This poster describes the results of a survey that measured the impact of a hospital library literature search service. The searches were performed by a network of librarians and information specialists for clients (including clinicians, clinical researchers, educators, and administrators) in one zone of a provincial health authority between 2010 and 2013.
We used a five-question, web-based survey to assess clients’ perception of the usefulness and effectiveness of the literature search service. The survey included questions about how clients used the information in their practice or research, as well as how the service could be improved. A request to complete the survey was sent to clients two weeks after they received their literature search results.
We received 406 responses to the survey during the evaluation period. 98% of respondents reported that the literature search results had been helpful, and 92% reported that they used the information in practice or research. The most common uses for the information included: research and teaching; development of policies, programs, or guidelines; and patient care. Suggestions for improving the service included reducing the amount or breadth of literature retrieved, enhancing access to full text articles, and improving search strategies used in the literature search.
Web-based surveys can be a useful way to gather information on client satisfaction with, and use of, a literature search service. Besides demonstrating the value of this service to clients in a health authority, the survey results are influencing our ongoing quality improvement and evaluation efforts.