2018-01-12 / News Update

DDEAMC library is deep resource for students, researchers, staff

David M. White
Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center


Marybeth Gaudette, Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center’s Health Sciences Librarian, gets to know the depth of the library’s collection Dec. 14, 2017. 
David M. White / DDEAMC Marybeth Gaudette, Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center’s Health Sciences Librarian, gets to know the depth of the library’s collection Dec. 14, 2017. David M. White / DDEAMC Medical students and researchers at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center have a powerful tool at their fingertips in the Health Sciences Library, off the fourth floor lobby. This hidden jewel is open to the public as well.

“The library is a complete literature resource for medical education,” Marybeth Gaudette, the health sciences librarian, said. “But our librarians and our services are available to patients, family members as well as DDEAMC staff.

“We have access to 6,600 medical journals and data bases,” Gaudette said. “These are medical and Army databases and journals. In addition to resources available through the Interlibrary Loan program, there are many e-books and e-journals users can access.”

Institutions such as DDEAMC’s Health Sciences Library employ specialized health sciences librarians who “are information professionals, librarians or informaticists who have special knowledge in quality health information resources,” according to the Medical Library Association. “[Health sciences medical librarians] have a direct impact on the quality of patient care, helping physicians, allied health professionals, administrators, students, faculty and researchers stay abreast of and learn about new developments in their fields.”

Although DDEAMCs library never skipped a beat, the medical librarian position has been vacant for more than 24 months. Gaudette stepped into the role last October. But this daughter-of-a-Marine’s route to health sciences librarian has a number of twists and turns, including an undergraduate degree in dance and time as a court reporter. She earned graduate degrees in Library Science and Information Science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Gaudette has been a librarian at Prince Albert Parkland Health Region in Saskatchewan, Canada, the United Arab Emirates University in Abu Dhabi and later served as the Director of the UAE’s National Medical Library. She returned to the states in 2013 to set up and direct the Health Sciences Library for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, after which she worked for 18 months at Fort Gordon’s Woodworth Consolidated Library. Before coming to DDEAMC, she served as a Health Sciences Librarian at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

She has had her sights on returning to Augusta, Georgia, for a while simply because she loves the area, from the multiple historical societies to the classical music scene where she has performed with the Augusta Choral Society and in Augusta University opera productions.

But it’s Gaudette’s day-to-day activities where she contributes most to the mission of DDEAMC.

“I love the interaction with the nurses, doctors and researchers, she said. “Unlike a repetitive university setting, there is something different every day.”

Residents and clinical staff have access to the Health Sciences library 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For everyone else, regular hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Make better decisions

In one Veterans Administration study (eight hospitals) where clinical searches were conducted by librarians, health professionals said about search results:

95% — useful to direct patient care;

89% — reinforced a mode of treatment;

49% — influenced the advice to patient and family;

49% — altered the mode of treatment;

30% — influenced the choice of treatment;

30% — affected the choice of drugs;

16% — affected the choice of tests; and

14% — influenced the diagnosis. (Jemison, K, et. al., 2009)

A study in 118 hospitals with more than 16,122 participants found:

95% reported that information provided by a librarian resulted in better informed clinical decisions

48% changed advice given to a patient;

33% changed the choice of drugs;

25% changed a diagnosis;

23% changed the choice of tests; and

12% changed post-hospital care or treatment as a result of using resources and services provided by librarians or the library (Marshall, JG, et. al., 2013)

A systematic review of 28 studies demonstrated a range of impacts including:

37-97% impact on patient care;

10-31% impact on diagnosis;

20-51% change in choice of tests; and

27-45% change in choice of therapy (Weightman, AL, et.al., 2005) Avoid adverse events with information from medical librarians

In a large study across more than 110 hospitals:

13% avoided misdiagnosis and adverse drug reactions;

12% reduced medication errors;

6% avoided patient mortality (Marshall, JG, et.al., 2013)

Health care professionals reported benefits as a result of information from search requests in eight Veterans Administration hospitals:

3% avoided adverse events or complications, while

8% avoided patient mortality (Jemison, K, et. al., 2009)

– Source: Medical Library Association

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