Woburn, MA. In step with the increasing use of intranet technology to disseminate information company-wide, the corporate libraries of two prominent healthcare organizations, the American Heart Association and Mallinckrodt, Inc., now offer employees worldwide rapid access to information that is instrumental in the overall performance of each organization. The American Heart Assocation's "help desk" and Mallinckrodt's competitive intelligence textbase exemplify the potential of corporate intranet library applications beyond the library catalog.
The Web publishing software behind both libraries' intranet databases is developed by Inmagic, Inc, Woburn, MA (www.inmagic.com).
American Heart Association
The American Heart Asssociation is a non-profit health organization charged with the mission of reducing the incidence of death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. At the American Heart Association's National Center in Dallas, Texas, its intranet-based library and "help desk" are helping to disseminate information more rapidly than ever before.
Vanessa Perez, managing librarian of the AHA National Center Library, handles many information requests that come into the library, both from staff and the public. Perez developed the application that allows her to quickly answer public and internal inquiries about recent advances in research and prevention methods. "The most common requests that we get go something like this: ‘I just heard on the radio about a new study published in one of your journals that said drinking red wine is good for your heart. I don't know what journal or issue it was in.' With our news release database, we can type in "wine" and locate the news release. We've also indexed the journal's name, the article's authors, the age numbers, so we can quickly and easily give the caller very specific details."
The National Center Library makes its databases available to all AHA staff across the country. "On the intranet site, we have a welcome page where staff can go to the book catalog database, journal catalog, or the news release database. From each of these, they'll utilize the search form we've created to query the databases and access help pages."
Mallinckrodt, Inc., headquartered in Hazelwood, Missouri, is a multi-billion dollar manufacturer of medical products and pharmaceuticals with more than 12,000 employees worldwide. One of the first applications launched on Mallinckrodt's intranet was the resource catalog of its Information Resource Center (IRC).
Grace Brill is Manager of Information Resources at Mallinckrodt, Inc. and part of the team responsible for planning and implementing Mallinckrodt's corporate intranet. "Over the years, naturally we acquired many books, annual reports, videos, and so on, yet even with all these resources, many employees remained unaware that they were available," said Brill.
Next in line for an intranet launch was the IRC's competitive files database. Brill and her staff gather product and market information from relevant industry publications, then add supplemental data from online searches. Brill delivers a summary of pertinent news items via emailto staff around the world. For in-depth information, staff search the database themselves. "Now we have it on our intranet and I've heard from staff in Canada, Minnesota, all over, who have made a point to let me know how useful they find the information." By conducting their own research, said Brill, employees can find their own answers or ask more informed questions. "If a request requires library staff to conduct an online search of fee-based databases, then the more specific the requester can be, the less money we spend, the higher quality of the results delivered," said Brill.
DB/Text WebPublisher is Windows NT-based is Web publishing software that manages Web/intranet site information within the framework of a textbase, instead of static HTML documents. Inmagic's Textbase technology combines the power and precision of a database system with the speed and flexibility of a text retrieval system. A field-based search engine rapidly searches through hundreds of thousands of records--a more efficient method than hyperlinking with large amounts of information. Inmagic's unique "word wheel" index browser eliminates trial-and-error searching. Because of its unique features, companies have been using DB/Text WebPublisher for key applications within their organizations, including competitive intelligence, employee handbooks, and publishing of product directories on the Internet.
"Inmagic's software has proven to be outstanding as a library automation tool, yet it can go well beyond a traditional library application," said Perez of the American Heart Association. "What I like about Inmagic software is that it lets you easily format your information so that it's more identifiable by your users. If you want to change the descriptor field to be a key word, you can do that."
For Mallinckrodt's Brill, self-reliance was a criterion in selecting the appropriate package. "I needed software that was flexible and easy enough to use so that if something needs to be done, I or one of my staff can do it. I don't have to deploy IS, or hire a contractor," said Brill. "I can do 98% of what needs doing with Inmagic."
"With Internet and intranet use burgeoning throughout the healthcare industry, textbase solutions like DB/Text WebPublisher are emerging as 'must have' management tools for people who need to sift through and organize the vast amounts of information," said Inmagic president and CEO Phillip Green.
Since 1983, Inmagic, Inc. has developed library automation and information management software specifically for special libraries. In recent years, Inmagic's Web publishing technology has helped information professionals manage and disseminate today's diverse resources via the Web and intranets. Information professionals choose Inmagic software for traditional applications, such as online catalogs, serials management, loans and orders, as well as for the management of other information, including competitive intelligence, technical reports, annual reports and photo archives. Inmagic's information management solutions are installed in more than 15,000 special libraries and information centers in more than 50 countries. For more information on Inmagic or for free download versions of its software, visit www.inmagic.com or call 800-229-8398.