Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
The aim of this study was to systematically review the roles and competencies of Medical Information Professionals (MIPs: non-medical personnel who are information technology and medical library literacy) in supporting clinicians in the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM) as reported in the published literature. It analysed and synthesized information from textbooks on EBM and research and review articles drawn from MEDLINE using the following keywords: ―evidence-based medicine‖, ―information seeking and physician‖, ―information need and physician‖, ―EBM librarian‖, ―clinical librarian‖, ―library service‖, ―informationist‖, and ―knowledge management‖. Information from research articles published in local journals and conference proceedings was also included evidence-based medicine (EBM) is defined as the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care. The impact on the medical profession has been to emphasize information processing such as the searching of and appraising medical evidence. Important obstacles to the practice of EBM, from the point of view of the clinicians, include: lack of time; the complexity in the use of the resources; the quality and quantity of evidence resources; lack of infrastructure, technology and information seeking ability; attitude of information service providers; and location of clinicians‘ office. MIPs can help support clinicians by taking on, and acquiring, new roles and competencies such as: quality filtering; literature searching; teaching and managing medical information and associated technology; basic knowledge of EBM and critical appraisal; and preparing systematic reviews. Studies have shown that MIPs can improve their roles and competencies in helping the implementation of EBM. Outcomes indicate the clinician‘s satisfaction and their improvement in patient care. Supporting the practice of EBM will challenge MIPs in Thailand to adjust their roles and competencies following Thai clinician information seeking behaviour, and thus will set the new roles and competencies for MIPs in Thailand.