(1996) articulates several roles for the librarian in consumer health information and patient education in the areas of collection management, knowledge and resources sharing, advocacy, access and dissemination of information, education, and research, such as the following:
Public librarians providing consumer health information must let their institutions know that they are participating in the CAPHIS
listserv in order to collaborate with medical librarians, thereby ensuring that the public receives the best, most current information.
In 2003, an SQL database was created that contains information regarding consumer calls to CAPHIS. Data on calls from 1998 to the present include the caller's name, address, and health information request.
In 2008, Preston Medical Library began research using its CAPHIS data and Esri's ArcMap software.
Findings from this research indicate that although there is no apparent correlation between rates of calls and counties with higher mortality of a specific disease, the overall rates of calls to the CAPHIS match the ranking of the leading causes of death in Tennessee.
Once the calculations were performed, we were able to join layers of information and produce a visual representation of the 2-year rate of calls to the CAPHIS from Knox County throughout the state (Figure 1, online only).
The resulting maps establish a visual representation of the rate of calls to CAPHIS by zip code and the selected socioeconomic factors.
Results indicate that, for the time period examined, there were zip codes in Knox County and neighboring counties that had a high prevalence people of who were aged sixty or older (Figure 2, online only), who were poor (Figure 3, online only), or who had an ambulatory disability (Figure 4) who were not using Preston's CAPHIS. Once we completed the socioeconomic maps, we created a map of the ZCTAs and joined it with the rate of calls to better visualize specific zip code areas for outreach (Figure 5, online only).
Mapping the rate of individuals aged 60 and older showed the highest rates of individuals clustered in 6 counties, 3 of which were contiguous and 4 of which had not placed any calls to CAPHIS in the study period (Figure 2, online only).
For example, we were unaware that there were six zip codes in Knoxville that were not utilizing CAPHIS. Seeing this information represented geographically in the ZCTA map (Figure 5, online only) made it much easier to determine where outreach efforts should be focused.