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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 9 of 29)
Section 1: Health Services Research Databases and Information Resources

HSTAT: Health Services Technology Assessment Texts

The Health Services Technology/Assessment Texts (HSTAT) (http://hstat.nlm.nih.gov/) is a free, Web-based resource of full-text documents that provide health information and support health care decision making. HSTAT's audience includes health care providers, health service researchers, policy makers, payers, consumers and the information professionals who serve these groups.

Thumbnail image of the HSTAT Home Page. Click to go to the HSTAT Web site.

Examples of documents include:
  • clinical practice guidelines, quick-reference guides for clinicians, and consumer brochures sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research (AHRQ)

     

  • AHRQ Evidence reports and technology assessment reports

     

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus development conference and technology assessment reports

     

  • HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service (ATIS) resource documents

     

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT) treatment improvement protocols (TIPs)

     

  • the Public Health Service (PHS) Preventive Services Task Force Guide to Clinical Preventive Services (1996 edition)

     

  • Task Force on Community Preventive Services' Guide to Community Preventive Services
  • Health Technology Advisory Committee (HTAC) of the Minnesota Health Care Commission (MHCC) health technology evaluations

HSTAT also provides links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Prevention Guidelines Database, the new NIH Clinical Trials database, and NLM's MEDLINE database via PubMed.

A Fact Sheet that gives details about this resource is available at the HSTAT Web site. It explains what this resource is and how to use it.

HSTAT continued...

Exercise

  1. Clinical practice guidelines take a long time to author and thus have a substantial investment of time and expertise. What makes them so valuable? Select one of the clinical practice guidelines, quick-reference guides for clinicians, or consumer brochures sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research (AHRQ) from the HSTAT database and evaluate it. What would be your evaluation criteria? What kinds of information would you expect to find in the database? The record? Was there any information in the record that you could extract for other uses? What?

Discussion Questions

  1. When would you be most likely to use this database?
  2. Why are full-text databases such as this one so valuable to librarians and researchers? Discuss.
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