Informationist and rounding/bedside services for hospital and healthcare professionals have been an expanding service area for medical information professionals in recent years. Also, the rise of mobile technology has accelerated the growing trend for information professionals to be “embedded” within their clients’ workplace settings, providing evidence-based and actionable information as it’s needed.
The practice of embedding information professionals began in the early 2000’s, when laptop computers began to free people from their desks and mobile computing started gaining traction. Initially corporate information services began to transform themselves from being place centered to service driven. Medical libraries soon picked up the trend and I am proud to say that in 2005 I was among the first to implement a virtual reference service at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Since then I have become more embedded with my clients and continue to improve my services by exploiting advances in mobile technology, and on November 15th I’ll be participating in a panel about informationist and rounding services provided by health care information professionals. I’ll be speaking about my ongoing experiences rounding with clinicians at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the informationist services I provide to different groups of health care professionals there, and the integration of the iPad, diagnostic software and text mining into my research strategies and service delivery.
The panel is part of a workshop being held at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual symposium in Washington DC, which is the most important meeting for biomedical and health informatics researchers and practice. Chaired by Doug Varner, Senior Associate Director at the Dahlgren Memorial Library, the panel speakers are practicing informationists at Johns Hopkins, NIH, and Washington University in St. Louis. Each will be sharing their experiences and lessons learned as we strive to refine bedside, evidence-based information services.
I believe the informationist services I provide at our medical center give MedStar and its healthcare professionals a competitive advantage for delivering the best health care to patients. Not only will I be sharing my knowledge with colleagues at the AMIA meeting panel, I will also be learning from the other panelists’ insights and practices which I can use to improve my services at MGUH.