Looking at the new NHS Evidence

NHS Evidence 2015 screen shot

A screen grab of the 2015 revision of NHS Evidence

There has been a significant update to the main portal for NHS staff seeking the evidence for patient care.  The vast majority of the site is freely available to anyone in the UK so it is applicable to both NHS and student / academic users.

NHS Evidence has a snazzy new (fully responsively designed) look.  The giant eye ball is no longer quite so prominent (the extent to which it looks like a liquorice allsort has increased) but the changes are much more than cosmetic.

The main search box (Evidence Search) has been revamped with the promise of speedier time to answer and enhanced results.  I think it succeeds in this.  Filters have been improved to help people narrow their search and the interaction is certainly less faffy than before.  The old topic pages have disappeared but many searches will return handy context specific materials in the right hand column.

These offer things like information on medications from the British National Formulary (BNF), Clinical Knowledge Summaries and NICE guidance arranged by patient pathway.  NICE Pathways is a brilliant distillation of some times unwieldy NICE Guidance into manageable chunks linked to the progress of a patient through their care.  This gets appreciative noises from all the people I have shown it to.

The BNF access is login free which is a boon as the old BNF site has switched to needing the login prompting grumblings from @BenGoldacre amongst others.

A small number of people may be annoyed by the loss of the MyEvidence section.  This allowed people to save searches on Evidence Search and links to documents.  It has been withdrawn pending a revised offer.  I am not sure too many people will be affected (unlike the upcoming saved search issues with HDAS)

The NHS Journals and Databases page looks a bit smarter and can be accessed from the tool bar on all the pages of the NICE website.

Generally I think this is a good enhancement.  I hope this done there will now be a bit of capacity to develop HDAS.

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In the journal club

Yesterday was the last of a trial series of journal clubs at work.

These were intitiated (myself and Lynne Meehan plotted them over coffee) to provide a forum where the then Research and Learning Liaison team could examine their practice, consider the research base, learn more about research methods and generally carry out some useful CPD. While a number of participants were familiar with the concept of Journal Clubs most had not participated before.  We drew on this handy guide to running a successful journal club. (you can see our introductory Journal Club discussion if you like).

During the year we aimed to meet on alternate months and generally had around half the team in attendance.  The September session was (slightly predictably) cancelled due to competing commitments that month.

We looked at the following:

February – A report “New roles for new times: transforming liaison roles in research libraries” from the Association of Research Libraries.

May –  Evaluating the Impact of Academic Liaison Librarians on Their User Community: A Review and Case Study Louise Cooke, Michael Norris, Nial Busby, Thomas Page, Ginny Franklin, Elizabeth Gadd, Helen Young New Review of Academic Librarianship Vol. 17, Iss. 1, 2011

July – Creating information literacy partnerships in Higher Education Clare Joanne McCluskey Library and Information Research Vol 35, No 111 (2011)

September (cancelled but paper had been picked) – Mirna E. Turcios, Naresh Kumar Agarwal, Linda Watkins, How Much of Library and Information Science Literature Qualifies as Research?, The Journal of Academic Librarianship

November – Michael M. Smith, Leslie J. Reynolds, (2008) “The street team: An unconventional peer program for undergraduates”, Library Management, Vol. 29 Iss: 3, pp.145 – 158

The papers provided plenty of grist for the mill with an hour of wide ranging conversation each time. I do not propose to dredge my memory for the earlier ones but would recommend the new roles paper and suggest not worrying too much about the one on how much of the LIS literature qualifies as research (answer – not a lot).

The street team paper yesterday was a disappointment.  I selected it quite quickly as it spoke to a lot of our current interests.  Sadly the paper is big on describing what they are planning to do but predates them actually going live (there are signs of them having done so). I had hoped that it would be less descriptive and more about impact and what worked. For all that I was interested to see the thoroughness with which they planned for the recruitment and training of those who would be involved.

We debated to what extent this model depended on factors in the US academic library environment (like high levels of student employment in the Library) and possibly also the business students targeted. We generated some interesting ideas for how we might work more closely with students in the UK. The example of the NHS Evidence Student Champions was used as one model that has seen participation from our students already with benefits in terms of promotion, engagement and peer to peer learning. I think Journal Clubs are a great form of CPD.

Are others engaged in doing this face to face?  Or online (I am aware of the Library Leadership Reading Group for example).  Now that all CILIP HLG members get HILJ as part of their benefits I wonder what might be done using this on a quarterly basis?