A 21st-Century Approach to Health Services Research: NLM Moves Forward with You in Mind

Guest post by Doug Joubert, head of User Services and the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology, National Library of Medicine.

NLM has a strong record of involving its stakeholders in the strategic decisions that drive the products we develop and the services we offer. As the world’s largest biomedical library, NLM is committed to thinking strategically about how we can promote discovery while supporting the 21st-century data, data science, and information needs of our diverse user community.

Looking forward

As we consider how to better address the needs of everyone who produces or uses health services research, we invite you to be part of the process by responding to this Request for Information (RFI).

Through this RFI, NLM is seeking input on future resource and program directions in support of information related to health services research, practice guidelines, and health technology, including technology assessment. Specifically, feedback is requested on the following:

  • Products that NLM currently offers in the areas of health services delivery or health services research
  • Information types necessary for organizations to successfully support health services research or public health
  • Tools, resources, or health services literature that are the most critical for NLM to collect or support
  • Any other comments that would enable NLM to support future work related to health services delivery or health services research

Taking stock

The health services research community is supported by NLM’s many databases, tools, and services, including PubMed and PubMed Central, Bookshelf, MedlinePlus, and ClinicalTrials.gov. Our Unified Medical Language System and clinical vocabulary and data standards resources are used by individuals in clinical research and health practice in the United States and globally. Through our intramural and extramural research and training investments in biomedical informatics, computational biology, and genomics, we are advancing projects that address real-world challenges in public health surveillance, opioid intervention, social determinants of health, and other domains. NLM also promotes the use and reuse of data for research and discovery from both research studies and clinical data sources through publicly available national health surveys, diagnostic images, administrative claims, and electronic health records. 

Since the early 1990s, with the establishment of the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), NLM has developed a number of specialized information resources targeting producers and users of health services research. These specialized resources were designed to address some of the challenges of finding and accessing credible and authoritative health services research information.

At the core of NLM’s service model is meeting the information needs of all those who seek current and trusted biomedical information. To this end, NLM has continued to increase, refine, and evaluate the health services research resources of NICHSR. These efforts reflect the changing needs of users and the ways in which health services delivery is evaluated. Through our products, services, and programs, we continue to strive to support the information needs of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, policymakers, librarians, and the public.

We hope you’ll take the time to share your expertise and vision for health services research information at NLM so that our NICHSR can continue evolving to meet your needs. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Doug Joubert is the head of Users Services and the and the product owner for the NLM Health Services Research product portfolio. He supports a team that provides research and information services to the public. He also supports the NLM Strategic Plan by leveraging NLM tools and services to facilitate the management of data throughout the entire lifecycle. Doug works collaboratively to develop and support data science training for NLM Reference and Web Services staff.