An idea in early planning stages – TRIP Answers.

Our view, at TRIP, is that if someone searches TRIP and can’t find what they’re after, then TRIP has let them down. So what can we do?

Our idea is to allow users to record their clinical questions on the TRIP site; the ones TRIP has failed to help answer. What’s the point?

Well we see this as having two main purposes:

1) It will allow us to identify themes in where TRIP is letting users down. Once we know where these are we can seek suitable, evidence based, resources.

2) We’ll try and get as many answered!

The process we’re planning is to have a banner on the results page – inviting users to go to TRIP answers if the site has let them down. They will then be presented with the following options:

1) UK health professionals get directed to a relevant Q&A Service
2) A non-UK health professionals get sent to TRIP Answers
3) Non health professionals get sent to a relevant ‘answers’ site (e.g. Microsoft QnA, Yahoo answers)

Those sent to TRIP Answers will record their questions and we will attempt to ‘answer’ as many as possible. We do not have the resources to answer many questions and therefore have decided to return ‘Personalised results pages’. Our view is that a user of TRIP expects a page of pertinent results. So TRIP Answers will return a set of highly pertinent, human derived, results. Those unanswered will be recorded and used for analysis.

An additional feature is that we will prioritise questions from the ‘developing’ world. To that end we have started discussions (still at very early stages) with the Global Healthcare Information Network. Our thinking around TRIP Answers has coincided with the launch of their new campaign ‘Healthcare Information for All by 2015’.

If there are any willing volunteers out there who want to get involved, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Watch this space for further developments.