Palliative Care Knowledge for All Australians: Librarians’ Work within a Multidisciplinary Team Creating a National Health Knowledge Network
Hayman, Sarah L
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This paper introduces Australia’s CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge network, outlining its information services, underpinning principle of evidence-based information and the contribution of librarians, integral to the multidisciplinary team. CareSearch is a federal government-funded project to provide relevant and trustworthy information to clinicians, patients, carers and families about all aspects of palliative care. This subject touches all Australians at some point. The information provided must be accurate, accessible and tailored to users’ needs. CareSearch emphasises the importance of evidence-based information to support the best possible care for those at the end of life and their loved ones. CareSearch identifies and enables access to evidence and uses evidence-based research approaches in designing and developing the service. This complex project employs a multidisciplinarily skilled team, with a wide range of expertise including medicine, nursing, web technology, education, marketing and informatics. Librarians bring information management expertise into the pool of skills in CareSearch, undertaking identification, classification and organisation of resources. They work with clinicians to ensure relevancy and accuracy, with website technicians for best practice navigation, and with marketing professionals for effective communication. A key innovative aspect of CareSearch’s information service provision is the creation of subject-based search filters to target the best available evidence about palliative care (and related topics) in the published medical literature. The librarians at CareSearch and its associated project Flinders Filters follow established methodology to create and test search strategies using a gold standard set of references, advised by external clinical experts. The search filter embeds technical searching expertise into a search strategy link for clinicians to do a reliable real time search. Search filters are embedded throughout the website in clinical evidence pages, as URLs to take clinicians directly into PubMed in hundreds of searches on topics of relevance to palliative care.