Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Two other interesting finds:
- Free meta-analysis software, MIX - Meta-analysis with Interactive eXplanations. Alas, my version of Excel (2007) is not compatible with the programme, so I can't check it out. For those 'lucky' enough to have an earlier version of Excel - I hope you enjoy it. You can read more about the software via this BioMedCentral article.
- Searchme. I manged to get an invite to be a beta-tester. I love it! I'm not sure how helpful it would be in the clinical world. But it does allow you - very quickly - to scan the search results. I've embedded a demo below.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
As of the end of the 24th March we had been searched 769,334 times per month, so 230,666 searches off the 1 million, with a week to go. That averages 32,952 searches per day. We're beating that for weekdays, but dipping under it for weekends.
One thing I do predict is that I'll be the only tense watcher of these statistics!
If we don't do it in March we'll do it pretty soon as two new guarenteed projects should deliver significant new traffic while a 3rd (in negotiation) will add even more.
Monday, March 24, 2008
I'm so keen to understand it that I've added a page on it in the TRIP wiki (click here). The page is very much a first draft and I expect it to increase significantly once I've read and digested the contents.
The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement seems a particularly good introduction to some of the issues.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Irrespective of TRIP’s involvement I just hope they manage to create a system that satisfies the numerous current users of the service and at the same time expands capacity.
However, this is certainly not the end of TRIP’s involvement in Q&A, in the short-medium term are plans are as follows:
- We are currently negotiating a new Q&A contract with another national health service. This should go live by the autumn, I’m hoping to complete negotiations in the near future.
- A major new Q&A project will launch around summertime. I think this will have a significant impact on Q&A and will eventually overtake TRIP in usage (for reference we should get around 1 million searches this month and over 6 million page views). We’ve started work on this and the design work has got me so excited!
- I’m still toying with the idea of a Q&A journal.
As one door closes, another opens
Conclusion: GPs will use an online evidence retrieval system in routine practice; however, usage rates drop significantly after initial introduction of the system. Long-term studies are required to determine the extent to which GPs will integrate the use of such technologies into their everyday clinical practice and how this will affect the satisfaction and health outcomes of their patients
Hardly a huge surprise. But I think the whole study is limited as the average number of searches per month was 0.7! I think the authors discussion lacked imagination. They didn't consider that the search wasn't producing the results, so the docs got tired of asking the question and getting nothing back.
They quote Ely in their paper and I think it was Ely who highlighted that doctors tend to seek information when they think they'll get an answer.
For those who have missed in Dean Giustini has an interesting paper on web 3.0. It's a term I don't particularly like but perhaps that's because I don't understand it properly. Anyway, the paper is Web 3.0 and health librarians: an introduction.
Interestingly I've been approached by a Prof of information retrieval whose supervising a student looking at clinical Q&A. As part of the discussion we started talking about the semantic web (which appears pretty much a synonym of web 3.0). She explained it like this...
In the 'conventional web you would probably use the same search terms for both these questions:
- Does asthma lead to obesity
- Does obesity lead to asthma
For me I'd start with asthma obesity and see what came up. They'd be some papers discussing obese people's risk of asthma, they'd be others discussing the risk asthmatics have of becoming obese and I imagine they'd be a load of reviews discussing chronic diseases which discuss them both.
In the semantic web they would be an 'understanding' of the relationship between the search terms/concepts and the way these terms are then represented in documents.
Anyway, that's pretty much the sum of my knowledge. As it looks like we'll not be involved in Q&A for the NLH for much longer I think I'll have lots of time to explore this concept...
Monday, March 17, 2008
To view the TRIPwiki click here.
Oh yes, you may get some screen suggesting an upgrade, this can be ignored by clicking on the link 'take me to the wiki' in the bottom right-hand corner.
Friday, March 14, 2008
We've placed it on YouTube, (as well as embedding it below) as you'll see the quality is lousy - the resolution is too low. When we launch the video on TRIP it'll be much higher in quality.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
So what news greeted me ten minutes ago - restricted access (see below)! It's not as draconian as it could be (only most recent 12 months will be restricted) but it's a step back....
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has announced that beginning in April 2008, it will restrict online access to new issues of its journals, American Family Physician and Family Practice Management, to AAFP members and paid subscribers.
New journal articles will be restricted for a period of 12 months, after which time they will be available on the “public side” of www.aafp.org/afp and www.aafp.org/fpm, where 90% of the journals’ content will continue to reside. Previously, 100% of AFP and FPM content has been available online without a subscription.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Today, I had a very good meeting with our web-team and we've located a key problem and highlighted a solution....
When someone does a search of TRIP it doesn't just do one search it, in effect, does a search for each category (systematic reviews, EB synopses etc) - so that's 9 searches! Last month we were searched 853,959 times, so the poor processors had to carry out 7,685,631 searches.
So the solution we're going to work with is something called a rolling cache. This will cache a load of search results on a rolling 30 day basis. So, on day one, someone will search on asthma, we will do all 9 searches on that day (one for systematic reviews, one for EB synopses etc) but then those results will be stored in a cache. The next time someone searches on asthma we'll take the results, not from carrying out the 9 searches, but from the cache. Bottom line we should see a significant improvement in speed...
Just as well as the rest of the meeting was discussing the 4 major projects that will be rolled out over the next year.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
To start with we're looking for clinicians with experience of treating depression or patients who have ever suffered from depression to undertake a brief online survey.
Monday, March 03, 2008
TRIP is currently working on 4 major new projects, these will all impact on TRIP's usage. Some will have major effects and some minor ones. One things for sure, I think we'll need to invest in some new hardware!