DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Informed Caring project will provide seamless, just-in-time, online access to knowledge-based medical and health information at the point of need for nursing, allied and public health professionals in ten counties that all include Health Professional Shortage Areas or Indian Reservations. The project will also create a model health information literacy training curriculum. The project will accomplish three inter-related steps:
1. Design and evaluate an Informed Caring website portal that offers seamless access to resources that answer typical nursing, allied health and public health questions at the point of need. 2. Establish a model Virtual Health Library with comprehensive online access to a wealth of free and licensed health information resources, along with library services, for addressing the knowledge-based needs of this community of providers. 3. Develop a model Health Information Literacy curriculum to be used in teaching and maintaining basic skills for utilizing health information online. The curriculum will be adaptable in academic, clinical, public health, and library settings, as well as for workshops, self-paced instruction, and distance learning. The project aims to benefit three distinct levels of information users: 1. Pre-professional. Equip nursing and allied health students with basic "information literacy" skills for locating appropriate healthcare information and discerning its quality. Such skills should support the educational process, as well as providing tools for lifelong learning. 2. Professional. Provide healthcare workers with user-friendly access to quality information for supporting decision making in clinical, public health, and health education settings. Offer workshops, online tutorials, and other learning methods for enabling health professionals to keep current on new information resources.
3. Public. Public, academic, school, and special librarians will attend train-the-trainer workshops on helping their clients find useful and reliable health information online. The project will involve various types of institutions, including hospitals, a school of nursing, and a multi-type library consortium consisting of academic, public, school, and special libraries.