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1.  Evidence-based medicine among internal medicine residents in a community hospital program using smart phones 
This study implemented and evaluated a point-of-care, wireless Internet access using smart phones for information retrieval during daily clinical rounds and academic activities of internal medicine residents in a community hospital. We did the project to assess the feasibility of using smart phones as an alternative to reach online medical resources because we were unable to find previous studies of this type. In addition, we wanted to learn what Web-based information resources internal medicine residents were using and whether providing bedside, real-time access to medical information would be perceived useful for patient care and academic activities.
We equipped the medical teams in the hospital wards with smart phones (mobile phone/PDA hybrid devices) to provide immediate access to evidence-based resources developed at the National Library of Medicine as well as to other medical Websites. The emphasis of this project was to measure the convenience and feasibility of real-time access to current medical literature using smart phones.
The smart phones provided real-time mobile access to medical literature during daily rounds and clinical activities in the hospital. Physicians found these devices easy to use. A post-study survey showed that the information retrieved was perceived to be useful for patient care and academic activities.
In community hospitals and ambulatory clinics without wireless networks where the majority of physicians work, real-time access to current medical literature may be achieved through smart phones. Immediate availability of reliable and updated information obtained from authoritative sources on the Web makes evidence-based practice in a community hospital a reality.
PMCID: PMC1805745  PMID: 17313680
2.  SLIM: an alternative Web interface for MEDLINE/PubMed searches – a preliminary study 
With the rapid growth of medical information and the pervasiveness of the Internet, online search and retrieval systems have become indispensable tools in medicine. The progress of Web technologies can provide expert searching capabilities to non-expert information seekers. The objective of the project is to create an alternative search interface for MEDLINE/PubMed searches using JavaScript slider bars. SLIM, or Slider Interface for MEDLINE/PubMed searches, was developed with PHP and JavaScript. Interactive slider bars in the search form controlled search parameters such as limits, filters and MeSH terminologies. Connections to PubMed were done using the Entrez Programming Utilities (E-Utilities). Custom scripts were created to mimic the automatic term mapping process of Entrez. Page generation times for both local and remote connections were recorded.
Alpha testing by developers showed SLIM to be functionally stable. Page generation times to simulate loading times were recorded the first week of alpha and beta testing. Average page generation times for the index page, previews and searches were 2.94 milliseconds, 0.63 seconds and 3.84 seconds, respectively. Eighteen physicians from the US, Australia and the Philippines participated in the beta testing and provided feedback through an online survey. Most users found the search interface user-friendly and easy to use. Information on MeSH terms and the ability to instantly hide and display abstracts were identified as distinctive features.
SLIM can be an interactive time-saving tool for online medical literature research that improves user control and capability to instantly refine and refocus search strategies. With continued development and by integrating search limits, methodology filters, MeSH terms and levels of evidence, SLIM may be useful in the practice of evidence-based medicine.
PMCID: PMC1318459  PMID: 16321145
3.  askMEDLINE: a free-text, natural language query tool for MEDLINE/PubMed 
Plain language search tools for MEDLINE/PubMed are few. We wanted to develop a search tool that would allow anyone using a free-text, natural language query and without knowing specialized vocabularies that an expert searcher might use, to find relevant citations in MEDLINE/PubMed. This tool would translate a question into an efficient search.
The accuracy and relevance of retrieved citations were compared to references cited in BMJ POEMs and CATs (critically appraised topics) questions from the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics. askMEDLINE correctly matched the cited references 75.8% in POEMs and 89.2 % in CATs questions on first pass. When articles that were deemed to be relevant to the clinical questions were included, the overall efficiency in retrieving journal articles was 96.8% (POEMs) and 96.3% (CATs.)
askMEDLINE might be a useful search tool for clinicians, researchers, and other information seekers interested in finding current evidence in MEDLINE/PubMed. The text-only format could be convenient for users with wireless handheld devices and those with low-bandwidth connections in remote locations.
PMCID: PMC1079856  PMID: 15760470

Results 1-3 (3)