Providing direction and management for health library and information services

2008-06-25T13:04:45Z (GMT) by Graham Walton
The rapidly changing technology, coupled with clinical users with current needs that bear little resemblance to those of five years ago, means health LIS managers must develop new services and incorporate new technology. At the same time the health LIS are functioning within the turbulent health environment described in Chapter 1 where change is occurring in all areas. Two key areas on which the health LIS manager must focus to ensure that services ‘fit’ are strat egic direction and managing staff. This chapter is therefore divided into two sections: strategic and human resource management. The intention is not to convey that one is more important than the other, but that they involve different approaches and skills. Strategic and people management are intertwined: an effective health LIS strategy will be damaged by ineffective staff management and vice versa. The role of strategic management, informed by recent developments in the directions taken by health information services in UK NHS trusts, is discussed. The strategic process is outlined including strategic analysis, internal analysis, strategic options, evaluation of options and strategic implementation. This section is completed by discussions on the importance of different stakeholders to the strategy. Various business models, already applied within the library sector (Walton and Edwards, 1997), are used to develop the ideas within the health LIS context. The section looking at staff management discusses managing change, staff skills, teamwork and staff development.