Objective: The research studied whether a clinician's preference for online health knowledge resources varied with the use of two applications that were designed for information retrieval in an academic hospital setting.
Methods: The researchers analyzed a year's worth of computer log files to study differences in the ways that four clinician groups (attending physicians, housestaff physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses) sought information using two types of information retrieval applications (health resource links or Infobutton icons) across nine resources while they reviewed patients' laboratory results.
Results: From a set of 14,979 observations, the authors found statistically significant differences among the 4 clinician groups for accessing resources using the health resources application (P<0.001) but not for the Infobuttons application (P = 0.31). For the health resources application, the preferences of the 4 clinical groups varied according to the specific resources examined (all P≤0.02).
Conclusion: The information-seeking behavior of clinicians may vary in relation to their role and the way in which the information is presented. Studying these behaviors can provide valuable insights to those tasked with maintaining information retrieval systems' links to appropriate online knowledge resources.