Winner of the 2013 Michael E. DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award for Outstanding Service to Rural or Underserved Communities
Introduction: Quillen College of Medicine Library has been an active and integral contributor in serving rural and underserved members of Tennessee for almost 20 years. It has reached thousands of people and raised almost a half a million dollars in grants that have contributed to the betterment of overall health in rural Tennessee. Quillen College of Medicine Library has pioneered multiple outreach projects across Tennessee and continues to provide quality health information to populations who would otherwise have no access to these vital resources.
Medical clinics: Quillen College of Medicine Library has provided outreach library services to 35 medical clinics in Tennessee including online searching, full-text journal articles, personal site visits, and smartphone assistance. All of these clinics are federally funded clinics.
Technology: Quillen College of Medicine Library obtained a $107,000 grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to place personal computers with MD Consult subscriptions for the use of physicians in rural hospitals. Quillen College of Medicine Library partnered with the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) in a project that provided approximately 130 PDA devices with medical software to rural doctors and nurses in eight hospitals. This project won "Exemplary Project of the Year" from the Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT). In another project, funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeast Atlantic Region (NN/LM SEA), 80 devices were provided to eight more rural hospitals for their clinical staff along with free document delivery via LoansomeDoc. Quillen College of Medicine Library completed a third project, also funded by NN/LM SEA, in which 100 PDA's were provided to rural clinicians in ten rural hospitals with free document delivery via LoansomeDoc. Altogether, over 300 clinicians in 26 rural hospitals have received PDAs with EBM point-of-care-tools and a drug database.
Public Health Departments: Quillen College of Medicine Library has provided library services for public health departments in Tennessee for 39 out of 95 counties. It provided mediated database searching and document delivery services through LoansomeDoc. It created several instructional podcasts for public health workers on the Lifepath website (http://www.tnphtc.org/). Lifepath provides academic and nonacademic training opportunities for the public health workforce across Tennessee and southwest Virginia.
Public Libraries: Quillen College of Medicine Library has developed a state-wide outreach program to public library workers for consumer health information delivery called "A Simple Plan". Approximately 1,000 non-urban public library attendees participated over a five year period. Of these, 250 received the Medical Library Association's Consumer Health Information Specialization certificate for completing 12 hours of training. Partnerships were formed with regional library directors who brought together public library workers in their multiple county regions to computer labs where the training took place. This project has been featured in the Medical Library Association News and presented at many conferences.
Hospitals (VALUABLES: ): VALUABLES or Value Added Library Users Access to the Biomedical Literature via Electronic Systems is the program the Quillen College of Medicine Library has established for professional health information outreach services to small, regional, rural hospitals. These are mainly poor, rural, mountainous, underserved areas. This project has won "Exemplary Project of the Year" from the Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT) and the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS) Project of the Year award. The library has provided library services to 34 hospitals (journal articles, literature searches, grant funds, training, regular site visits).
Health disparity groups: Quillen College of Medicine Library has conducted outreach with several hard-to-reach underserved health disparity rural groups. For a group of rural medical clinics, who provide services for Hispanic migrants, it helped secure grant funding totaling $71,000 from NN/LM SEA. This was used to develop plays which were acted out at the migrant camps to demonstrate good health practices on topics such as diabetes and perinatal care. Approximately 2,000 migrants have viewed the plays with documented positive health outcomes.
- Quillen College of Medicine Library obtained $40,000 from NN/LM SEA for ETSU College
of Public Health undergraduate students to teach MedlinePlus in several high schools
in the region, with a focus on adolescent health.
- Quillen College of Medicine Library completed an NN/LM SEA funded project which taught
cohorts of rural Appalachian pastors how to find cancer consumer health information
from MedlinePlus. Religion is very important in Appalachia and therefore ministers
can be an excellent portal to deliver quality consumer health information to people
with chronic diseases. Each church was required to develop a health ministry plan
for their congregation.
- Quillen College of Medicine Library obtained funding from NN/LM SEA to help a local rural hospital buy Wii devices to increase physical activity in its geriatric nursing home and to train nurses to use MedlinePlus for their own use and to educate families and patients.
- Quillen College of Medicine Library led a team on four Remote Area Medical (RAM) expeditions.
RAM provides free medical, dental, and vision care to the working poor. Several thousand
patients received consumer health information from the Quillen College of Medicine
- Quillen College of Medicine obtained grant funding to provide personal computers for patients to use for consumer health information needs and tablet devices for clinicians to access best-evidence information at the point of care. These were put in faith based free medical clinics that treat the uninsured.
Exhibits: Quillen College of Medicine Library regularly attends, exhibits, and presents at the Rural Health Association of Tennessee and the Tennessee Public Health Association. Quillen College of Medicine Library has also exhibited at the Tennessee Academy of Family Practice, Tennessee ACOG group, Tennessee Pharmacists Association, Tennessee Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Tennessee Primary Care Association. Through this continued role in these organizations, it has built and sustained countless relationships with health care workers across Tennessee, which many of the outreach projects have benefitted from these contacts.
Research: Quillen College of Medicine Library has conducted a randomized trial on the effect of using PDAs as an outreach to rural clinicians which was presented at the bi-annual Evidence Based Librarianship and Information Practice (EBLIP) Conference in 2009. A qualitative analysis was done on the same project. EBLIP is a research focused library group. Quillen College of Medicine Library presented a paper at the 2011 EBLIP Conference on a qualitative analysis of the "Simple Plan" outreach to consumer health audiences through public libraries. Quillen College of Medicine Library conducted a quantitative study on the Information Needs of Healthcare Professionals in Rural Northeast Tennessee and the Effectiveness of NETAHEC in Meeting These Needs. It conducted a cross sectional longitudinal analysis of the information needs of healthcare professionals in rural northeast Tennessee ten years after this study. It conducted a quantitative study on the information needs of residents. It conducted a randomized trial on the most effective way to do outreach to hospitals and clinics that won 2nd prize for research papers at the Medical Library Association (MLA) annual meeting.
Publications: Quillen College of Medicine Library has presented numerous outreach papers and posters at professional conferences and has won several research awards at these meetings both at the Medical Library Association and Southern Chapter/ Medical Library Association meetings.