Doctors, nurses … and a librarian

March 14th, 2018

Who are the people gathered around the hospitalized patient? Doctors and nurses, yes, but at JPS there could be a librarian there, as well. Clinical librarians have joined the team at JPS, informing medical decision-making with medical literature research, freeing up time for doctors to do what doctors do best: take care of patients.

Clinical Library Manager Tim Kenny, with attending physicians

Clinical Library Manager Tim Kenny, with attending physicians and residents during morning hand-off in OB/GYN, capturing opportunities to provide medical literature research relevant to patient care..

Given the immense volume of medical literature and the speed with which new studies are published, no doctor could retain it all. There’s even medical literature on medical literature, which says new medical articles are published at least once every 26 seconds.

It’s an invaluable resource for physicians, especially when a rare or challenging case presents itself. A search of the medical literature — scholarly peer-reviewed journals like The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Cell, Nature and thousands of other titles — will reveal similar cases and treatments that other physicians tried, what worked and what didn’t. When a trend emerges, or a new therapy is tested in clinical trials, a well-informed physician needs to know.

“The big benefit here is we can be around when the residents are around,” to support their clinical education, said Tim Kenny, Clinical Library Manager at the University of North Texas Health Science Center — and now at JPS, which has contracted with UNTHSC for library services. The health science center is one of eight regional medical libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, grant funded to provide health information for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Two clinical librarians are now on site at John Peter Smith Hospital, rounding with attending physicians and residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology in a pilot project to explore ways in which librarians can support resident education and impact outcomes by informing medical decisions.

To visit the JPS medical library, go to Library staff can be reached at or at 817-702-5057.

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