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
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
We look forward to working with you in this new and exciting opportunity for
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