New study identifies positive benefits of the embedded librarian role

A mixed-methods research study, funded by Health Education England, has identified several positive benefits resulting from a librarian working in a critical care team. A return on investment (ROI) analysis indicated that for every £1 invested in the embedded librarian model, a financial value in a range from £1.18 to £3.03 was generated.

Knowledge about conditions and treatments in critical illness can be complex. The critical care team at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, led by Dr Girendra Sadera, collaborated with the University of Liverpool and the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation at Bangor University to design, implement and evaluate a model of knowledge mobilisation, led by a clinical librarian, to support the knowledge requirements of critical care.

A librarian worked alongside staff in the critical care department for 15 months, delivering a “pop up library”, providing evidence support, training both face to face and virtually, and attending meetings, journal club and other departmental activities. The model supported learning and education across all staff groups, nurtured an evidence-based culture and enhanced the quality of care.

The study findings highlight the pivotal role of the critical care nurse in sharing knowledge between staff and patients; the bedside nurse was considered approachable, reassuring, knowledgeable and trustworthy, and they were a preferred source of knowledge for the patient and family.

Findings demonstrate that a librarian working in a clinical team can feasibly support the knowledge requirements of staff. Return on investment analysis indicated that for every £1 invested in the knowledge mobilisation model, a financial value of £1.18 to £3.03 was generated in time saving, enhanced professional development and improved patient care.

For further information about the study please contact Dr Girendra Sadera, Consultant in Critical Care, girendra.sadera@nhs.net.

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