Mangala Krishnamurthy, MLIS, AHIP
Associate Professor/Reference Librarian
University of Alabama Libraries
Use of evidence-based information by healthcare professionals offers opportunities to improve patient care and patient outcomes. Introducing university students in nursing schools to the available evidence-based databases is vital. In order to effectively introduce and promote databases such as JBI, Cochrane, CINAHL (all paid subscriptions), and PubMed (freely available from NLM), nursing school faculty and librarians work together to promote these resources and provide assistance so students can use them efficiently.
Identifying courses and writing classes in advance, and planning and promoting resources early on in the semester with frequent follow-up by highlighting tips and important findings or studies maximize the use of these evidence-based resources.
- JBI, Joanna Briggs Institute EBP database, from the University of Adelaide, provides evidence-based practice resources to support patient care. Its monthly JBI reports, Better Evidence Better Outcomes, are very useful evidence-based practice resources.
- Cochrane Collection Plus, a comprehensive collection of databases covering areas such as systematic reviews and controlled trials.
- CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCO) provides authoritative coverage of the fields of nursing and allied health, including standards of practice and evidence-based care sheets.
- PubMed is a free resource from National Library of Medicine of mainly citations and abstracts in the fields of biomedicine and health.
Time Frame to Launch Marketing
Marketing library databases and getting the attention of users is a challenge and every effort is required to target the audience. A few marketing ideas used in this care are:
- Creating digital signs to display on monitors in campus buildings.
- Providing hands-on demonstrations in class/online synchronous sessions.
- Offering individual assistance.
- Creating a LibGuide.
- Organizing a library fair.
- Placing posters at library events such as new student welcome or faculty presentations at Journey in Science, a lightning talk series.
Reaching patrons in the classroom and/or at workshops and showing them to search for one topic in all four databases, using PICO(T) (Problem/Patient/Population, Intervention/Indicator, Comparison, Outcome, Time) as a guide, boosts the use of these databases. Students and faculty can contact their librarian before launching their paper/project. Undergraduate research students presenting at conferences can consult librarians before starting the project to conduct evidence-based systematic reviews on their chosen topic.
Even though no formal assessment has been done, it is evident from the usage statistics and new requests that patrons are using the resources.