Category Archives: Resource Discovery

Digital knowledge resource discovery and delivery infrastructure for the NHS in England: outcomes of work with Ken Chad Consulting

The background

One of the key ways to drive delivery of the Knowledge for Healthcare vision is by ensuring the healthcare workforce has quick and easy access to relevant digital knowledge and evidence resources at the point of need. This is the focus of the Resource Discovery work stream.

HEE and NICE (and their predecessor organisations) have provided the same basic digital resource access infrastructure – comprising HDAS search, a national Link Resolver/Knowledge Base and OpenAthens authentication – for many years. There are also multiple library management systems in use across the country, and an increasing number of locally-implemented discovery systems.  With changing user preferences and expectations, shifting digital and publishing environments, advances in technology, and ever present financial scrutiny, there was a clear need to review – and potential to modernise and streamline – the infrastructure.

We had already collected information and opinion about the LMS and discovery systems in place and about products on the market, with desk research undertaken on behalf of HEE by Catherine Micklethwaite (Library Service Manager at Torbay & South Devon NHS Trust). This made a significant contribution to our understanding of the status quo and possible future options, but the sheer complexity of the operational landscape means there was no obvious single way forward.  The audit of NHS library services previously undertaken by Ciber Research Ltd had recommended ‘a national discovery engine’ and ‘a single national LMS’ but we felt these recommendations needed further scrutiny. We decided some external expert input would help us to crystallise our goals and articulate our strategy, and following a tendering process, selected Ken Chad Consulting to provide this.

The approach

Ken’s approach was to facilitate a series of five stakeholder workshops. We invited a mix of librarians to participate, including those working in strategic/resource management roles in HEE and NICE, and those managing services/resources and supporting staff at local level in healthcare settings and so close to end-user needs (see below for a list of participants).

Each workshop had a different focus:

  1. The situation ‘as is’: what do we and our systems currently do, why and what are the pain points?
  2. Strategy: given the context, our customers, the competition and our capabilities, what is it that we should focus on achieving, by when?
  3. Jobs to be done: what jobs do our customers need to get done? What problems do they need to solve?
  4. Value propositions: what are the value propositions (benefits) our system(s) can provide? Can our customers get these elsewhere?
  5. Keep, stop, add: given all the above, what do we and our systems need to keep doing, stop doing and start doing?

The outcomes

The workshops generated a lot of discussion and debate, information and insight. Amongst the conclusions to emerge are that:

  • The goal should be ‘to provide NHS staff with a single national gateway to their trusted library and knowledge service, connecting them seamlessly to quality resources, services and support, tailored to their needs’.
  • The two most critical drivers are to provide end users with a better experience, and to reduce the complexity of the existing fragmented infrastructure, which is contributing both to deficiencies in user experience and high maintenance costs.
  • Our initial focus should be on end-user (non-expert) discovery and access to local and national resources. HDAS and native interfaces are for the most part meeting the needs of advanced/expert searchers.
  • We should invest in a single national discovery system, with an integrated knowledge base/link resolver, end-user article requesting and a library staff interface for mediated document sourcing and supply.
  • Although a single national LMS is not realistic in the short or medium term, we should plan to transition from legacy library management systems, to fewer, more modern systems which would use the discovery layer of the national discovery system.

Next steps

The HEE Resource Discovery workstream leads have developed a plan of work to take forward these recommendations. If you would like more information, or are interested in being involved, please contact any of the following HEE staff:

London and KSS: Lucy Reid, Helene Gorring

Midlands and East: Richard Bridgen

North: Dominic Gilroy

South: Helen Bingham, Jenny Toller

Workshop participants

Helen Alper, Kaye Bagshaw, Helen Bingham, Igor Brbre, Sue Lacey Bryant, Richard Bridgen, Ruth Carlyle, Alan Fricker, Dominic Gilroy, Helene Gorring, Natasha Howard, Celestine Johnston, Sarah Maddock, Catherine Micklethwaite, Tracey Pratchett, Lucy Reid, Marion Spring, Jenny Toller, Fran Wilkie, Helen Williams.

 

 

3 ways – the creation of an institutional repository

The beginning

From the perspective of someone still in the early stages of setting up an institutional repository (IR) at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, I would recommend checking out the IR toolkit on the KfH website, which contains loads of hints, tips and case studies, and I also picked up some great ideas from the #ukmedlibs chat on IRs on 16th January (transcription available here). To try and establish the scope of the IR, I’ve been having ongoing conversations with colleagues in R&D, Practice Development, and Clinical Education regarding requirements and content, and there are a range of potential platforms to consider, limited at this stage to existing systems in the trust (e.g. SharePoint) and free software such as Zotero. Andrew Brown

The middle

Oxford Health Foundation Trust Libraries (OHFT)have just signed an agreement with KnowledgeArc to host a repository to launch soon. The 2017 Sally Hernando awards highlighted this company as providers of the ‘ORDA’ repository shared by 5 Derbyshire Trusts. We found their model most suitable for us; affordable but offering the full functionality of DSpace, open source repository software.

We met with staff from key departments in our Trust; R&D, Comms, Clinical Audit, Learning & Development, and IT.  All were supportive; recognising the benefits of providing access to Trust authored publications as well as sharing knowledge about OHFT initiatives. The Trust web developer played a key role in our group, providing technical advice and assessment of the various options considered.

RDE and Derbyshire Hospitals were very helpful in sharing their valuable experience and knowledge with us.

Getting to this point took rather a long time. Next steps are to decide on a suitable name (!) and set up our communities/collections. Sarah Maddock

 

The end

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) has set up a digital repository using SharePoint.

Why SharePoint?

  • Facilitates collaborative working
  • Simulates database functions “Lists”
  • Offers flexibility and can present information in different ways for different user requirements “Views”

Lists

  • SharePoint is organised within lists and these function in a similar way to spreadsheets.
  • Lists are a very effective way to manage, store and manipulate information. Details of staff research and publications are held in a spreadsheet imported into a list.

Views

  • The repository has several views that present different aspects of the data relating to the publications; ‘All Research’, ‘AWP Sponsored Research’ and ‘Systematic Reviews’ to a name a few.
  • The data that is presented within these ‘Views’ is filtered according to keywords in the columns within the ‘List’.

In the longer term, once the data has been cleansed, organised, and managed within SharePoint, it should be possible to present it for inclusion in a wider repository solution across the NHS Library, Knowledge, and Information community subject to the requirements of stakeholders here at AWP. Steven Walker

National Core Content Procurement – Survey Feedback

To follow Richard Bridgen’s update on the national core content procurement work, I’d like to follow up with a short post to mention how we used feedback from January’s survey of NHS library teams to refine the selection criteria for HEE-funded digital knowledge resources.

As a reminder, selection criteria are high level criteria used at the start of the procurement process (the ‘invitation to quote’ stage) to guide our decisions about which resources to seek quotes for, and then again at the end of the process, to select and justify the final resources purchased. They are thus different from evaluation criteria which are used in the middle part of the process, to evaluate all capable providers.

The responses to the survey question about selection criteria were mostly very helpful. They helped further define the criteria we had already proposed, for instance to reflect the aspects of ‘quality’ and of ‘breadth’ that you feel are important. For instance, currency of content (lack of embargoes) is clearly regarded as important, and many survey respondents highlighted the need to try to better cater for specialist groups. Survey responses also pointed to the need to include ‘continuity’ as an additional criterion: many of you commented on the value of long term stability and the fact that if a resource has been purchased centrally for some years, funds which may once have been used to purchase it locally will have long since been diverted elsewhere!

Some of the suggestions for ‘additional’ selection criteria – such as access via mobile devices, interoperability, service availability, stability of content, customer support – were a useful reminder of what is important to customers, but are in fact already built into the Framework Agreement procurement process. This is because they are included in Framework as service requirements: suppliers will not have been included on the Framework unless they can demonstrate they meet these requirements. Some of the suggestions were unfortunately too broad to be useful without further clarification (‘usability’ was our favourite in this category!).

So in summary, as a result of your feedback, we have added widened our definitions for all criteria, and added continuity to the list, which now looks like this.

Breadth: this resource will contribute to a collection which supports our aim to provide the NHS workforce in England access to resources which support the range of NHS functions, specialisms and priorities;

Quality: this resource supports our focus on resources which healthcare and knowledge professionals regard as being of high quality. Key indicators of quality are currency, authority (peer-reviewed content, expert editors) and relevance;

Value for money: there is evidence that

  • central or collaborative procurement of this resource provides a clear discount on local procurement
  •   if this resource were not purchased centrally or collaboratively, many organisations would seek to purchase it locally;
  • current or anticipated usage of this resource indicates that full text cost per download is/will be less than the cost of access via document delivery

Discoverability: this resource is likely to be readily discoverable via multiple routes, including the NICE-provided infrastructure and current/future alternative routes;

Recommended by LKS: a significant number of LKS think it is essential or highly desirable to include this resource amongst those purchased centrally;

Continuity: it makes sense to continue to make procure this resource centrally/collaboratively, because it meets other criteria and there is dependence on its continued availability/discontinuation would have a significant adverse impact.

Thanks again for your input.

Helen Bingham
Head of Knowledge Services and TEL, HEE (South)