Category Archives: Resource Discovery

Expert Search Early Adopters pilot – training evaluation

In mid-September 2020, HEE began a pilot to understand how best to help LKS in England move from using HDAS to using provider interfaces (EBSCOhost, Proquest and Ovid – see here for further detail: https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/resourcediscovery/frequently-asked-questions-2/)

We’re now heading towards the end of the project and are currently analysing all of the data we’ve collected so we can pull together a report with recommendations for moving forward. Today we’re sharing some of the results from our training evaluation survey – the valuable feedback we’ve collected from pilot participants will shape the way training is rolled out to the rest of LKS in preparation for migration from HDAS to provider interfaces.

Training was offered by all three interface providers (EBSCO, Proquest and Ovid). The team at University of Cambridge Medical Library also very kindly provided online training that was open to all pilot participants, regardless of geographical region. All of the training sessions were recorded and made available to those who couldn’t attend the live sessions. Of the 68 participants who completed the training evaluation survey, 93% had attended some training as part of the pilot.

When asked if the training provided meant that participants felt ready to switch from using HDAS to provider interfaces for literature searching, the responses were split pretty much equally, with 51% answering yes and 49% answering no. We asked for further detail to help clarify the issues around preparedness, as this will be key to helping staff feel confident about moving from HDAS. Those who had answered ‘yes’ said that a) the training sessions were a good starting point, and that they were ready to dive in and start practicing (38%), or b) they already had some familiarity with provider interfaces and so the training acted as a refresher (34%). The responses for those who answered ‘no’ were more difficult to categorise. There was a feeling that the training on its own was not enough, that people needed time to consolidate their learning and practice. There were also comments about the need for follow up sessions so that there was an opportunity to ask questions and share experiences after the initial sessions.

When asked what they would like to change about the training offered, 68% of participants said that the timing of sessions needed to be earlier. There were definitely slippages in the timing of the whole project, and we appreciate that the training schedule didn’t fit with the expectations of the pilot participants. We know from other comments that people needed time to process what they had learnt, to practice searching so they could increase their familiarity with interfaces and also to have a chance to come back to training if they need to. All of the sessions were demonstrations with time for questions, and 10% of participants would have liked hands on training, where there’s a chance to try a live search for yourself. However, there was a recognition that could be difficult in an online format.

There was a marked difference in the feedback for the training delivered by provider representatives and the sessions held by the University of Cambridge Medical Library. Although satisfaction levels were not drastically different, participants commented positively on the content and structure of the Cambridge sessions. Their training focussed on taking a search from start to finish in an interface, whereas participants felt that the interface providers were demonstrating functionality and features that weren’t necessarily relevant to the search process.

The next blog post for the pilot will be sharing some of the results from the data we’ve collected around ‘post-switch’ searches – those carried out in provider interfaces. Participants captured information about 296 searches, which is a fantastic resource for us to draw from.

For any questions about the project, please email Emily.hurt@lthtr.nhs.uk.

Emily Hurt, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Vicky Price, Vicky Price Consulting

Expert Search Early Adopters pilot – pre-switch search data

In mid-September HEE began a pilot to understand how best to help LKS in England move from using HDAS to using provider interfaces (EBSCOhost, Proquest and Ovid – see here for further detail: https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/resourcediscovery/frequently-asked-questions-2/)

Phase one of data collection ended in November 2020 and we’re able to share some of the results from our survey around pre-switch searches (carried out primarily on HDAS). This was undertaken to capture ‘normal’ search behaviour, so we could do some comparing and contrasting with searches carried out on provider interfaces after the pilot groups switched. The data collected is a great snapshot of search activity and is fascinating reading if you’re interested in search behaviour.

We had 68 searches recorded during this phase. We asked participants to briefly describe their search – purpose, level of complexity etc. As expected, topics were wide ranging and search requesters were from a multitude of staff groups.

The most frequently used resources were HDAS Medline (76% of searches), HDAS CINAHL (63% of searches) and HDAS EMBASE (50% of searches). Results were collated using reference management for 13% of searches, and Endnote Desktop was the most frequently used reference management tool.

Exactly 50% of searches were completed in a single session and the other 50% over multiple sessions. The time it took to complete a search varied wildly, with the shortest taking just 20 minutes and the longest 15 hours – this was a search to support a systematic review. There were two searches captured that fitted into the systematic review category, and as their times vastly skewed the average search time they were removed from calculations. With the remaining 66 searches the average time to complete was 2 hours 51 minutes, with most taking between 1-2 hours or 2-3 hours (44% and 29% respectively).

We asked participants to tell us what had gone well with their search, what didn’t go so well, and what changes could be made to improve their search experience. Things that worked well included being able to search multiple resources without switching interfaces, being able to collate results and search history into one document for the search requester, and searches where the topic was straightforward and therefor easy to find results for. There were common issues around glitches in HDAS, de-duplicating results and the search topic either proving difficult to search for, or being outside of the scope of the databases available to the searcher. Possible improvements included increased stability (fewer interface glitches), less scrolling and a cleaner interface, and having access to reference management software to de-duplicate and collate results.

Finally we asked people to rate their search experience a star rating, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent. The average rating was 3.7, with 34% rating 3 stars, 42% rating 4 stars and 21% rating 5 stars.

Phase two of data collection is now well under way, and we are asking participants to fill out a similar survey for any searches they carry out on one specific day of their working week. We’ll be sharing the results from this phase over the next few months.

For any questions about the project, please email Emily.hurt@lthtr.nhs.uk.

Emily Hurt
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Vicky Price
Vicky Price Consulting

2020: Reflections from HEE’s Resource Discovery Team

 At the end of an extraordinary year when online resources and service delivery unexpectedly took on even more significance, this post highlights some of the developments within the Knowledge for Healthcare resource discovery workstream. None of these would have happened without the invaluable input of health library and knowledge services staff across the country.

The COVID-19 Search Bank

In March, librarians from across the regions rallied to create a bank of peer-reviewed evidence searches relating to coronavirus, with the shared aim of making the best use of specialist librarian skills and capacity at a crucial time.  Over 200 searches and strategies have been shared to date. We will continue to build this resource into 2021. Learning from this will help inform future thinking about the value of sharing searches and peer review.

Open Access and repositories

 The Open Access CoP thrived this year, with so many healthcare library staff involved in supporting open access and organisational repositories. HEE and NIHR jointly commissioned research into open access in the NHS and in October hosted a virtual round table on the topic for national bodies. There is clear appetite for joined-up policy and strategy. There is also interest in shared publishing platforms and repositories, so at the end of November, we were delighted to invite NHS library services to participate in a project to pilot a new shared NHS repository hosted by the British Library.

Moving to using database provider interfaces

Once the decision to decommission HDAS had been taken, we quickly started work on the next steps. As part of a portfolio of work, we were delighted to receive applications from eight library networks wishing to fast-track to using provider interfaces and reference management software – and just sorry that we could only support four. The 120 staff and 33 services in these four pilot groups have gamely undertaken training and testing and provided feedback and are a pleasure to work with. Thank you!

Moving to shared library management systems

 At the beginning of the year, HEE announced support for the plan to support the transition from over 90 local and legacy LMS to regionally shared LMS, fully funded by HEE. We all took a gulp: this makes sense in so many ways but won’t be easy. Library staff and users in the South West and North East already benefit from recently implemented shared LMS and, of course, we all know that system upgrades involved pains in order to achieve the gains.

In September, we started engagement with library teams in the East of England and Kent, Surrey & Sussex, the regions being supported to move forward next. Libraries in the Midlands, where there are already some locally shared LMS, are now considering what might work best for them. Participants in our HEE funded Senior Leadership Development Programme will be working with colleagues in the North and London to explore the benefits, opportunities and practicalities of shared LMS so that we can share the lessons learned.

E-books

Many library services reported an increase in demand for e-books this year. In May, HEE awarded Kortext a contract to offer collaborative, credit-based e-book purchasing for NHS library services in England. This has taken longer than hoped to mobilise. However, the HEE-funded titles chosen for each region are now accessible, and Kortext is open for business for local libraries wishing to work collaboratively to build on this collection.

BMJ Best Practice

In the second year of our national subscription to BMJ Best Practice, we’ve seen usage continue to rise. Thank you for everything you’ve done to promote the resource to your users. For example, at the outbreak of the pandemic, the team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust promoted Best Practice as part of a carefully selected suite of knowledge resources suitable for trainees. Analysis of usage in the following months showed that uptake in wave one was followed by sustained growth in use. This year, we have worked closely with BMJ to create resources for inductions and to highlight the role that Best Practice patient information can play in health literacy and shared decision-making. These resources and more are available on the BMJ/HEE landing page. We’ve also worked with BMJ’s Clinical Engagement Lead and Health Informatician to integrate Best Practice into clinical workflows and organisation practices.

Towards a new national website for LKS staff

 Lots of work has taken place behind the scenes this year to plan a new website for Library and Knowledge Services staff in England, to replace the current Knowledge for Healthcare blog, libraryservices.nhs.uk website and wiki. The national team has been busy updating and archiving existing content and making documents accessible. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the work to test the new website through alpha and beta phases.

Towards a new national discovery service

At the beginning of December, we announced that the contract for a new national discovery service for the NHS in England has been awarded to EBSCO EDS. Through the year we have developed the specification, undertaken a robust procurement and held virtual engagement sessions with library managers and staff. Our sincere thanks to everyone involved. The feedback and input you provided will be invaluable in helping to shape and develop the system to meet your needs and those of the health care workforce. Now the hard work really begins!

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy festive season,

Helen, Lucy, Helene, Richard, Jenny, Franco and Becky