Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


March 2010

Usability testing.

When we relaunched TRIP last November it was with the help of Minervation, an Oxford-based company who specialises in ‘evidence based’ websites, knowledge management, information support and usability testing. They carried out some usability testing of our test site.

I blogged about how painful a process it was, but ultimately worthwhile.

They’ve just released a case-study of their work with the charity CancerHelp. Well worth a read!

7,000 users

This morning we hit 7,000 registered users.

The TRIP and Low Resource Initiative: Update

We launched the TRIP initiative to highlight content suitable for low-resource settings less than 3 weeks ago (click here).

I’m pleased to see that already 96 articles have been approved (clicked on twice!) to form a small sub-set of articles, this includes 20 systematic reviews and 6 guidelines. A sample of document is shown below.

You never know when you launch an initiative if it’ll suceed. It’s far too early to say if our ‘low resource’ initiative will – but we couldn’t really have expected a better start.

Videos for TRIP

I came across a free screencast site called Jing which allows to make screencasts/videos.
I’ve been looking out for this sort of software for a while, so I was keen to give it a go and here is my first attempt.

I’d love to hear feedback!

TRIP Database on wikipedia

There’s a wikipedia article on the TRIP Database (click here).

If you’re involved in wikipedia – help improve it.

TRIP and Facebook

We’ve gone and set up a Facebook page for TRIP, click here to visit – and become a ‘fan’!

It’s still not clear the advantage of being on Facebook, but it is another medium to connect with people, which is probably reason enough. But, if people are more aware of the potential for TRIP on Facebook – please let us know.

Other Facebook pages include:


TRIP is interested in ensuring clinicians have easy access to the best available evidence. That’s why we’re thrilled to see TRIP available to the users of OSCAR Canada. As the wikipedia article states:

“OSCAR McMaster is a web-based electronic medical record (EMR) system initially developed for academic primary care clinics. It has grown into a comprehensive EMR and billing system used by many doctor’s offices and private medical clinics in Canada and other parts of the world. The name is derived from where it was created and an acronym; OSCAR stands for Open Source Clinical Application and Resource and McMaster refers to McMaster University, where it was developed. It enables the delivery of evidence resources at the point of care.”

I”m particularly thrilled to be on OSCAR as it’s an open source project.

Below are some screenshots (click to make bigger) from the first round of integration, a few flaws to be ironed out, but nothing major.

It’s not our first time on an electronic medical record (or sometimes called an electronic health record) – see our October 2009 post TRIP and Electronic Health Records (EHR). I love this integration with ‘point of care’, bringing the evidence closer to where care is delivered.

Using TRIP to help identify content suitable for resource poor settings

We’re very pleased to announce the launch of the above initiative, generously supported by the BUPA Giving scheme.

We’ve blogged about the above initiative for a while (click here or here). The basic problem being that users in resource poor settings (for example, a rural district hospital in Africa or South Asia) frequently do not have access to the latest health care technologies e.g. the latest diagnostic bit of kit or expensive new medicine. However, much of the evidence is directed at the newer, more expensive, interventions. So, users from these settings have to overcome the additional problem that much of the evidence is not relevant.

As of today under each link on the results page will have a link ‘Developing World?’ If a registered user of TRIP believes the article is appropriate (see definition below) for such setting we encourage them to click on the link. If two separate people click on the link the article is then deemed suitable; these articles will form a sub-set of data in TRIP. Users of TRIP will then be able to search TRIP and then (via a tick box at the bottom of the ‘Filter your search’ box) be able to select only those articles in the subset.

We encourage TRIP users to get involved by either tagging articles or to help spread the word of this project!

A few additional pieces of information:

The term ‘Developing World’ is problematic and controversial. We have used it as it is a widely recognised term which we hope will aid adoption, the reality is that the alternative ‘Low resource?’ carries less meaning. However, we welcome input on the term used (send comments to

The working definition of an article suitable for this initiative is ‘any clinical evidence that can be implemented in primary care and small-district-hospital settings with basic drugs and equipment.’ As the subset of the database is developed, we expect users to discuss and refine the definition and criteria for inclusion. This highlights the fluid nature of this whole project.

Phew, all the definitions, caveats out of the way.

The bottom line is that we want to make access to the evidence easier for those from poorer setting – please help!

6,000 registered users

24 days after we reached 5,000 registered users we hit 6,000

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