted qualitative research about the role of health care professionals and librarians involved with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The goals were to identify resources these professionals use to explore the librarians' role as well as their approaches to teaching and searching with respect to CAM, to acquire information about CAM education, and to connect with other librarians in the CAM field.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used.
Results: Sixteen health care and information professionals from ten different institutions in Boston, Baltimore, and Calgary were interviewed. Major themes from the interviews were: CAM funding, integration of CAM and conventional medicine, roles of librarians, “hot” CAM issues, and information access. Information about four aspects of CAM education—technology, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing—is presented. A wealth of information resources was identified.
Conclusions: A CAM librarian's role is unique; many specialize in specific areas of CAM, and opportunities exist for librarians to partner with CAM groups. CAM information professionals' major roles involve information access and retrieval and education. Further study is required concerning CAM consumer health, integrative CAM and conventional medicine models, and the librarian's role in a CAM environment. CAM funding is a major concern.
PMCID: PMC1324776  PMID: 16404474
16.  New measures for new roles: defining and measuring the current practices of health sciences librarians 
The roles of academic health sciences librarians are continually evolving as librarians initiate new programs and services in response to developments in computer technology and user demands. However, statistics currently collected by libraries do not accurately reflect or measure these new roles. It is essential for librarians to document, measure, and evaluate these new activities to continue to meet the needs of users and to ensure the viability of their professional role. To determine what new measures should be compiled, the authors examined current statistics, user demands, professional literature, and current activities of librarians as reported in abstracts of poster sessions at Medical Library Association annual meetings. Three new categories of services to be measured are proposed. The first, consultation, groups activities such as quality filtering and individual point-of-need instruction. The second, outreach, includes activities such as working as liaisons, participating in grand rounds or morning report, and providing continuing education. The third area, Web authoring, encompasses activities such as designing Web pages, creating online tutorials, and developing new products. Adding these three measures to those already being collected will provide a more accurate and complete depiction of the services offered by academic health sciences librarians.
PMCID: PMC100761  PMID: 11999174
17.  The Health Information Specialist: A New Resource for Hospital Library Services and Education Programs * 
Growing pressures for more effective education programs at community hospitals demand better and more responsive hospital library resources and services. It is suggested that, with a modest amount of additional training and support, a community hospital librarian can play a key role in (1) improving the effectiveness of the hospital's library services and resources, (2) assisting hospital educators with the task of developing, implementing, and evaluating education programs, and (3) facilitating coordination of health information resources and services with all aspects of hospital education programs. An expanded, more active role, that of the Health Information Specialist, is suggested for hospital librarians. A one-week training program for librarians and special orientation for hospital educators and administrators plus followup field consultation for all three is described and proposed as an implementation strategy to provide the background and impetus needed to help hospital librarians evolve and expand their functional role into that of a Health Information Specialist.
PMCID: PMC198793  PMID: 4466504
18.  Tools for improvement: a systematic analysis and guide to accreditation by the JCAHO. 
By viewing the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' (JCAHO) standards in the context of current accreditation practice, hospital librarians can understand and clarify their role in realizing their organization's mission, goals, and objectives. By broadening their view of the information function as described in the accreditation standards, health sciences librarians can enhance their position in the hospital's management team, improve health information practice, and contribute to the overall performance of the health care organization. The role of the librarian and the library throughout the entire set of standards and interrelationships with other professionals and units are described. Examples of ways to demonstrate conformity to the standards are provide. Special emphasis is placed on Standard 9, Management of Information, to provide guidance to the librarian undergoing JCAHO accreditation.
PMCID: PMC226320  PMID: 9549007
19.  Integrating health sciences librarians into biomedicine. 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) developed a model training program to prepare current and future health sciences librarians for roles that are integrated into the diverse fabric of the health care professions. As a complement to the traditional and theoretical aspects of a librarian's education, this mixture of supplemental coursework and intensive practical training emphasizes active management of information, problem-solving skills, learning in context, and direct participation in research, while providing the opportunity for advanced academic pursuits. The practical training will take place under the auspices of an established Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) library that is fully integrated with the Health Center Information Management Unit and Academic Biomedical Informatics Unit. During the planning phase, investigators are analyzing the model's aims and requirements, concentrating on (a) refining the current understanding of the roles health sciences librarians occupy; (b) developing educational strategies that prepare librarians to fulfill expanded roles; and (c) planning for an evaluation process that will support iterative revision and refinement of the model.
PMCID: PMC226193  PMID: 8913556
20.  Eyes on the prize: reflections on the impact of the evolving digital ecology on the librarian as expert intermediary and knowledge coach, 1969–2009* 
The 2009 Janet Doe Lecture reflects on the continuing value and increasing return on investment of librarian-mediated services in the constantly evolving digital ecology and complex knowledge environment of the health sciences.
The interrelationship of knowledge, decision making based on knowledge, technology used to access and retrieve knowledge, and the important linkage roles of expert librarian intermediaries is examined.
Professional experiences from 1969 to 2009, occurring during a time of unprecedented changes in the digital ecology of librarianship, are the base on which the evolving role and value of librarians as knowledge coaches and expert intermediaries are examined.
Librarian-mediated services linking knowledge and critical decision making in health care have become more valuable than ever as technology continues to reshape an increasingly complex knowledge environment.
PMCID: PMC2801971  PMID: 20098655
21.  The University of Washington electronic medical record experience* 
The Health Sciences Library at the University of Washington initiated and continues to develop a role in the electronic medical record, starting with the development of the first integrated web-based interface, called MINDscape. An Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) grant in 1992 began the process, which also led to the development of a clinical medical librarian position. Over the years, the librarian's role in the clinical environment became more established, and with the advent of clinical online resources, it offered further opportunities for librarians to provide the expertise needed to incorporate the appropriate resources. The collaborative journey continues as librarians, now able to directly access the EMRs, provide information about what resources to use and where best to place them and design how best to provide notes or feedback to clinicians.
PMCID: PMC2901013  PMID: 20648254
22.  Ethics and the role of the medical librarian: health care information and the new consumer. 
Because medical libraries increasingly serve nonprofessionals, medical librarians may need to reconsider their role. In addition, as clients alter their expectations about librarians and begin to think of them as participants in health care delivery, librarians face new ethical challenges. This paper compares the values and goals of the library and medical professions in the provision of health care information. In examining the factors that health care professionals consider when deciding what information to share with patients, the author challenges medical librarians to reconsider their duties toward their nonprofessional clients, whether patients, patients' families, or other laypersons, and to clarify the goals of the health science library profession regarding the provision of information.
PMCID: PMC225784  PMID: 8374578
23.  Trends in hospital librarianship and hospital library services: 1989 to 2006 
The research studied the status of hospital librarians and library services to better inform the Medical Library Association's advocacy activities.
The Vital Pathways Survey Subcommittee of the Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians distributed a web-based survey to hospital librarians and academic health sciences library directors. The survey results were compared to data collected in a 1989 survey of hospital libraries by the American Hospital Association in order to identify any trends in hospital libraries, roles of librarians, and library services. A web-based hospital library report form based on the survey questions was also developed to more quickly identify changes in the status of hospital libraries on an ongoing basis.
The greatest change in library services between 1989 and 2005/06 was in the area of access to information, with 40% more of the respondents providing access to commercial online services, 100% more providing access to Internet resources, and 28% more providing training in database searching and use of information resources. Twenty-nine percent (n = 587) of the 2005/06 respondents reported a decrease in staff over the last 5 years.
Survey data support reported trends of consolidation of hospitals and hospital libraries and additions of new services. These services have likely required librarians to acquire new skills. It is hoped that future surveys will be undertaken to continue to study these trends.
PMCID: PMC2759173  PMID: 19851491
24.  Role of the librarian. 
The librarian functions as one of the most important of medical educators. This role is frequently unrecognized, and for that reason, too little attention is given to this role. There has been too little attention paid to the research role that should be played by the librarian. With the development of new methods of information storage and dissemination, it is imperative that the persons primarily responsible for this function should be actively engaged in research. We have little information at the present time as to the relative effectiveness of these various media. We need research in this area. Librarians should assume an active role in incorporating into their area of responsibility the various types of storage media.
PMCID: PMC232677  PMID: 5212367
25.  Can the profession of pharmacy serve as a model for health informationist professionals? 
Pharmacy could serve as a model for the health informationist profession proposed by Davidoff and Florance in their 2000 editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The current training and practice roles for pharmacists suggest a way to prepare health sciences librarians for work with clinical health care teams. The influences that spurred the transformation of pharmacy parallel in many respects those suggesting the need for more information professionals prepared to practice in clinical health care settings. During the same decades that health sciences librarians have been debating and experimenting with new professional roles such as clinical medical librarians, pharmacy has undergone an intensive review of its core values, mission, practice roles, and educational preparation methods. Until recently, most pharmacists graduated from five-year baccalaureate programs preparing them to understand drug products, sources of supply, and effective ways to dispense them to patients as prescribed by physicians. Today, almost all pharmacy students graduate from six-year doctor of pharmacy programs that prepare them to be the primary providers of what their profession calls “pharmaceutical care.” The pharmaceutical care model suggests that health information professionals in clinical settings could be educated and trained to provide what we might call health information care.
PMCID: PMC64759  PMID: 11838462

Results 1-25 (165596)