Just realized that I have not yet mentioned here that I don’t work in a medical library any longer.

A few months ago, I took a job as the geek (technologist-generalist?) for the Department of Emergency Medicine at SUNY Upstate. I love the job. Love it. The people are great and the work is both challenging and interesting.

While I have really enjoyed shifting more to the mechanics of health information than the content, I’ve found certain librarianish habits and interests haven’t faded.

For instance, fascinates me.

“There is a way of understanding how much modern medicine has to offer individual patients. It is a simple statistical concept called the “Number-Needed-to-Treat”, or for short the ‘NNT’. The NNT offers a measurement of the impact of a medicine or therapy by estimating the number of patients that need to be treated in order to have an impact on one person. The concept is statistical, but intuitive, for we know that not everyone is helped by a medicine or intervention — some benefit, some are harmed, and some are unaffected. The NNT tells us how many of each.”

Here’s a great example: Anticoagulation for Venous Thromboembolism

Or check out Mediterranean Diet for Secondary Prevention After Heart Attack.

Is it just me, or is this site crazy awesome? I’ve encountered a handful of physicians who like the site a lot, but I’ve heared next to nothing from medical librarians. Any thoughts?

4 thoughts on “The NNT

  1. Sounds like a great new job. Based on your other post fairly techy indeed – how much of the tech stuff DB skills wise did you have before you started?

    NNT is a great resource – not one that often gets shouted about

    It has slowly been building up entries but perhaps the relatively small number partially excuses the lack of conversation about it.

  2. Congrats on the new job! I second africker’s question re: tech skills pre-job, and also how you’re building them.

    Thanks for the resource as well!

  3. Hi Alan!

    I’d had zero experience developing with Oracle, though plenty with MySQL and a couple years of experience with Sybase. When I interviewed for the job, I was explicit in stating that much of it would require me to develop new skills- and that my favorite way to develop new skills is through problem-solving. I’m a habitual autodidact. It has worked out nicely, too- I get to learn interesting new skills by solving real-world problems. I love it.

  4. Well your post just made me realize I forgot to post about it. I know there was some Tweets about it at the end of August when you mentioned it. I bookmarked it and included it in my weekly bookmark post with the intention of doing a full review in the future. I even promoted at my hospital, which was best received by residents.

    I will have to do a review post of it soon since I haven’t seen a post on this other than you post in which you’ve singled out #medlibs with blogs 😉