J Am Med Inform Assoc 9:161-170 doi:10.1197/jamia.M00991
  • The Practice of Informatics
  • Application of Information Technology

Creating a Pediatric Digital Library for Pediatric Health Care Providers and Families

Using Literature and Data to Define Common Pediatric Problems

  1. Donna D'Alessandro,
  2. Peggy Kingsley
  1. Affiliation of the authors: Children's Hospital of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  1. Correspondence and reprints: Donna M. D'Alessandro, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242-1009; e-mail: <donna-dalessandro{at}>
  • Received 10 July 2001
  • Accepted 27 October 2001


The goal of this study was to complete a literature-based needs assessment with regard to common pediatric problems encountered by pediatric health care providers (PHCPs) and families, and to develop a problem-based pediatric digital library to meet those needs. The needs assessment yielded 65 information sources. Common problems were identified and categorized, and the Internet was manually searched for authoritative Web sites. The created pediatric digital library ( used a problem-based interface and was deployed in November 1999. From November 1999 to November 2000, the number of hyperlinks and authoritative Web sites increased 51.1 and 32.2 percent, respectively. Over the same time, visitors increased by 57.3 percent and overall usage increased by 255 percent. A pediatric digital library has been created that begins to bring order to general pediatric resources on the Internet. This pediatric digital library provides current, authoritative, easily accessed pediatric information whenever and wherever the PHCPs and families want assistance.


  • This work was supported by a Generalist Faculty Scholars grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • This work was presented in part at the 2000 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, May 12–16, 2000.

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