I have three items on my cubicle wall: a copy of a poster done by Mark Goldstein and Elaine Martin: Value of Hospital Libraries Study, New England Region (I think I found this on the MLA site). Their results remind me that administrators find it difficult to appreciate a library's value beyond the numbers. The second piece is an excerpt from the September/October 2012 issue of Information Outlook: What are we measuring and does it matter? It encourages me to include evidence that I save the hospital money, increase nurse/physician productivity, and prevents legal problems, among other things. Finally, I have a snapshot of the hospital's strategic and tactical plan posted on my wall. When I report statistics, I always include text examples that address some of these points. 

Louise McLaughlin, M.S., M.P.S.
Information Specialist
Woman's Health Sciences Library
P. O. Box 95009
Baton Rouge, LA  70895-9009
225.924.8467 fax
Health Science Librarians: Making research painless!

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kraft, Michelle
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 10:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The perfect library storm

Ok I am going to rattle the cage a little because I want to understand things a little bit more.  

We all talk about the need for libraries and how important they are. We point to various published studies or accreditation standards as proof that libraries are important to hospitals.  I am sure administrators think that having a hospital library is good too.  But just like with public libraries and voters who like a public library but don't like higher taxes, administration is weighing their perception of a library good for the hospital vs budget.  

My question.... In hospital libraries that have closed, how many librarians tied library usage and performance to hospital performance goals and demonstrated an impact in helping to achieve those goals?  For example if a hospital wanted to get its length of stay down for a particular condition, how did the library help make an impact on achieving that goal?  Or now with healthcare reform and readmission penalties, how many librarians involved in patient education can say that their patient education efforts affected readmissions. 

Should hospital librarians now be considering doing their own mini-Marshal studies to show to administration that they are actually impacting the institution directly?  With the readmission example.  A librarian could select a specific type of patient (heart failure for
example) and provide patient education materials to those types of patients before discharge.  Then the librarian would compare the rate of readmission for those she saw and provided material with to those she didn't see (with the same condition). 

Obviously I simplified the example a bit and there would be a lot of people to work with.  But my point is, do we need to start doing our own mini research studies to clearly show our OWN library's impact on our OWN institution.  It is nice to show the Marshal studies and other ones, but administration wants to know what we are doing in more concrete terms not what somebody else is doing as proof of our worth.

Just thinking out loud and trying to come up with a way to help prevent more hospital library closures.

Michelle Kraft, MLS, AHIP
Senior Medical Librarian
Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library
9500 Euclid Ave. NA 30
Cleveland, OH 44195
(216) 445-7338
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Blobaum, Paul
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2013 9:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The perfect library storm

This is exactly what happened to me in a 1 person hospital library 12 years ago, except I was being downsized to 50 % time.  Last year the hospital pulled the plug on the library altogether, after getting rid of the physical library and going completely online...  I suppose the funding of the library was the main issue; fighting over a shrinking pot
of revenue.   

Paul Blobaum, M.A., M.S.
Full Professor
College of Health and Human Services Librarian Liaison Governors State University Library University Park, IL  60484  708-534 4139  pblobaum at govst dot edu

From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Patti Reynolds [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2013 5:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MEDLIB-L] The perfect library storm

I mentioned earlier this week that we are seeing a collision of evidence based practice demands and hospital financial goals.
This is far more complex than I originally stated.
We have:
1. Evidence based practice imperatives
2. Push back from hospitals to have physicians pay for their own resources.
3. The incredulous pricing and bundling structures inflicted on hospital libraries by our most important vendors

So. The hospitals, very credibly, take a look at these prices and annual increases and decide to throw it back to the physicians and staff. Quick and easy and cheap. Libraries close. And then what happens. Lawsuits, people are harmed, or worse etc.

I would like to suggest that there is a much deeper problem here than we have attempted to articulate. The Swiss cheese is all lined up perfectly and the patients (and staff) going to be perfectly impacted by these choices.

Looking for thoughts.

Sent from my iPad
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