HeLiNS: health libraries for national standards – outcomes of a national research project


Health Libraries Australia and Health Libraries Inc. were successful in winning the 2016 $5000 ALIA Research Award. This collaborative research –  known as the HeLiNS (Health Libraries for the National Standards) Project was jointly coordinated by Ann Ritchie (Convenor HLA) and Michele Gaca (President HLI). Gemma Siemensma and Jeremy Taylor led the two-component studies with Cecily Gilbert taking on the project officer role.

The purpose of the research was to explore and record the contribution that health libraries made to the achievement of hospital accreditation, with a view to demonstrating their value. We hope that this research will provide the evidence basis that will shift the (mis)perception of hospital libraries from being ‘nice to have’ services to essential, core services.


Specific objectives were to:

  1. Explore ways and provide best practice case studies in which health libraries assist their organisations in achieving accreditation.
  2. Design expert searches that would assist organisations in keeping current with the latest research-based literature (evidence) pertinent to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.
  3. Assess the availability of resource materials referenced in NSQHS Standards documentation and workbooks

A national reference group was convened which comprised representatives from all states and regions ensuring national relevance.

To see the “NSQHS Standards – live literature searches” please visit this page

A summary of the project was published in JALIA. A book chapter on Health Literacy outcomes is also available.

Please find a poster and a presentation on the project which have been presented at national and international conferences.


Below is a table outlining the eight case studies. Click on each example for more in-depth information:


Case Study Title Relevant Standard/s Organisation Key words
Austin Health Research Online (AHRO)


Austin Health, Vic Clinical Governance, Information Services, Publications, Research Report
Health Literacy Champions Program


Barwon Health, Vic Health Literacy, Consumer Health Information, Patient Participation
Health Literacy in Children’s Health


Redland Hospital, Qld Consumer Health Information, Health Literacy
Medicines Information Resources – Library & Pharmacy collaboration.


Ballarat Health, Vic Drug Information Services, Medication Errors, Library Collection Development
Antimicrobials Guideline


Northern Territory Health Medication Errors, Patient Safety, Clinical Governance
Search filters in the CINAHL and JBI databases

1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10

Cabrini Health, Vic Databases, Bibliographic, Information Seeking Behavior, Information Services, Librarians
Twilight Talks: engaging health consumers with public lectures


Toowoomba Hospital, Qld Health Literacy, Consumer Health Information
Words for Wellbeing


Ipswich Hospital, Qld Bibliotherapy, Consumer Health Information