Point-of-Care Information Sources Scrutinized

Attention UpToDate and DynaMed users!

The use of online information resources for answering patient-related questions is playing an increasingly important role in the daily practice of clinicians. In fact, the names of these e-resources have become part of most health care providers’ vernacular. Who hasn’t heard of UpToDate, FirstConsult, DynaMed, eMedicine or Clin eguide to name a few?

The overall aim of these resources is to synthesize all available evidence for major clinical topics. Some basic features shared by these clinical point-of-care tools include:

  • Synthesis of current evidence for diagnosis, interventions, and therapy;
  • Designed for rapid consultation at point of patient care;
  • Evidence-based and frequently updated with links to relevant literature;
  • Drug information, ICD coding, patient information, PDA application, and provision for links to electronic health records.

A recent article from BMJ (1) published the results of its findings on the evaluation of five point-of-care information summaries. The study group looked specifically at the speed of updating evidence relevant to medical practice. The article’s conclusion cited DynaMed as the clear leader in updating speed among the field of five information summary tools.

This journal article raised questions among publishers, guideline developers, researchers, and especially clinicians about the quality and timeliness of point-of-care tools: What is the “need for speed”? How quick is too quick? What are the best approaches (priority, time, other?) for inclusion of topics? Is there now a need for an expert panel to set standards for the development of these clinical decision support tools?

This growing list of questions addressing the quality of decision support tools will be the focus at the Evidence 2012 conference, co-hosted by the BMJ Evidence Centre and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford.

Time has certainly come to address and assess the relevance and validity of these point-of-care information resources, particularly in terms of quality of content and comprehensiveness. Along with patron input, Dana Medical Library pays close attention to these studies when assessing point of care resources. We will continue to feature such studies in our newsletters and on our home page.

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1. Banzi, R., Cinquini, M., Liberati, A., Moschetti, I., Pecoraro, V., Tagliabue, L., & Moja, L. (2011). Speed of updating online evidence based point of care summaries: prospective cohort analysis. BMJ, 343, d5856.

Nancy Bianchi, MLS

Technology Updates: EndNote X3, DynaMed, MedlinePlus, NIH RePORTer

EndNote X3 Now Available

UVM has made EndNote X3 available through their secure software download site. Enter your UVM NetID to be directed to a list of software available to you. Find EndNote X3 on the list and follow the directions.

New Features

  • Improved full-text downloading
  • EndNote Web account automatically included, with improved navigation and compatibility with Firefox 3.5
  • APA 6th edition style included

Need assistance?

DynaMed for iPhone

DynaMed, an evidence-based, point-of-care decision support tool similar to UpToDate but available remotely, can also be used on your iPhone. You must be affiliated with UVM or FAHC in order to use this service.

In order to put DynaMed on your iPod Touch or iPhone, you must first download Skyscape, a free app for the iPhone and iPod Touch from the App Store. Once in the Skyscape app, choose the Tools menu, then Install Resource.

You must now enter a serial number for DynaMed in the Skyscape Serial Number field. (Even though the name of the field is Skyscape Serial Number, you should enter a serial number for Dynamed.) Each user will have to obtain a unique serial number.  In order to get the serial number for DynaMed, send an email to dynamedsupport@ebscohost.com requesting a DynaMed serial number. You must send the email from your UVM or VTMEDNET email account when requesting a serial number.  Explain that you would like a serial number to be able to use DynaMed on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

After you have entered that number in the Skyscape Serial Number field, click Continue and Skyscape will download DynaMed data and make it available to you from your home screen.

Skyscape also offers several free medical resources such as Archimedes Medical Calculator, Outlines in Clinical Medicine and RxDrugs Dosing Companion.

DynaMed can be used on other hand held devices such as Blackberries, Palm Pilots or Pocket PCs. Visit DynaMed at http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/technical.php for further instructions. Again, you will need to obtain a serial number to use these features.

If you have any questions, please contact the Reference Desk at danaref@uvm.edu or 656-2201.

MedlinePlus Goes Mobile

MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) health information database for the community, now has a mobile version (http://m.medlineplus.gov) that allows you to easily access this popular resource on an iPhone,

Blackberry or other hand held device, anytime, anywhere. For more information, see the NLM’s FAQ that includes set up instructions.

NIH RePORTer Replaces CRISP Database

The NIH RePORTer (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools) can be used to locate reports, data, and analyses of NIH Research Projects. The RePORTer website describes the tool:

To provide NIH stakeholders with quick and easy access to basic information on NIH programs, the NIH has created a single repository of reports, data and analyses, along with several tools for searching this database. A common classification scheme based on the traditional NIH budget categories is used to group similar reports. Several different filters can be applied to find information specific to a particular NIH Institute or Center, funding mechanism or topic of interest.

For more information about how to search this comprehensive database, see the FAQ section.

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