This has been such an interesting experiment with loads of learning.
For those unfamiliar with the community Q&A, the idea is, if you have a clinical question and you can’t find the answer on Trip, then leave the question (link found here). We then encourage other Trip users to answer it. The idea is simple, a Q might be difficult for the user but for an expert in the field it could well be easy. So, Trip’s role is to match the Q to the expert.
Some reflections after a couple of months…:
- Probably the biggest error is how we ‘present’ the system, it appears to be confusing so people don’t really get it. And, by that, when you first encounter it (on the top of the results) people aren’t really sure what to make of it. So, we need to improve how we explain the system (any help out there?)
- People often don’t leave structured clinical questions which can lead to ambiguous questions – hardly ideal.
- So far, very few people – apart from in-house Trip – have answered the questions. We’ve had input via Twitter and email, but we need to do more to make it scalable.
- People have tended to ask difficult questions, which is what the system is for. It’s great learning for us, as it helps remind us of the complexity of answering clinical questions.
- Reducing anxiety in menopausal women on HRT – any suggestions? Not much out there, but some suggestions. Often though, clinicians are happy to have at least tried to get an answer. So, I expect the answer was reassuring!
- Does being born on the 99th centile result in obesity in childhood? One Twitter user pointed out “Unless it becomes feasible to randomise babies to a birth weight, the answer will always be ‘don’t know’. (Whether being born on the 99th centile is associated with obesity in childhood is a whole different question …)“. Nonetheless we got some interesting research to give a pretty good answer.
- Prevention of contrast induced nephropathy in cardiac cath patients. This was able to be answered by a really good, recent, resource so arguably simple to answer. However, the reality was, without the experience of Trip it may well have been difficult to locate.
- Can the use of a lumbar belt be recommended for the prevention or treatment of low back pain? Pleased with this answer as I think we nailed it pretty well. Interestingly, the main answer (as it was first) is pushed down below newer responses, so we might need to address that.
It’s not gone as planned or anticipated, but this is something we can take our time with. We’ll hopefully be pushing out some changes in the near future.
If you have any thoughts on how we might improve it, please let us know.
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