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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 4: Search the Literature of HSR: Databases (Page 5 of 29)
Section 1: Health Services Research Databases and Information Resources

Accessing "Health Services" in NLM's Web-based Environment

Materials specially selected with a focus on health services research including clinical (emphasizing the evaluation of patient outcomes and the effectiveness of procedures, programs, products, services, and processes) and non-clinical (emphasizing health care administration, economics, planning, and policy) aspects of health care delivery, that comprised HealthSTAR, have now migrated to other NLM online web-based environments:

  1. journal citations are being added weekly to the NLM PubMed collection (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/)

    Snapshot of PubMed. This image opens in a new window. Close the window to return to this page.
  2. books, book chapters, technical reports and conference papers are added regularly to NLM's online catalog, LocatorPlus (http://locatorplus.gov/)
    Snapshot of LocatorPlus at NLM. Click the image to visit the site in a new window. Close the window to return to this page when you are done.
  3. meeting abstracts from the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy (formerly the Association for Health Services Research), the International Society of Technology Assessment in Health Care, and the Cochrane Colloquium annual conferences have moved to the NLM Gateway (http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/) under the Meeting Abstracts category.
    Snapshot of the NLM Gateway. Click to visit the Gateway in a separate window. Close the window to return to this page.

Users can go to these specific environments to search for HSR literature or they can use the NLM Gateway to simultaneously search across all information services.

HSR Information Central

HSR Information Central was developed to serve the information needs of the health services research community. The National Library of Medicine HSR Information Program initiated the project.

Partners in in populating the Web site include the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Cancer Institute, AcademyHealth, the Cecil C. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D), at the Veterans Administration.

This rich resource is a cornucopia of links to

For those new to the field this is definitely a resource worth studying. For those with some experience in the field of health services research, the site is also worth visiting regularly as it is updated frequently. Students of health services research and faculty will also find the links valuable.

Some Database History - HealthSTAR

HealthSTAR - Health Services Technology, Administration, and Research - was an online bibliographic information service that resided as a separate database available from the National Library of Medicine from February 1994 (originally called HSTAR) to December 2000.

As of January 2001 HealthSTAR citations were merged with the Medline database. HealthSTAR was an important historical resource for librarians when it was a separate database. It is equally important merged with Medline citations.

Although HealthSTAR ceases to exist as a separate database, the selection and acquisition of HSR published and grey literature is still ongoing and is coordinated jointly through the NLM National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC), and Technical Services Division.

A description of the PubMed filters for Health Services Research can be found on the next page.

Exercise

  1. Pick a simple word or phrase to search and run it in PubMed, the NLM Gateway and LOCATORplus. How helpful will each of these portals be for your research?
  2. Examine one or more of the HSR Information Central resources above and list three or four reasons why that section or sections will be important to you and your user or research group.

Discussion Questions

  1. To your knowledge has the integration of HealthSTAR content into PubMed made it easier or harder to search for the health services literature?
  2. Isn't PubMed wonderful? What features do you particularly like about PubMed?
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