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Library Resources for NU300

Assignment help for Unit 6

In this guide, there are suggestions for how to search for your topic.  Below that is help identifying empirical studies.

Search Suggestions

For this assignment you are to choose one of the following HIT topics and find empirical studies supporting how they have improved patient outcomes.

When starting out searching for a topic, I suggest using the search box on the library's homepage because it searches all the databases that we subscribe to. This is an easy way to get an idea of how much has been published on a topic. Also, experiment with quotation marks. They help to group words so that they are more likely to be searched for together.  Below are the topics.  Below each topic is at least one keyword search that is clickable. Clicking on them will take you to search results.  

Physician order entry:

"Physician order entry" "patient outcomes"

"Physician order entry" patient outcomes

"Computerised Provider Order Entry" "patient outcomes"

Clinical information systems

For this topic, it may be easier to search for a specific clinical information system.

"Inpatient Clinical Information Systems" "patient outcomes"

Wireless and portable devices

"Wireless devices" patient outcomes

"portable devices" "patient outcomes"

"portable devices" patient outcomes

Electronic health records

"electronic health records" "patient outcomes"


telehealth "patient outcomes"

For ideas of words to use for search terms and phrases, take a look at the Subjects section of the article information.  There you may find useful words and phrase.  Just put them into quotation marks when putting them in the search box.  And then mix and match the phrases with other words. Examples:  "decision support systems" "medical order entry"

Screen shot of article information from search results.  The word Subject is highlighted in yellow to indicate where to locate the section. It is located below the article's summary.

How to tell if an article is an empirical study

For this assignment you are to find an empirical research study.

Empirical Study:  It is an article that about a study that is written by the researchers who had conducted the study.  The main thing is that it is a single research study.  If you see meta analysis, systematic review, or literature review in the article's title, those are not single research studies and so do not fit the assignment criteria.

A research study are will almost always be published in a peer reviewed journal.

It will have: 

  • specific research question that they are investigating.
  • background information about the research topic
  • a specific group or research population
  • describe the research method used
  • test or measure something
  • summarize the results

What does that look like in an actual research article?  This article will be used as an example of what a research article looks like and how the above information is likely to look in an actual research article.

Jungreithmayr, V.,  Andreas D. Meid, A.D., Haefeli, W.E., & Seidling, H.M. (2021). The impact of a computerized physician order entry system implementation on 20 different criteria of medication documentation—a before-and-after study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making21(1), 1–12. 

The article's abstract will usually have an overview of the different sections of the article.  Basically, it will be a summary of the background research they did on their topic, the research methods they used, the results of their research, and conclusions they draw from their research. 

There will be section of the research article that goes over the background research they have done on their research topic.  Here they will say what other researchers have discovered and they should say why their research is adding to the wider scientific discussion on this research topic.  Basically, they are saying what research is already out there and why this study helps to fill a hole in the already published information.

The researchers will explain what their research question is.  That may be found in a section labeled objective or study aims or maybe even not labeled.  But it should be clearly stated even if their is no subject heading. So, look for a labeled section first and then if you don't find that, read just before the methods section to find the research question  That is the case with this article.  It was at the very end of the Background section.  It also helpfully states "this study".  So, you can feel more confident that it is a study.

The methods section may have information about what research design used in the study but not always.  What it will have is the methods of the research.  Like what questionnaire they used or what measurements they used and why.

There should be a section that presents their findings.   There may also be a discussion section which discusses the significance of their findings or they may include that with the results.

And then there is a conclusion which may also include a discussion of their findings if there is not a separate section for discussing the results.  But the conclusion will definitely have a final thought about the study.  This study had a discussion section and a conclusion section.