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IP Indian Journal of Library Science and Information Technology

Reaching out Medical College library services to patients through E-Health libraries: An ongoing work in progress

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Review Article

Author Details : Rajesh Kathane

Volume : 1, Issue : 1, Year : 2016

Article Page : 1-6

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Introduction: Library information science has traditionally existed in libraries but with evolution of digital online literacy the traditional role of a librarian can be expanded to healthcare through trained patient-information-managers or E-health-librarians delivering information and knowledge to rural and urban patients unable to access traditional health-care resources in hospitals or health centres.
Methods: LN Medical College, Bhopal, E-Health libraries are managed by interested and trained library and information science as well as other background volunteers designated, ‘patient information communication managers.’ These E-health library volunteers typically reside in the same community drained by the E-health library and their job is to create detailed electronic health records of de-identified patients (after signed informed consent), share the records across an online-global, participatory-healthcare, learning-ecosystem, contact the ‘local-doctors’ in their area and share inputs from the Global doctors on each patient thus obtaining conversational and evidence based clinical decision support input to benefit those patients with the records.
Results: This is a pilot intervention of an open-online-health-record system, de-identified as per HIPAA guidelines, that has enabled one hospital unit managed by a physician team to regularly engage in informational continuity of their patients, through a patient-information-manager (aka E-health-librarian) supported online-network of 1500+ physicians and patient-information-communication managers working both in the hospital as well as rural and urban communities. A qualitative thematic analysis of insights from selected cases over one year of starting this system was assessed. Almost all the online-records shared over the physician's social network received multidisciplinary inputs from multiple specialists and generalists toward facilitation of a valuable informational support for the physicians managing the patients in the online-records. Most of the patients with online-records generated during hospital stay were able to maintain better continuity of care with their hospital physicians through the patient-information managers.
Conclusion: A gratifying response from the pilot users of the system indicates that this model can be scaled by many more physicians in hospitals globally through larger in-hospital pilots and also utilized for continuing evaluation of patient-care not only in the hospitals but also in the community through patient-information managers (aka E-health librarians) working both in the hospital as well as E-health libraries in rural and urban communities.

How to cite : Kathane R, Reaching out Medical College library services to patients through E-Health libraries: An ongoing work in progress. IP Indian J Libr Sci Inf Technol 2016;1(1):1-6

Copyright © 2016 by author(s) and IP Indian J Libr Sci Inf Technol. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (