Influence of library relocation and marketing: examining zip codes and health disparities to serve consumers in East Tennessee

David W. Petersen, Martha Earl, Cameron Watson, Kelsey Grabeel

Abstract


Background: In 2014, the Preston Medical Library underwent a radical change, moving from an academic office building to the main floor of a regional medical center. While the library had previously served the public, health information requests have substantially increased in volume due to the new location. Researchers analyzed request data to see if the service’s reach has expanded to counties that previously had not used the service, to see which counties have requested the most health information, and to ascertain whether more requests are from counties with higher poverty rates.

Case Presentation: Each health information request is logged with the subject nature and patron contact information. Consumer health request data were downloaded from the library database. Names and other identifying data were removed. Request forms were sorted and reviewed by zip code and county, comparing number of requests as well as poverty levels. Tableau was utilized to create maps, visually showing patron concentrations and poverty levels.

Conclusions: There were 3,141 health information requests from September 21, 2014, to May 31, 2019. The majority of requests were from local counties. Requests were also received from counties that had not been previously reached and counties with elevated poverty levels. Collecting data on patron interactions is not only critical for institutional reporting, but also for community outreach. Understanding that data require taking additional steps to filter the information, assess local demographics, and customize library services. Researchers anticipate being able to better tailor services to the community based on the results.

Keywords


Consumer Health; Patient Education; Hospital Library

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Holst R, Funk CJ, Adams HS, Bandy M, Boss CM, Hill B, Joseph CB, Lett RK. Vital pathways for hospital librarians: present and future roles. J Med Libr Assoc. 2009 Oct;97(4):285–92. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.97.4.013.

Harrow A, Marks LA, Schneider D, Lyubechansky A, Aaronson E, Kysh L, Harrington M. Hospital library closures and consolidations: a case series. J Med Libr Assoc. 2019 Apr;107(2):129–36. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.520.

Socha YM, Oelschlegel S, Vaughn CJ, Earl M. Improving an outreach service by analyzing the relationship of health information disparities to socioeconomic indicators using geographic information systems. J Med Libr Assoc. 2012 Jul;100(3):222–5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.100.3.014.

Lindsay JM, Partee RP II, Oelschlegel S, Leonard K. Mapping the changes to a health information service. J Elec Res Med Libr. 2016 Oct;13(3):124–30. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15424065.2016.1235477.

Kaufman BG, Thomas SR, Randolph RK, Perry JR, Thompson KW, Holmes GM, Pink GH. The rising rate of rural hospital closures. J Rural Health. 2016 Winter;32(1):35–43. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jrh.12128.

US Census Bureau. QuickFacts [Internet]. Suitland, MD: The Bureau [1 Jul 2019; cited 11 Mar 2020]. .

Dalaker J. The 10-20-30 provision: defining persistent poverty counties [Internet]. R45100, Congressional Research Service; 3 Feb 2020 [cited 1 Jul 2020]. .

Sheridan SL, Halpern DJ, Viera AJ, Berkman ND, Donahue KE, Crotty K. Interventions for individuals with low health literacy: a systematic review. J Health Commun. 2011;16(supp 3):30–54. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2011.604391.

Slatore CG, Kulkarni HS, Corn J, Sockrider M. Improving health literacy. the new American Thoracic Society guidelines for patient education materials. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Aug;13(8):1208–11. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201605-337OT.

Taylor MV, Stephenson PL. Demonstrating value in federal medical center libraries. Med Ref Serv Q. 2018 Oct–Dec;37(4):403–12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02763869.2018.1514914.

Ahmadi N. When opportunity knocks: expanding library services to a new children’s hospital. J Hosp Libriansh. 2019 Jan;19(1):49–56. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15323269.2019.1551657.

Owusu E. A pediatric hospital library outpatient outreach: promoting library services to outpatient visitors and evaluating effectiveness. J Hosp Librariansh. 2016 Apr–Jun;16(2):160–6. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15323269.2016.1150747.

Hill T. Fear, concern, fate, and hope: survival of hospital libraries. J Med Libr Assoc. 2007 Oct;95(4):371–3. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.95.4.371.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2020.965

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2020 David W. Petersen, Martha Earl, Cameron Watson, Kelsey Grabeel

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.