Project ECHO telehealth continuing medical education programs were started with the intent of demonopolizing medical knowledge and ensuring that health care providers in remote/low-resourced areas are connected with the specialized knowledge needed to support their patients. However, there is privilege involved in access to evidence-based health information. Most healthcare workers are not affiliated with large research institutions that subscribe to the latest best available evidence, nor do they have access to library professionals to assist them with research/reference.
The clients presented in clinical cases in ECHOs are complex, high need, and often already marginalized, and two CAMH ECHOs are focused on serving particularly vulnerable minority populations: Indigenous peoples and Trans & Gender-Diverse people in Ontario. Our ability to make available the best evidence for clinicians is compromised by the licensing restrictions placed on our resources and by the dearth of freely-available resources they can access. There is a clear need for innovative solutions to provide low-barrier access to the best possible evidence available.
In this session, we will share how the role of the embedded librarian has evolved to support these communities more effectively, and reflect on hurdles weve encountered and solutions weve developed in our attempts to meet these challenges (some have worked and some have failed).
By the end of this session participants will be able to:
-identify the challenges associated with accessing evidence-based health literature outside major hospital and university healthcare contexts
– discuss the role that privilege plays in reducing access to health information
– develop actionable solutions to support health care professionals in under-served communities accessing the health information they need