The quality and impact of MEDLINE searches performed by end users

Health Libr Rev. 1995 Sep;12(3):191-200. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2532.1995.1230191.x.


Evidence suggests that MEDLINE is becoming an important clinical tool that can improve the care and health of patients. Efforts to improve the quality and impact of end-user searching are needed and ongoing. End users are completing many MEDLINE searches. They appreciate and value training along with feedback on their searching techniques. Practice, is however, the biggest single factor in improving the quality of searching. Key roles for the library in end-user searching include, providing the most effective MEDLINE access possible to the maximum number of users, and providing training that includes feedback and practice opportunities. System-wide advances in structured abstracts, indexing, system design, informatics research and the literature itself will make searching easier and more effective in the future. More important than the quality of search results per se is the impact that end-user searches have on patient care and patient outcomes. Growing evidence shows that both patient care and patient outcomes are improved by end-user searches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing / standards
  • CD-ROM
  • Computer User Training
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / standards*
  • MEDLINE / statistics & numerical data*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Physicians
  • User-Computer Interface