Program Session

9 - Evaluating the Impact of Clinical Librarians on Inpatient Rounds

Sunday, May 28
3:45 PM - 3:50 PM
Room: 612

Objectives: Clinical librarians (CLs) are involved in medical education in various ways. Some CLs attend inpatient rounds where they perform literature searches and assist in answering clinical questions that arise. This study aimed to determine the effect of a CL on inpatient teams’ clinical questioning and learner skills in asking evidence-based medicine (EBM) questions. This has not previously been objectively evaluated.

Methods: Clinical questioning was measured over 50 days of inpatient rounds by direct observation in which the CL was present for 25 days and absent for 25 days. Observations were evenly split between internal medicine and pediatrics. Question quality was assessed by a blinded evaluator using a rubric adapted from the validated Fresno Test for Evidence-Based Medicine. Surveys were distributed at the end of participants’ rotations to assess learners’ self-reported change in comfort asking EBM questions and performing literature searches. Descriptive statistics were generated for all data. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the number of questions asked and answered and the quality of questions for when the CL was and was not present. A Wilcoxon signed-rank paired test was used to determine whether survey respondents’ ability, comfort, and confidence changed before and after their time on the team.

Results: The presence of the CL on rounds was associated with a significant increase in the number of questions asked (p < 0.01) and answered (p < 0.01) and in the time spent asking (p < 0.01) and answering questions (p=0.02). Questions asked in the presence of the CL were significantly higher in overall quality (p < 0.01). Eighty-eight percent of study participants completed post-rotation surveys. Participants were significantly more likely to report increased ability to ask, search for, and answer questions at the end of their rotations (p < 0.01). In free response answers, some participants reported examples of how the CL’s presence had changed patient care.

Conclusion: The presence of a CL on inpatient rounds was objectively associated with more and improved clinical questioning and was subjectively perceived as improving participants’ evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills. CLs may also directly affect patient care in some cases, although further work is required to assess this outcome. In conclusion, CLs on inpatient rounds may be an effective means for medical students and physicians to learn EBM skills.

Keywords: Evidence-Based Medicine; Rounds; Medical Education



Program Session

Riley Brian

Medical Student
Pritzker School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

Riley Brian is a second year medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Originally from California, he attended Harvard College from 2011 to 2015 where he studied Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology.

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Nicola Orlov

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
Chicago, Illinois

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Debra Werner

Librarian for Science Instruction & Outreach and Biomedical Reference
John Crerar Library
Chicago, Illinois

Debra Werner is the librarian for science instruction and outreach and biomedical reference librarian at the University of Chicago's John Crerar Library. In these roles, she coordinates instruction services for the sciences and delivers instruction to members of the biomedical community, including students, faculty, clinicians, and researchers. She is a member of the Pritzker Initiative Steering Committee, which oversees the medical school curriculum, and a member of the University of Chicago Medicine's Nursing Research Committee. Werner has a BA in biology from Augustana College and received her MLIS from Dominican University.

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Shannon Martin

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

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Vineet Arora

Associate Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

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Maria Alkureishi

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Department of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

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