Hospital clinicians information behaviour and attitudes towards the 'Clinical Informationist': an Irish survey

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Flynn, Maura G.
McGuinness, Claire
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Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Background: Hospital clinicians are increasingly expected to practice evidence-based medicine (EBM) in order to minimize medical errors and ensure quality patient care, but experience obstacles to information-seeking. The introduction of a Clinical Informationist (CI) is explored as a possible solution. Aims:  This paper investigates the self-perceived information needs, behaviour and skill levels of clinicians in two Irish public hospitals. It also explores clinicians perceptions and attitudes to the introduction of a CI into their clinical teams. Methods: A questionnaire survey approach was utilised for this study, with 22 clinicians in two hospitals. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics. Results: Analysis showed that clinicians experience diverse information needs for patient care, and that barriers such as time constraints and insufficient access to resources hinder their information-seeking. Findings also showed that clinicians struggle to fit information-seeking into their working day, regularly seeking to answer patient-related queries outside of working hours. Attitudes towards the concept of a CI were predominantly positive. Conclusion: This paper highlights the factors that characterise and limit hospital clinicians information-seeking, and suggests the CI as a potentially useful addition to the clinical team, to help them to resolve their information needs for patient care.
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Flynn, Maura G.; McGuinness, Claire (2011) 'Hospital clinicians information behaviour and attitudes towards the 'Clinical Informationist': an Irish survey'. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 28 (1):23-32.
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