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Washington State Senate Bill 5930

OFFICE OF THE DEAN

Date: May 9, 2007

To: Washington State Health Sciences Librarians

From: Sherrilynne Fuller, Director, Health Sciences Libraries and Associate
Dean, University Libraries

Re: Evidence-Based E-Resources for Licensed Health Professionals in
Washington State


Many of you may have heard that a Washington State bill was recently passed directing the University of Washington to provide selected evidence-based electronic resources to specified licensed healthcare professionals in Washington. This supports what we librarians have been saying for years — that evidence-based practice is critical to quality healthcare! The law will not only encourage providers to rely on solid information, it will promote evidence-based care by thousands who currently practice in rural or non-hospital settings including public health departments without access to a health sciences library.

What does this mean for our role as librarians, whether in hospitals or other kinds of settings? I think that librarians can use this as a great opportunity to promote their services as “go to” experts about evidence-based care, and about how to access the new resources. UW Health Sciences Library will provide the selected resources through a portal, which will also be accessible by librarians who serve eligible Washington state health professionals. Those providers who have never had access to full text information will now get a taste of the resources “out there” and we hope will be clamoring for expert consultation.

Soon (if not already) you may get questions about this upcoming service from staff in your hospitals, or others you serve in your communities. The expected start date for the portal is in 2009, so we are just in the beginning stages of planning. One of the many unanswered questions we face is which resources can be provided within the allotted budget that will address the purpose and audience covered by the bill? We plan to offer a variety of online evidence-based health information that will include selected full-text journals, databases and ebooks — but by no means can we offer everything. We will welcome your input as decisions are made. Updates will be posted via the NN/LM PNR blog (in the WA Senate Bill 5930 category), (http://nnlm.gov/pnr/dragonfly/2007/05/09/washington-state-senate-bill-5930/). Feel free to post questions or comments on the blog as we move forward during the planning process, and we will do our best to answer them.

As background about the bill, the concept of improving state-wide medical information access was one of 16 recommendations by Governor Gregoire’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Costs and Access. The recommendations were eventually signed into law by the Governor on May 2. The UW Health Sciences Libraries were directed to provide a portal for selected electronic resources that will be paid for by special license fees from specified professionals, including registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, physicians, physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians’ assistants, naturopaths, podiatrists, chiropractors, psychologists, optometrists, mental health counselors, massage therapists, clinical social workers, and acupuncturists.

Please note that this access will not be provided through the HealthLinks portal (http://healthlinks.washington.edu). In other words, the portal for this state-funded service will be completely separate from resources provided to UW faculty, staff and students and negotiation of these licenses will be done completely separately from the licenses for materials for UW faculty, staff and students.

Again, we will stay in touch as we move forward with our planning via the NN/LM PNR blog
(http://nnlm.gov/pnr/dragonfly/2007/05/09/washington-state-senate-bill-5930/).

We look forward to working with you in this new and exciting opportunity for
evidence-based care.

482 Allen Library Box 352900 Seattle, Washington 98195-2900
PHONE 206.543.1760 FAX 206.685.8727 www.lib.washington.edu /

3 Responses to “Washington State Senate Bill 5930”

  1. susanlong Says:

    The EBM portal sounds like a good thing. The portal could be a new great new resource for hospitals with libraries — if we can somehow use it to extend and/or leverage our currently held resources & budget.

    My concern for the short-term is that physicians and administrators may get the idea that this project provides access to all of UW’s licensed e-journals. Will they see the portal is an opportunity to drop resources currently held by their libraries and to decrease the library budgets by the cost of those resources. How do we counter this? Am I jumping to a wrong conclusion here?

    I’m also wonder about the process of selecting products to be licensed for the portal — who & how is this core set of EBM resources going to be determined? Is there a role or place for existing health/hospital libraries in the project – how do we use it to raise our visibility within our organizations? Any ideas about how we do this?

  2. Jodi Palmer Says:

    This will be a great opportunity for rural health professionals. Many of these professionals do not have medical libraries in their hospitals. How will you insure their needs are met during the planning process?

  3. huffmani Says:

    One thing that NC AHEC digital library did when it came time to build a rural health port was vend beyond the Evidence-Based practioners they had to cover. Adding pay for service contracts with local hospitals to support a wider collection list for all. In Fact as a supporter of the library anyone can pay for access to the collection.

    Although for-profit librarianship is always a tricky issue, those of us who struggle to cope with large online collections look to portals like this as possible sources of access for the people we serve. We think about the power a big portal like this might have over contracts that our little libraries will never have.

    Plus think about the infostructure and staff this project will need five and ten years out, without alternative sources of funding sustainabilty might be an issue when support dies down.

    Just an idea:

    Isaac Huffman