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NHS Evidence: 3 months on

In Evidence-Based Librarianship on July 22, 2009 by Hanna Tagged: , , ,

Went to update workshop held by London Links (no not the bespoke jewellers ahem) and had update on NHS Evidence:

  • See librarians as advocates of the service
  • NHS Evidence is still at an early stage so it is about managing expectations and it will take time for people to use and trust it
  • Aim is to be akin to NHS Search, a single source of information for the NHS
  • Working on integration into 3rd party systems such as hand held devices
  • Highlighted new areas: drugs and horizon scanning, commissioning, public health and e-learning modules
  • More resources that feed into the FAST search (front page) are being ‘ingested’
  • First determinations of accreditation scheme will be published soon
  • Eyes on Evidence bulletin you may have noticed uses the Specialist Collections to promote new evidence
  • They are reviewing many areas of the service including journal provision and the Specialist Collections
  • User testing is continuing and they said they would be happy for librarians to volunteer for this
  • Release 2 will be in October where they hope to roll out personalisation and improved search functionality (user ranking)
  • Release 3 will possibly include the ability of third parties to upload content and/or local information, this is where the look and feel of the site may change more significantly than merely building on NLH
  • Aim is not to duplicate the work of NHS Information Centre or DoH but wants to group all relevant resources in one place. [In answer to a question about attracting commissioners]

There was an interesting report from a test between NHS Evidence, TRIP and Pubmed using a series of clinical questions which (albeit using the surrogate outcome of number of systematic reviews for quality as opposed to relevance of results) found that NHS Evidence is not doing badly. Reinhard Wentz, the ex-medical librarian who carried out the tests said us info pros could learn something from clinicians about single line searching. I’d like to see a more thorough test of this (and my colleagues are talking about testing the utility of Emtree headings so hey which is more positively riveting).

In my modest opinion: I tend to use the primary sources although that’s because of local protocol in the main. However if they could 1. make it more explicit what resources they are ‘ingesting’ (their words) and 2. refine the results to take into account of both currency and relevancy then it may be useful. Look forward to seeing how it is promoted (they are planning to liaise with medical schools to get it on curricula amongst I assume other things).

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One Response to “NHS Evidence: 3 months on”

  1. Interesting stuff. It was London Health Libraries via the eKAT team that organised the event rather than Londonlinks which is just a website for the network. (strange – the snapshot preview is of an old version of the site)

    Very curious about the statement re NHS Search. There are so many different kinds of information need in the NHS that the “one true search” model seems destined to fail to me.

    NHSE search already allows sorting by date or relevance but I assume you are talking about having date weighted more heavily in the relevance ranking?

    Reinhard loves telegraph searching and there is a lot to be said for promoting this style to end users who have neither the time nor the inclination to get into the more arcane aspects of searching.

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