Article Summary: Esparza, Julia M., et al. “The effect of a clinical medical librarian on in-patient care outcomes”

Esparza, Julia M., et al. “The effect of a clinical medical librarian on in-patient care outcomes” Journal of the Medical Library Association 101.3 (2013): 185-191. Web. 13 June 2014.


It took seven pages to say: inconclusive findings! Aghhhhh!!!

Esparza et al. undertook an in-depth study of LSU Health Shreveport in Louisiana, spanning many years to see what effect a heal services librarian (what they call a “CML”) had on patient care; were patients more likely to have to come back? What was the morbidity rate like? As two groups of doctors, residents, internists, and med students went on rounds, they were divided into two groups. One group would work with a CML; one wouldn’t. What they saw was that as the groups got divvied up, the fully-fledged doctors were the most likely to confer with the CML, and the doctors were more likely to go to them with the difficult cases. I thought it was interesting that the CMLs had access to the patient’s PubMed was the “go-to” resource (though sometimes doctors might ask for a particular resource (the one mentioned in the article was The New England Journal of Medicine.) Mostly, what Esparza et al. found out was that they couldn’t really determine any particular effect that CML’s had on patient care. When you work with people, there are lots of factors that can complicate a study (for example, how a group of people interact.) My thoughts were that this was a really neat study, but the language was kind of hard to get through, especially the charts and mathspeak; but that might just be me.) It would be nice to see though, that health services librarians do help, and are needed, and a respected member of the team though; we could have some evidence and say, “Look at what we were able to help accomplish.”) Knowing as much as you can about technology, especially applied to medicine, and just knowing the medical field, and foster good relationships with your team would be my advice.


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