CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Case study – Literature Search Service

Case study provided by Amanda Minns, Knowledge Services Manager, NHS Lanarkshire

Project outline: 

A core part of Knowledge Services in NHS Lanarkshire is to deliver high-quality evidence and knowledge to staff using its popular literature search service. Knowledge Services believe this service has a direct impact on its users’ decision-making process, as proven by the regular feedback received from them:-

  • “This was of great help and we are now treating a patient using some of the recommendations in the research you gave.”
  • “The information you provided (…) played a big part in aiding my decision making regarding the future design of patient pathways (…) and enabled me to use the most up to date evidence in informing my decision making.”
  • “From the evidence collated, I was able to order the much required units to use for my patients.” o “The search results provided a wider (…) perspective and I felt better informed (…) and it aided my contribution in the meeting.”
  • “You’ve been a vital asset to the set up and development of the systems and process” o “We are using the results to inform our practice. I am also using it to consider new ways of working in terms of service delivery.”

“We have recently completed a dementia garden and the theory provided underpinned the service and benefits of the same.”

Two key elements of this service are a) bespoke evidence search and summaries b) information skills training – which both are delivered regularly and consistently to staff. A dedicated team of information professionals is in charge of delivering this service and examples of the end products delivered include evidence summaries, reference lists and training sessions.

Meeting both user and patient needs is a key premise for the Knowledge Services team when preparing to deliver these products. User and patient needs usually go from specific evidence or guideline to better understand how to manage a particular condition or procedure, building robust search strategies to support a specific project or programme, skills / knowledge development or simply preparing for a career development opportunity.

Quote from service user: 

“We were able to use the journals selected to aid our decision making with the patient’s care. This saved us a great deal of time and effort which was diverted directly into patient treatment planning”

Quote from staff member: 

“This is a core service for us in Knowledge Services which we constantly review and develop in line with users changing needs.”