16 May 2016

Clinical Librarians really make a difference

Brettle, A., Maden, M., Payne, C. (2016) The impact of clinical librarian services on patients and health care organisations, Health Information and Libraries Journal.


This study found that clinical librarians contribute to a wide range of outcomes in the short and longer term and really do make a difference within the NHS. These include:
  • direct contributions to choice of intervention (36%)
  • diagnosis (26%)
  • quality of life (25%)
  • increased patient involvement in decision making (26%)
  • and cost savings and risk management including avoiding tests, referrals, readmissions and reducing length of stay (28%). 
As well as looking at contributions to patient care, the study looked at other outcomes that are important within the NHS, so the study is relevant across all types of NHS organisations not just acute patient care.  The study shows that clinical librarians improve quality and help save money as well as affecting patient care directly – all key outcomes in the current NHS climate.
Further references:


Brettle, A., Maden-Jenkins, M., Anderson, L., McNally, R., Pratchett, T., Tancock, J., Thornton, D. and Webb,A. A 2011, ‘Evaluating clinical librarian services: a systematic review’ , Health Information & Libraries Journal, 28 (1) , pp. 3-22.


Buckley-Woods, H. and Booth, A. (2013) What is the current state of practitioner research: the 2013 LIRG scan.  Library and Information Research, 37(116).