Public Health England
Public Health England Case Study

Vable: Managing current awareness demand - meeting a growing challenge

As a Knowledge and Evidence Specialist at Public Health England, it is Anh Tran’s responsibility to find evidence to answer complex public health questions. With a topic as broad as public health “it can be really difficult to keep track of the evidence when you’re a practitioner” Anh explains, “that’s why the knowledge and library service produces current awareness, and that's why there is such a great demand for it. Any system that enables us to do that and makes us more efficient is invaluable to us as a tool.”

Managing demand - a growing challenge

Public Health England, a government run body came into being in 2013 with the goal of protecting and improving England’s health and wellbeing. Since then, demand for current awareness has grown exponentially, with Anh expecting it to continue to do so as her team starts to further market their services within the organisation.

Managing that demand really has been the biggest challenge, and is going to be the biggest challenge.

Efficiency and consistency with Vable

Anh has always worked in current awareness, but collating information manually. Prior to working with Vable, she had never used a content aggregation platform. Since Public Health England started using Vable in February 2015, Anh has noticed how much more efficient and consistent she has become in her work.

I think having a system frees up the time. You can focus more on the added value and the system takes care of the day to day team tasks and activities, gathering information and presenting it… that sort of thing. It does make life much easier.

Enhanced collaboration and oversight

Moving to Vable has meant that the team at Public Health England is now able to see what their colleagues are doing, and access the same resources. This has been of huge help to Anh who finds that a coworker has often already added a source for one of their own alerts, so she no longer needs to do the same task twice. They now have a “collective collection” which they manage together to great efficiency.

Greater volumes of information, now a possibility

Before she started using Vable, Anh managed a short current awareness bulletin where she restricted content to just 20 items of information. Back then, adding hundreds of sources simply wasn’t a possibility, it was too time consuming. With Vable, Anh is now able to produce and maintain half a dozen alerts with ease, managing a much greater volume of sources and information without the added time pressure as Vable filters through the noise for her.

As Anh explains, “it helps manage the process and manage the administration”.  She is now able to focus her expertise on content curation and the value added, spending the time she saves selecting the most relevant content for her end-users, whose needs she knows so well.

More control and everything in one place

Vable has enabled  Public Health England to take full control of the information they manage. Anh confirms this, explaining how useful it is to be able to add all of her sources into one place. She can then to be in full control of how she uses them. She can format the content how she wants, send out alerts and newsletters to her own schedule, and manage her many end- users - all from the same platform.

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