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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice around obtaining figures for cost savings
There are currently over 250 impact case studies on the Knowledge
for Healthcare listing. Many of these mention savings in terms of clinical
and managerial staff time, and financial savings. Very few of these, however, provide actual
figures in terms of financial savings.
Such figures are, however, invaluable in adding to the
weight of the impact case when used for national advocacy purposes. It was decided to investigate the services
who had successfully obtained financial figures for their case studies to
determine whether there are any useful lessons or advice which can be shared
for others trying to replicate their success.
Eight services were identifies as having submitted one or
more case studies providing details of cost savings achieved. These services were approached for details of
any techniques, learning, and/or advice for colleagues wishing to replicate the
Seven services responded to this enquiry:
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust (Michael Reid)
- Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS
Trust (Ben Skinner)
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (Sarah
- Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation
Trust (Uma Devalapalli)
- Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust (Sarah Gardner)
- George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust (Stephen Ayre)
- Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust (Alex
Their notes, advice and reflections have been collated into a short report.
Key points from the above:
- Those who have received services from the
library are often keen to help. Maximise
this opportunity if you can.
- Involvement with projects supported by a search
from the start can provide greater insights into the impact of the work. Make the most of such involvement.
- Using and analysing a questionnaire can provide
signposts to those cases worthy of further investigation.
- Allow time for financial savings to have been
realised before following up
- Use the personal approach where possible and
interview colleagues to allow for focused probing with regard to details of
- Be flexible with the questions you ask and
tailor the interview to the situation for best results. This includes the language chosen.
While recognising that collecting data on financial savings
can often be complex and challenging, we would encourage you to make use of the
advice and learning included in the
report when tackling impact in your own organisation.
You may also be interested to watch out for the latest paper
on the NHS Clinical Librarianship study which is due to be published soon.