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Results from WSMA Clinical Information Needs Questionnaire

In March, the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) sent a survey out to its membership. This survey was developed in collaboration with the Regional Medical Library (RML) to better understand information use patterns of the WSMA membership and to assess needs for training about National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources. Below are a few points from the survey results:

•Most respondents indicated they have access to the services of a medical library or medical librarian.
•NLM products are heavily used by respondents, though many respondents also indicated they are interested in receiving training on those systems.
•The most common types of information sought online include drug information, diagnosis and treatment, and best evidence on a specific topic.
•Many of the reported limitations to using online information touched on skill levels rather than lack of access to computers or to the internet.

There’s more, of course; we have developed a summary report, which is available here: http://nnlm.gov/pnr/advocacy/WSMA_survey_results.pdf . The report is also linked under Other Resources on the PNR Advocacy for Librarians and Libraries page: http://nnlm.gov/pnr/advocacy/index.html.

Based on the responses to this survey, it seems clear that opportunities exist for librarians to continue to promote the breadth and depth of the resources and services they offer, as well as to offer further training or skill building about effective use of online resources for patient care. RML staff can work with you to be sure you have the tools to provide this training: http://nnlm.gov/pnr/training/training-materials.html.

The RML is continuing to collaborate with WSMA on plans to promote NLM resources such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, Clinical Trials, and Toxnet. For example, Linda Milgrom and Maryanne Blake hope to offer WSMA hosted training about these NLM resources via web conference or at WSMA seminars. We will keep you informed about the details, with enough advance notice for you to promote the sessions and insert a plug for your library’s services.

Please let us know if you have questions about the survey results. In a few years, WSMA may conduct a similar survey again. So, we would also appreciate any suggestions you may have to improve the questionnaire.

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