Improving Access to Information: Librarians and Nurses Team Up for Patient Safety

Linda Williams, Lorri Zipperer


Nurs Econ. 2003;21(4) 

In This Article


"The time has come to invest in the creation of a more effective infrastructure for the application of knowledge to health care delivery" (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2001, p. 14).

Efficient and timely access to evidence-based medical literature is an important element in providing safe patient care (IOM, 2001). This knowledge base exists in primary sources such as the medication administration records and patients' medical records, from colleagues, and, ideally, in the science reported in the biomedical literature. Given the complexity and time constraints involved in care delivery, seeking out the right information at the right time is an increasingly difficult goal for many health practitioners to reach. Frontline nurses are no exception to this dilemma. A key role for management, therefore, is to help improve access to evidence-based literature for nurses to enable them to interact more proactively for safety. Key to improving access to evidence from biomedical literature is the medical reference librarian or clinical librarian. Nurses and patients both benefit from a partnership between nurses and librarians.


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