National Network of Libraries of Medicine Uses AHRQ Video in Patient Safety Seminar

Patient Safety
July 2009

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) has incorporated AHRQ's Questions Are the Answer video into its Patient Safety Resource Seminar, "Librarians on the Front Lines." The class has been taught in 15 states across the country and in Canada to more than 250 librarians, the majority of whom took the information back to their hospitals and health systems.

The initial class, originally created in November 2006, was taught to health science librarians. Since then, the class has been expanded to include a section focused on patient participation in their own health care. Two percent of attendees were public health workers and the general public, with another six percent serving in public libraries.

According to Holly Ann Burt, MLIS, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator for NN/LM-Greater Midwest Region, "Although Questions Are the Answer has always been a part of the class, the video now leads the patient involvement section."

The interactive seminar focuses on ways librarians can become more involved in patient safety processes and activities. This involvement can occur within their institutions and organizations, in addition to their role in providing patient safety resources for health professionals, administration, staff, patients, and families.

Topics include understanding the definitions and issues related to patient safety; locating where patient safety practices and contacts exist within an institution; identifying appropriate resources; and library advocacy in the area of patient safety. These four hours of lecture, discussion, and brainstorming help librarians in all fields become effective agents for improving patient safety.

The course objectives include the ability to do the following:

  • Describe definitions related to patient safety and detect systems of potential error within institutions.
  • Identify patient safety issues and points of contact specific to individual institutions.
  • Locate resources available for administrators, health professionals, patients, and families.
  • Formulate methods for the library to participate effectively in improving patient safety.

This class has been approved by the Medical Library Association for 2.5, 4 and 6 contact hours of MLA CE credit. The course is available online at:

Burt also created a shorter version that public librarians could use for their patrons, which also begins with the Questions Are the Answer video. Because these materials have been created through the National Library of Medicine, they may be freely downloaded and adapted for the programs created by librarians and the general public.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine ( program is funded and coordinated by the National Library of Medicine ( and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers.

The videos can be viewed at:

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Questions Are the Answer Public Service Campaign
Topics(s): Patient Safety
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: National Network of Libraries of Medicine
Date: 07/01/2009
Page last reviewed October 2014