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


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