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Stanford librarian travels to South Asia to enhance access to medical IT resources


As part of an effort to extend Stanford's expertise in library science and medical education to underserved areas, Stanford clinical librarian Lauren Maggio traveled to Bhutan and Nepal last September. While visiting regional hospitals and small clinics, some without electricity and many with a single antiquated computer, she educated health-care providers on accessing clinical research and medical information.

A story published today in Inside Stanford Medicine chronicles Maggio's month-long trip and her remarkable experience teaching doctors at a Nepalese hospital how information literacy skills can help in making real-time clinical decisions:

They were unsure whether a baby, less than a month old, was suffering from neonatal meningitis. The physicians explained to Maggio that they needed to do a lumbar puncture to confirm the diagnosis, but the tiny infant was clearly distressed at that moment. The question was how long they could wait before performing the procedure, and they were not sure where to turn to for the answer.

...While the clinicians pondered whether to go ahead with the diagnostic lumbar puncture, Maggio tapped on her iPad and began to show the clinicians how information literacy could make a difference to physicians faced with a real-time clinical decision. They watched as she accessed the Lane Library clinical search tool, which provided them with an answer.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Maggio

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