The impact of clinical librarian services on patients and health care organisations

Brettle, AJ ORCID:, Maden, M and Payne, C 2016, 'The impact of clinical librarian services on patients and health care organisations' , Health Information & Libraries Journal, 33 (2) , pp. 100-120.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (303kB) | Request a copy


Background - Systematic reviews have found limited evidence of effectiveness and impact of clinical librarians (CLs) due to the poor quality of reporting, scale and design of previous studies. Objectives - To measure specific CL impact on organisational and patient outcomes using a robust approach that helps CLs develop research skills. Methods: Questionnaire and interviews, based on the Critical Incident Technique. Results – CLs contribute to a wide range of outcomes in the short and longer term reflecting organisational priorities and objectives. Based on 340 critical incidents, these include direct contributions to choice of intervention (36%) diagnosis (26%) quality of life (25%), increased patient involvement in decision making (26%) and cost savings and risk management including avoiding tests, referrals, readmissions and reducing length of stay (28%). Discussion – Interventions provided by CL’s are complex and each contributes to multiple outcomes of importance to health care organisations. Conclusion - This study is unique in taking a wide view of potential and specific impacts to which CLs contribute across health care organisations. It is the largest UK evaluation of CL services to date and demonstrates CLs affect direct patient care, improve quality and save money. Future researchers are urged to use the tools presented to collect data on the same outcomes to build a significant and comprehensive international evidence base about the effectiveness and impact of clinical librarian services.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Health Information & Libraries Journal
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
ISSN: 1471-1834
Related URLs:
Funders: North West Health Care Libraries Unit
Depositing User: AJ Brettle
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 12:50
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:49

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year