Saturday, February 18, 2006

Investigating User Environment : unusual perspective

Readers of my blog know I am convinced that libraries should get their services into the various user environments. I will go a long way to prove and investigate this. Libraries are always thinking about how to get responses from users, doing surveys, questionnaires. My organization is a large Academic Medical Center with 8000 staff members.
I found out a perfect way to scan how much the organization is aware of your services!
It's gives you a view from almost all departments of your hospital.
You get direct response from everybody.
You get inside info on how efficient different departments work and how communications are between them. I am surprised nobody else thought about this before. It's so obvious. You become a patient in your hospital!
Do an "undercover" act and start at the A&E department.
If you want to do it really convincing, you involuntarily rupture you patella of your right knee. From there you get diagnosed by interns, checked by medical staff, go thru Radiology. Get Surgery, view the operating rooms from the inside. Get to see the Recovery Room after surgery, meet the anesthesiologists, and finally you stay a week at a surgical patient ward. Meet the nursing, housekeeping and cleaning staff. You get to talk to everybody about who you are and what you do (if they did not recognize you earlier, as in my case!)
That way they tell you very honestly what they think of the Library and it's services. A few responses: "I really like the off-campus access to all the resources and e-journals" (proxy CMB) "I use the computers in the Library a lot!" "The QuickSearch Library Toolbar is very handy, especially at home!" "I did a few courses of the Library and they were very useful" "I always start searching from the Central Medical Library Website"
In a few weeks you will get the results from the survey of the Physical Therapy Department when CPM treatment starts.
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