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Coastal Bend libraries and hospitals link up (4/4/97)

Four hospitals and four colleges in the Coastal Bend are part of a new library network designed to provide comprehensive, up-to- date medical information to health-care providers and students.

The network was created by the Coastal Bend Health Information Network (CBHIN), one of the library programs funded by the South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative and administered by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio's Dolph Briscoe Jr. Library. The initiative is a special legislative project in health-care education.

Hospitals received computers, printers and fax machines. The hospitals are Spohn, Spohn Memorial, Bay Area Medical Center and Driscoll Childrens Hospital. Colleges received computer equipment and fax machines. The colleges are Bee County Community College, Del Mar Community College, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

The institutions have World-Wide Web access to the medical data bases Medline and Cinahl, and the Core Biomedical Collection, a full-text data base of 15 biomedical journals. Health Reference Center, a data base designed for the health-care consumer, rounds out the complement of medical data bases available.

Teaching materials for the data bases have been developed and distributed by the CBHIN librarian, Molly Scanlan. An individualized web page for each site has also been created. Users at the sites have received formal and informal instructional presentations. At Spohn Hospital, employees attended an all-day open house which allowed for one-on-one teaching.

Interlibrary loans have been improved through the development of a Union List of Serials held by CBHIN institutions. This allows for local interlibrary loans whenever possible. In addition, an agreement with the Health Science Center's Briscoe Library was established to provide interlibrary loan of journal articles not held locally.

"Area nursing and allied health students now have access to the largest collection of medical journals in the Coastal Bend at Spohn Memorial Hospital," Scanlan said. CBHIN hired two part- time library clerks for Spohn Memorial to assist students and keep the library open evenings and weekends.

CBHIN has also initiated circuit librarian services to its hospital affiliates without libraries. The librarian visits each of these hospitals weekly for a half a day to provide needed library service. This will be expanded as more hospitals with limited library services become network members.

CBHIN also has plans to include the Corpus Christi Public Library and high schools with health sciences curricula in the network.

Contact: Jim Barrett (210) 567-2570