I felt very privileged to be asked by Hope Leman for an interview. The results can be seen on her blog Significant Science and on AltSearchEngines.

One response I think could have been improved on was what aspect of TRIP am I most proud. I’m happy with what I said, but could have added to it. In the 10+ years of TRIP I estimate we’ve been searched around 50 million times. If only 1% of these had resulted in improved patient care for a single individual, that’s half a million people – that is mind-blowing….

But, how does one measure the impact of TRIP? There are many possible reasons for seaching TRIP and many possible outcomes, here are a few:

A clinician with a clinical query, some potential outcomes:

  • They may not find any suitable documents.
  • They may find some documents and find insufficient evidence to help.
  • They may find some documents that support their current care.
  • They may find some documents that support a change in practice.

A student doing a study, some potential outcomes:

  • Finds no articles, poor outcome.
  • Finds useful articles that help in their studies.

An academic researcher undertaking a review or creating a guideline, some potential outcomes:

  • Finds no articles, poor outcome.
  • Finds articles that help improve the review or guideline.

As mentioned the list is not meant to be exhaustive! However, it should illustrate that people come to TRIP for many reasons and there are many potential outcomes.

A small bit of research we carried out in 2007 (click here to see the full post) showed the following:

  • 13% – find the information they wanted all the time
  • 53% – find the information they wanted most of the time
  • 19% – finds the information about half the time
  • 15% – find the information less than half the time

It was a small sample and invariably biased – so may not help much in deciding the impact of TRIP.

If anyone has any bright ideas, please share them!

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