Up-to-the-minute medicine

via Kevin MD, a decent article from The St. Louis Dispatch on evidence based medicine, medical literature, and the information technology to bring it all into the examination room to benefit doctor and patient.

When Dr. Charles Willey walks into treatment rooms, his laptop computer is as prominent as his stethoscope. After his examination and his diagnosis, he types information into the laptop. If the patient wants to watch, that’s OK.

The computer screen kicks back a list of the latest studies and information about the diagnosis he’s made – treatments, changes in treatments and the list of medicines that are available to treat the condition.

After he and the patient agree on treatments and medicines, he can hit a button to print out prescriptions or fax the information to a pharmacy.

I get happy-geeky goosebumps at stuff like this. If they’re easy to use, time-saving, and if they enhance the quality of patient care, clinicians will use EBM information tools.

3 thoughts on “Up-to-the-minute medicine

  1. David,

    I sent a part of this article to my class of library technicians at Langara College in B.C. and I like your description of this item giving you goosebumps. I think it’s critical that health librarians influence the direction of search technology, point-of-care tools and promoting the best evidence among physicians. This physician is also similar to some of mine at Vancouver hospital, except that many docs here also use handhelds and PDAs instead of laptops.

    Health librarians have to make it easier for physicians to find the evidence from formulation of the clinical question, retrieval through to appraisal and application in patient populations.

    Keep up the blogging. You’ve got a knack for it


  2. Dean, I couldn’t agree more.

    I believe that medical librarians need to be involved in all aspects of interface and database design for clinical tools. As information technology continues to grow at an exponential rate, medical librarians will increasingly need to bridge the gap between clinicians and information technology. More on this in a future post I’ve been drafting on and off for a few weeks.

    Thanks for writing, Dean!

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