Role of BCU Libraries in Quality Improvement

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

The role of Health Libraries has always been to support the clinical, education and research work of healthcare professionals. Our mission statement states that we are “committed to supporting excellence in clinical practice, learning, teaching, research and management by providing a high quality, integrated and innovative service”.

Anyone who is planning to carry out a quality improvement project might well think about using some of the quality information resources available to them via the library service. There are a wealth of evidence based information resources that staff can access to support them in the planning stage of their QI project.

In today’s digital world most of these information resources are available electronically via your workstation – making is easier to keep up to date on new developments in your specialty. You might be about to embark on a service improvement project to reduce patient mortality or to make changes to service delivery and struggling to get ideas about the type of project you would like to be involved in. The first port of call in this situation is to browse the content pages of journals in your specialty to stimulate ideas from the articles within those journals.

You may also find it useful to search an evidence based resource such as ClinicalKey. This search engine allows you to search across multiple resources such as full text articles, Medline abstracts, guidelines, book chapters and clinical summaries within many specialities. It can be found on the NHS Wales e-Library for health, a gateway of nationally purchased resources available to all NHS staff.

Once you have established a topic with which to carry out your quality improvement project you might then want to carry out a more systematic search of the literature using biomedical and health related databases such as Medline, Embase and EmCare to name but a few. These databases will provide you with citations and in some cases access to full text articles, of primary research within your topic. Before you embark on searching these databases you might want to consult your local librarian who can assist you in designing a well thought out search strategy of the topic you wish to research and to assist you in searching the resources.

Once you have found the references the library staff can assist you further by demonstrating how to obtain full text articles. We can teach you how to utilise reference management software such as EndNote in order to collate and manage your references as well as providing you with a place to study.

Nia Morris

Library Services Manager, John Spalding Library, Wrexham Medical Institute

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