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The value of librarians for clinical and health governance (a view from Europe)

Irina Ibragimova (HealthConnect International, Zadar, Croatia)
Maria Helena Korjonen (Korjonen Consulting, Strassen, Luxembourg)

International Journal of Health Governance

ISSN: 2059-4631

Article publication date: 8 January 2019

Issue publication date: 20 February 2019




Governance of healthcare organisations and health systems requires many different competencies, with a great emphasis on evidence and information governance, which are traditional fields of librarians’ expertise. However, stakeholders are unaware of how health and hospital libraries are contributing with specific activities and what are the trends in library support for health/clinical governance in Europe, mainly because traditional methods of measuring impact are restricted to specific library activities or are not showing direct impact long term. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


A model combining components of clinical and health governance (C/HG), related library activity types, and the possible impact was developed based on a literature review and tested by a European expert panel. A web-based survey was offered to the members of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) to offer further insight into activities and examples of contribution to C/HG.


Librarians from 25 European countries participated in the survey. The model proves that librarians in Europe are involved in supporting most identified components of C/HG, with examples of clinical effectiveness and research, education and training, patient and public involvement, partnership engagement, formulating strategic direction, etc.

Research limitations/implications

The authors were unable to cover the roles of libraries in all European countries in this paper, but dialogue and research will continue within the EAHIL group.


No such comparative research has been undertaken before, looking at what activities and tasks libraries undertake to support C/HG. This research has highlighted valuable services and tools that can be replicated in libraries across health care organisations and at the same time promote libraries and librarians as significant actors in organisational governance.



The authors are grateful to the focus group members who gave so generously their time: Luc Hourlay, Ivana Truccolo, Maria Garcia-Puente, Štefica Dodig, Lovela Machala Poplašen, Frank Norman.


Ibragimova, I. and Korjonen, M.H. (2019), "The value of librarians for clinical and health governance (a view from Europe)", International Journal of Health Governance, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 66-88.



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