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Internal Medicine Portal: Clinical Rounding Service

About Clinical Librarians

What is Clinical Rounding and how does it improve patient care?

When the clinical librarian joins your team, she will visit patient rooms with the rounding team. The team may have questions or conversations about best practices for patient care, why something has historically been done/why we've changed courses on patient management strategies, or have a need for background information related to a case.

Your clinical librarian can assist the team with either answering questions on the spot (searching on an iPad in real time), or accumulating questions to search, synthesize, and distribute later in the same day by email.

Clinical Librarians can also briefly demonstrate point of care tools and search strategies on rounds, and are happy to meet individually or in small groups at other times to improve these skills.

Read literature on Clinical Librarianship in PubMed by clicking here!

Invite your Clinical Librarian to rounds

Reasons to invite your Clinical Librarian to rounds or utilize services virtually:

1. Librarians support evidence-based patient centered care by being part of your multidisciplinary team at the point of decision making.

2. Librarians save time by connecting you and your team with the information you need. Speed up your day by having your clinical librarian look up research for you - they specialize in searching!

3. They can also keep you informed about the latest information resources and help you set up mobile apps to make your experience easier.

4. Studies show that clinicians have at least 1 question for every 2 patients, and only 40% of those questions are actually pursued.  With a librarian, the obstacles of locating information disappear (Del Fiol G ,et al., Clinical  questions raised by clinicians at the point of care: a systematic reviewJAMA 2015).

What to expect

Clinical librarianship is "point-of-care" librarianship. Clinical librarians attend noon conference, serve on hospital committees, and perform searches at the bedside (or in the hallway between patients). The librarians at WRNMMC are semi-embedded in Internal Medicine/MICU, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry.

Your Clinical Librarian is available on IM Inpatient Wards and the MICU. She is familiar with the vocabulary and most frequent clinical questions.

Your Clinical Librarian can take questions by means of email, telephone, texting, virtual conferencing, or in-person when working at the hospital. 

To best utilize services, we recommend the following:

  • Figure out if you need more information to make an informed, evidence-based decision in patient care
    • If you have a need for more information, let your librarian know. She can help you formulate or focus questions when you have that nagging feeling that you "just need some more information."
    • Give your librarian context. This is especially important when the librarian is working virtually
  • If you are teaching, or new to inpatient rounds, decide if you would benefit from background information
    • There are more options than up-to-date for why we do things certain ways, what a disease process looks like, or best practices for evaluation and treatment. 
    • Would you benefit from a book chapter? Similar case reports? A meta-analysis? We can send those to you and find easily digestible information to facilitate learning
  • Broaden applicability
    • You may not have a pressing question for a particular patient, but you may see patterns in care/management that you want more information on. Or you may want to learn from one patients' case to be prepared for later. 
  • Talk to your team!
    • Your teammates or attending may have questions related to patient care or learning, even if nothing immediately comes to mind. Often, these conversations lead to more questions being asked and more evidence unearthed, and ultimately better patient care

Your clinical librarian will strive to send you information as close to real time as possible, especially with responses same-day. 

This position is vacant


For immediate assistance, please contact a Librarian:

Clinical Librarians & Rounding

The concept of clinical librarianship, whereby librarians are integrated into the health care setting, has been practiced since the 1970s. Librarians have been included in teaching or inpatient rounds, morning report/noon conference, the EBM curriculum, and journal clubs.

Darnall Medical Library | Walter Reed NMMC | Building 1, Room 3458 | 8955 Wood Road | Bethesda, MD 20889 | 301-295-1184/85 | Open Monday-Friday, 0700-1630

After-hours access to the library is available to WRNMMC Staff via the CDO at 301-295-4611.