Emerging Data Management Roles for Health Librarians in Electronic Medical Records
Objective: To examine current and developing data management roles and opportunities for health librarians
to become involved in electronic medical record (EMR) initiatives. This paper focuses on the Canadian context but has implications farther afield. Methods: To accomplish a state-of-the-art review, searches were conducted in the library and information science databases (LISTA, LISA), biomedical databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE), and on the web for grey literature. Keywords included: clinical librarian, health science librarian, medical librarian, hospital librarian, medical informationist, electronic medical record, EMR, electronic health record, EHR, data management, data curation, health informatics, e-science, and e-science librarianship. MeSH subject headings used were: Medical Records Systems, Computerized/, Electronic Health Records/, and libraries/. Results: There is little evidence of Canadian health librarians’ current involvement in EMR initiatives, but examples from the United States indicate that health librarians’ participation is primarily in system implementation, creating links to the medical literature, and using EMRs to provide patient health information. Further roles for health librarians are emerging in this area as health librarians draw on their core competencies and learn from e-science librarianship to create new opportunities. Data management examples from e-science librarianship, such as building data dictionaries and data management plans and infrastructure, give further direction to health librarians’ involvement in EMRs. Conclusion: As EMRs gradually become more popular in Canada, Canadian health librarians should seek further opportunities for education and outreach to become more involved with these EMR initiatives.
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