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E-book Revolution Changes, Challenges Healthcare

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, May 22, 2012

"That tipping point I don't think is going to happen tomorrow," Kraft says. "I think we're in the process of tipping. It's a long process."

The past four years have seen another tipping point of sorts at the Cleveland Clinic medical library. Four years ago, it had 800 subscriptions to print journals. Today, that number is down to eight. I had to ask Kraft to repeat that number to be sure I had heard her correctly.

Of course those journals are still available at Cleveland Clinic, only now they're electronic edition. But typically, access is via a Web browser. And with journals in particular, the notion of an interlibrary loan can go away once it's in electronic form.

I've seen journals that are accessible only within the computer networks of a particular university, for example, but not from the larger Internet, due to licensing restrictions.

Then there's the lag that many journals have in reaching the platform of choice: the e-book. Many electronic copies of journals are still browser-based, not e-book based, Kraft says.

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