Published today: Just in Time Library Service RCT

In Evidence-Based Medicine on November 21, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , ,

A bit more self (and colleague!) promotion–and it fits right in with all this talk of BlackBerries.  Jessie McGowan has newly published, and led on, a randomised controlled trial about a project to provide 88 clinicians with information in 20 minutes or less via their BlackBerries and a web portal.

“A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted between October 2005 and April 2006. A total of 1,889 questions were sent to the service by 88 participants. The object of the randomization was a clinical question. Each participant had clinical questions randomly allocated to both intervention (librarian information) and control (no librarian information) groups…The average time for JIT librarians to respond to all questions was 13.68 minutes/question (95% CI, 13.38 to 13.98). The average time for participants to respond their control questions was 20.29 minutes/question (95% CI, 18.72 to 21.86).”

The abstract also mentions that 63% of librarian provided information was highly positively rated as compared with only 15% of their own answers (to control questions) being highly positive.

This project was very enjoyable and challenging from a informationist’s point of view.   I enjoyed the diversity of the questions and getting out to meet the doctors in their offices in and around Ottawa.  It was interesting to see, firsthand, how behaviour change happens with trying to integrate a new, in many cases, bit of technology into clinical practice.  Especially when a colleague is right around the corner.  However, clinicians attempted to answer only 40% of their unanswered (or control) questions themselves so this suggests that an information service is quite useful.  In my opinion, it is important to take into account the proper marketing of such a service (which we did) and making sure it has a face (i.e. Tamara, Doug, me and Elise).

Pat yourselves on the back, everyone!

(by the way, the fulltext of the RCT is openly available on PLoS One).


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