HLA/Medical Director Digital Health Innovation


The HLA/MedicalDirector Digital Health Innovation Award is funded by MedicalDirector and maintained by the ALIA Health Libraries Australia group.

The Award is presented annually at a relevant HLA (ALIA) event. The recipient/s will be presented with a certificate and $3,000 to –

  1.  To implement the innovation or
  2. To further their (or their team’s) professional development in the area of innovation,

All arrangements are to be undertaken by the awardee/s after approval of the award and funds must be expended within 12 months of receiving advice of the award.       


Selection criteria


The Award focuses on innovation projects in health care information delivery with practical outcomes. The submission must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. The innovation is proposed (and the funds will be used to implement the innovation)
  2. The innovation has already been achieved (and the funds will be used to further develop the innovation, or for the professional development of the team);

The application should focus on the innovation and available evidence that the innovation has improved or will improve access to health information and health care (i.e. practical outcomes). Nominees must address each of the following selection criteria against which applications will be assessed:

  1. Contribution to, and enhancement of, the health library/information profession/industry
  2. Outstanding project work, whether by an individual or a team
  3. Collaboratively working within or between organisations
  4. Originality/innovation regarding services or solutions
  5. Excellence/innovation in terms of best practice
  6. Implementation and evaluation of the project (actual or intended methods and, where available, results)



The awardee/s will

  1. If the funds have been used to implement the innovation – report on the innovation outcomes via an article in JoHILA (required at the latest for the June 2022 issue – May 2022 deadline)
  2. If the funds have been used for professional development- report on the     professional development activity in JoHILA (required at the latest for the June 2022 issue –May 2022 deadline) and, in addition,

All applicants must supply a title and abstract for their project. An abstract of the winning application will be made available via the Award website.




To be eligible to apply for this award

  • All professional award nominees must be current personal members of ALIA. In the case of an all professional team application, one team member, with the exception of the team leader, may come under the organisation’s ALIA institutional membership.
  • Non-professional nominees must work in a library with ALIA institutional membership

Current Health Libraries Australia executive members, Award Administrators and employees of MedicalDirector are ineligible to apply but may be nominators or seconders.


How to apply


Application form

  • Nominations are made by completing the Application Form and submitting to the Award Administrator.
  • Endorsement of a seconder is required if self nominating.




Nominations for the Award must be received by 26 April 2021.


Presentation of the award


The Award will be presented at the ALIA Health Libraries Australia Professional Development day in November 2021. Funding will be provided for the winner’s travel costs, for one night’s accommodation and for the Professional Development Day registration fee. Where the award is won by a team, funding will be provided for the team leader only. All other costs must be covered by the individual.


Decision process


Nominees are considered by a Panel, with 2 representatives of the HLA Executive and 1 member of MedicalDirector Management.

The nominations will be emailed to the Panel, which is chaired by an ALIA HLA Executive member.

  • The Panel will vote for their top 3 choices, in order of merit.
  • The 3 choices will be weighted (3 points for first choice, 2 points for second choice, one point for the third choice).
  • The winner will be by a simple majority – if there is a tie, the casting vote lies with the HLA Executive.
  • The ALIA HLA Executive will make a recommendation to the ALIA Membership and Awards Standing Committee to confirm the selected nominee.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Previous winners


2021: Trish Bennett and Alana McDonald for A Digital Room Booking System

The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Medical Library is physically located at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW). The Medical Library has four group study rooms which are bookable for study purposes. These are very popular with staff and students at CHW and are the only dedicated study spaces available in the hospital. The current booking system is a time-consuming process via Outlook. Patrons are required to complete an online booking form which is then manually processed by the library and a study room allocated. Patrons do not always know if their booking is confirmed until they get to the library. Due to this, many patrons choose to book in person which means the library staff member assisting then has to fill out the room booking form on their behalf. A printout of that room’s Outlook calendar is displayed on the wall, which has to be reprinted and updated any time a new booking is made, leading to paper wastage and unnecessary printing. This also means users inside the room are disturbed by library staff entering the room and replacing the calendar on the wall.

Using the LibCal module of the Springshare LibGuides platform, this project will allow users to book their own rooms in a more streamlined fashion and get rid of printed calendar displays. Tablets have been purchased for display outside each room, which will show availability. Patrons will be able to book a room via the tablet or by accessing the LibCal page and receive automatic confirmation. The benefits of this project are as follows:

1) Less time spent by Library staff confirming, making and organising room bookings.

2) An integrated booking system with the booking form and calendar all in one.

3) A more environmentally friendly booking system which is fully electronic.

4) Users will now be able to book rooms from anywhere without needing to access the hospital intranet. This means during busy periods medical students will be able to book rooms out of hours and on weekends.

5) Users will be able to check which rooms are free without having to contact the Library.

6) If users are a “no-show”, rooms will automatically revert back to being available, providing greater access, particularly after hours.

2020: Daniel McDonald for Shoosh: a podcast about health libraries

2019: David Honeyman for the System for Automatically Requesting Articles (SARA) – an automation tool to improve the speed of systematic reviews

2018: Justin Clark for The Polyglot Search Translator (PST): a tool for translating search strategies: phase 3.

2017: Helen Skoglund and Cecily Gilbert for Information Prescription program at Barwon Health: A digital health literacy initiative for patients in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) (This project has not been completed and the prize money has been returned to MedicalDirector).

2016: Veronica Delafosse for The evolution of health librarianship in Australia.

2015:  Kate Jonson, Ingrid Tonnison and Rianna Bryant for Preserving the past, looking to the future: a digital repository for the Central Coast Local Health district.

2014:  Lisa Kruesi and Connie Schardt, for Australian Evidence Based Practice Librarians’ Institute, 2011– 2014.

2013:  Narelle Hampe and Suzanne Lewis at Central Coast Local Health District who implemented an e-portfolio project

2012:  Sarah Hayman at CareSearch who developed a palliative care search filter

2011:  Daniel McDonald at Toowoomba Clinical Library Service who introduced clinically-oriented audio presentations to their busy clinicians

2010:  Terence Harrison who helped establish CEBPA (Centre for Evidence Based Practice Australasia)

2009:  Trudi Maly, inaugural winner, at the Northern Territory Department of Health and Families for her work on the Clinical Practice Guidelines Quality Improvement Program


Award Category

Group awards


Closing date

26/04/2021 (All day)