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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

May 24, 2018
“Small but mighty” is the description that NCH’s librarian Annette Campbell, Masters in Library and Information Services, uses to describe the NCH Medical Library. Robust information technology at our fingertips is mission critical as our academic healthcare community evolves. Physically, we are the Readers Digest “Condensed Version,” with facile access to an unabridged, digitally-expanding knowledge base.

Assisted by Cindy Truxall, who has eleven years of experience with education, libraries, and hospitals, Annette is a wizard at helping our rapidly growing medical academic community members—twelve Medical Residents (next month 24), dozens of Medical Students, scores of Nurses, countless technical staff, innumerable physicians, and others—find peer-reviewed and evidenced-based articles.  Institutionally, NCH produces many quality projects, helps our colleagues complete research papers for advanced degrees, and assists clinicians searching for answers to help patients, as well as supports potential employees in completing job applications and current colleagues in complying with continuing education requirements.


All of these functions, although not normally associated with a hospital, are now indispensable as we evolve from a community hospital to an academic center.  NCH has had a traditional medical library for at least the forty-one years in which I have been on staff.  Initially, we had many medical periodicals and an appropriate collection of medical textbooks set inside the Telford Building with comfortable seating and work stations.   


Over the years, we have gone digital with easy access to a much broader collection of current knowledge.  We now have over 100 digital journals and over 150 electronic books.  We are asked to assist in searches of all types; thus, getting professional advice from an expert librarian at the outset yields credible and reliable information.  We can quickly learn best practices from others but need to be careful about maintaining high standards as we assimilate new ideas.  Unfortunately, much of what one finds on the internet using standard searches is not of academic quality and can be misleading—all the more reason to have an “in house” expert who is responsive and pleased to teach.  


Recent topics researched were not what I might have expected as traditional medical subjects.  For instance, “What are best practices on rounding?”  We have academic hospitalists teaching medical residents and students virtually 24/7/365.  Once, two different colleagues asked the same question almost simultaneously.  Getting folks together with common interests is also a worthwhile function.


For a decade our nurses and now members from our entire staff have completed quality projects for the Institute of Medicine and more recently for our own Quality Fair and Celebration.  Many of the presentations were first researched in our medical library. 


NCH, a learning organization for almost two decades, is now fully into teaching mode.  Clearly, better information and greater knowledge improve quality—national recognition with objective measures, namely 5 star from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid—and help everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.


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Allen Weiss, M.D.

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.