Electronic Medical Information Library
Accessible through the Northwell Intranet, the Electronic Medical Information Library (EMIL) enables staff throughout the health system to access a comprehensive suite of databases, e-journals, e-textbooks and reference services, both on campus and remotely, from one single platform. The EMIL initiative was funded by an information systems grant from the National Library of Medicine.
The library sites and EMIL are accessible for all employees of Northwell Health, attending physicians on staff, students participating in current clinical rotations and authorized volunteers. Some of our system libraries are open to the public for walk-in reference services and access to consumer resources.
Importance of medical librarians
Immediate access to up-to-date patient care information is essential for informed clinical and management decision-making. Qualified health science librarians, aided by computer and online technology, can provide a broader range of information and locate needed information more quickly than other hospital employees or medical professionals doing the research on their own.
There are many studies discussing the impact of medical librarians in patient care. Librarians are effective in saving health professionals time, providing relevant, useful information and high quality services. Librarians have a positive effect on clinical decision making by contributing to better informed decisions, diagnosis and choice of drug or therapy.
In an article published in J Med Libr Assoc. 2013 Jan; 101(1): 38–46, these were the main findings:
"Of the 16,122 survey respondents, 3/4 said that they had definitely or probably handled aspects of the patient care situation differently as a result of the information. Among the reported changes were advice given to the patient (48), diagnosis (25%), and choice of drugs (33%), other treatment (31%), and tests (23%). Almost all of the respondents (95%) said the information resulted in a better informed clinical decision. Respondents reported that the information allowed them to avoid the following adverse events: patient misunderstanding of the disease (23%), additional tests (19%), misdiagnosis (13%), adverse drug reactions (13%), medication errors (12%), and patient mortality (6%). The study concluded that the Library and information resources were perceived as valuable, and the information obtained was seen as having an impact on patient care."