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14991 - Informing health professionals protecting patients...

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Informing health professionals, protecting patients Richard Smith Editor, BMJ Lagos 2001
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What I want to talk about The usefulness of information Methods for informing professionals How are we doing? How could we do better? Are patients getting the best treatments? Are they safe? How do we protect patients? How could we do better?
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Utility of information Utility=relevance x validity x interactivity work to access
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Source Relevance Validity Ease of Access Utility Journal Low Moderate Moderate Low to moderate Textbook High Moderate/ low Moderate Moderate Colleague High Moderate/ low High High/mod erate Cochrane Library Low High Low Moderate Clinical Evidence High High High High
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Current problems with informing professionals A picture that captures in one image how doctors feel about information
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Current problems with information supply Our current information policy resembles the worst aspects of our old agricultural policy, which left grain rotting in thousands of storage files while people were starving. We have warehouses of unused information rotting while critical questions are left unanswered and critical problems are left unresolved. Al Gore
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Current problems On my desk I have accumulated journals and books as information sources, and I assume that I use them. But in some respects they are not as useful as they might be. Many of my textbooks are out of date; I would like to purchase new ones, but they are expensive. My journals are not organised so that I can quickly find answers to questions that arise, and so I don = t have print sources that will answer some questions. On the other hand, there is likely to be a human source who can answer nearly all of the questions that arise, albeit with another set of barriers. An ordinary doctor
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Current problems Think of all the information that you might read to help you do your job better. How much of it do you read?
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0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 Less than 1% 1%-10% 11%- 50% 51%- 90% More than 90% Amount read Percentage Series2 Series1
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Current problems Do you feel guilty about how much or how little you read?
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Do you feel guilty about how much or little you read? Yes No
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Words used by 41 doctors to describe their information supply Impossible Impossible Impossible Impossible Impossible Impossible Overwhelming Overwhelming Overwhelming Overwhelming Overwhelming Overwhelming Difficult Difficult Difficult Difficult Daunting Daunting Daunting Pissed off Choked Depressed Despairing Worrisome Saturation Vast Help Exhausted Frustrated Time consuming Dreadful Awesome Struggle Mindboggling Unrealistic Stress Challenging Challenging Challenging Excited Vital importance
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Conclusions of studies of doctors’ information needs during consultations Information needs do arise regularly when doctors see patients (about two questions per consultation) Questions are most likely to be about treatment, particularly drugs.
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