A one-stop information shop for emergency care staff managed by the Emergency Medicine Research Group at the University of Warwick - the National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) is now on line, the NHS Information Authority announced this week.
A reference source containing clinical and managerial information relating to all aspects of emergency care, the new virtual branch library of the NeLH, has been developed to support the work of busy emergency care health professionals.
It also supports the Government’s strategy for emergency healthcare, which stresses the importance of introducing standardised care pathways and standards for emergency care across the whole of the NHS.
Dr Matthew Cooke, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Emergency Care at the University of Warwick and Project Director said: “Our aim is to make the web site the first place emergency care staff will look when needing clinical or managerial information. It will be equally useful to all emergency care staff including ambulance staff, primary care workers, A&E departments and minor injuries unit staff.”
The new emergency care resource is available from www.nelh.nhs.uk/nelh-ec and is managed by the Emergency Medicine Research Group at University of Warwick.
The library consists of four main virtual ‘shelves’:
Reference - a wide variety of medical journals, textbooks and official reports.
Archive – collections of x-rays, photographs and EKGs as well as patient leaflets.
Guidelines - all types of clinical guidelines used in emergency care. Over the next year this will be developed into a fully searchable database with quality controls to ensure that NeLH-EC provides the most up to date and evidence based medical guidelines on the web.
Learning - access to interactive sites that allow you to resuscitate a virtual trauma victim or a heart attack victim. Plus links to sites offering electronic alerts from journals (a virtual librarian service).
Recent advice on handling of possible anthrax cases was put on the web site and emergency care workers informed within a couple of hours via an e-mail list that had already been established to inform interested people of new developments. Rapid links from the NeLH-EC provide users with access to sites that are needed by all emergency care practitioners such as Toxbase, eBNF and Medline.
Future enhancements will include a news section to keep emergency care personnel informed of important policy and related documents. John Heyworth, President of the British Association of Accident and Emergency, said: “This is a superb development which will provide an invaluable reference and education resource for clinicians in emergency care to optimise the quality of care delivered in emergency departments and throughout the emergency care system.”
Dr Matthew Cooke, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Emergency Care at the University of Warwick and Project Director, National electronic Library for Health Tel: 02476 573164