(4 November 2013) A study released today suggests that hospitals, government departments, associations and other organisations involved in healthcare gain a AUD9 return for every dollar they invest in health libraries. Health Libraries Inc (HLInc) and Health Libraries Australia (ALIA HLA, a national group of the Australian Library and Information Association) commissioned award-winning firm SGS Economics and Planning to survey health libraries across the nation and from this to assess the return on the annual investment in these services to their organisations.
The indicative finding of AUD9 for every AUD1 invested is likely to be even higher. SGS assessed the benefits provided directly to health library users, including time saved and value of ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses such as journal subscriptions. However, the user focus of the study omitted the return on investment in terms of patient care, and SGS said ‘it is highly likely that the benefits of industry libraries outweigh their costs considerably’.
This economic value assessment supports the findings of the ALIA/HLInc Questions of Life and Death, an investigation into the value of health library and information services report, published last year. Library and information service users were asked how they believed their use of the service over the last year had helped them – 83 percent said it had helped them improve health outcomes for their patients and 76 percent said it had changed their thinking and improved their diagnosis or treatment plan.
The full report Worth every cent and more: an independent assessment of the return on investment of health libraries in Australia can be downloaded from the ALIA (http://www.alia.org.au/) and Health Libraries Inc (http://www.hlinc.org.au/) websites.
The press release is here.