The American Hospital Association's proposal for a national health-services library has won the financial backing of three other organizations.
The AHA said last week the new National Information Center for Health Services Administration is in operation in its Chicago offices. The effort also involves the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American College of Physician Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Each organization has pledged $25,000 annually to the center, said Christine McEntee, AHA executive vice president.
McEntee emphasized that the existing AHA Resource Center will continue to be available to the public for a $25-per-day access fee (May 12, p. 58). Members of the ACHE, the ACPE or the HFMA get free access to the AHA library. Its other services also will be provided at discounted fees.
New services developed as part of the national center won't be available to the public, McEntee said.
Discussions for a national center began last July when the AHA convened a meeting of eight other healthcare groups (Aug. 12, 1996, p. 16). It argued a joint library could improve healthcare executives' access to information during a period of rapid change in healthcare, as well lead to economies of scale and the elimination of duplicative efforts.
Originally, the AHA planned to scale down its resource center into essentially an electronic document and book-retrieval service. But members of the health-services research community mounted a public-relations campaign to keep the library open.