The National Library for Health website (www.library.nhs.uk) now offers a single search environment that will integrate the ‘national' and ‘local' information resources of 500 NHS library services across England. Going live today (10 January 2005), the single search environment is one of the first outputs of the National Library for Health; an NHS-wide initiative that is designed to deliver the goal of an integrated English health library.
The single search environment is powered by FDI's ZPORTAL solution, which integrates NHS resources alongside published data and delivers the resource search engine. Dr Muir Gray, Secretary to the National Knowledge Service and Co-Director of the NeLH commented on the importance of the new search environment in the age of prevalent electronic resources: “There are over 80,000 articles on bronchitis alone in just one source: PubMed. Doctors and librarians need to be able to power search such electronic resources alongside traditional sources to find the articles that are relevant to them? to deliver critical information to clinicians quickly.”
The search engine provides an easy-to-use interface for new or experienced library users, offering them a choice of standard (keyword) or advanced searching (using Boolean terms). Behind the scenes, the software searches across a variety of resources including websites, grey literature, physical resources and full text journals, making information retrieval quicker for time-poor clinicians or librarians.
Dr Ben Toth, National Library for Health Programme Manager and Co-Director of the National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) adds, “The National Library for Health offers the powerful new single search engine but also RSS feeds from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and DrugInfoZone. A new clinical Question and Answer service (the Primary Care Question Answering Service) is currently being trialled. These new features will attract people who have not used the online library services previously, and will also offer additional benefits to staff who currently use other NHS library services such as the National electronic Library for Health.”
The National Library for Health (NLH) will provide clinicians with access to the best current know-how and knowledge to support healthcare-related decisions through one dedicated portal. www.library.nhs.uk integrates access to a range of high quality information components and ultimately will bring together key digital and physical information resources used across the 500 NHS libraries, including relevant websites, full text primary journals such as BMJ's Clinical Evidence, physical resource collections such as The Cochrane Library and grey literature. The new service will be a key tool in making clinical decisions easier and more accurate, as well as improving support for patient care, continuing professional development, e-learning, and research across the NHS.
The National Library for Health includes:
- A single search environment (live from 10th January 2005), a web-based search engine using FDI's ZPORTAL technology for managers, health professionals and patients that will integrate the ‘national' and ‘local' information resources of over 500 NHS library services across England. The NHS-wide search engine will also be used to provide more comprehensive measurement statistics on use of NHS libraries and their resources during 2004/5.
- News services from trusted high level sources via RSS (Really Simple Syndication feeds) including NICE, DrugInfoZone and Health Technology Assessments
- The mental health e-books collection, comprising over 50 mental health e-books from leading academic publishers such as the Taylor & Francis Group and Springer Group
About Fretwell-Downing Informatics
Fretwell-Downing Informatics (FDI) has a long history of supplying leading-edge information management solutions to over 200 organisations worldwide. FDI operates from its headquarters in the UK with a US subsidiary, Fretwell-Downing Inc., in North America plus additional offices in Australia and Europe. FDI's experience has resulted in a suite of well-designed solutions including information portals, library management, resource sharing, document delivery and data integration. The company's freedom by design philosophy is underpinned by a strong software development team and a commitment to interoperability and open standards. This enables FDI components to be built into a total solution or integrated alongside existing technologies.