'If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchanged these apples then you and I still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas'
George Bernard Shaw
My aim has been to design a web site that facilitate clinical practice, medical education and healthcare research primarily for medical students and staff at the School of Rural Health, University of Sydney and clinicians who are involved in research teaching.
Patients expect doctors to be up to date and to use current best evidence when treating health problems. Doctors find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the amount of exploding health and medical research. The research practice gap keeps widening.
Medical and healthcare research that really makes a difference to clinical practice is few and far between. It has been found that only around 5% of research papers would pass their basic criteria for methodological validity. Of those 5%, only about 5% are actually clinically relevant and newsworthy.
Even if these important research findings are transfered to clinicians, there is a poor translation of the best evidence into patient outcomes.
About 800,000 articles are indexed in PubMed[Ref] each year. Of these, only 6000 systematic reviews are indexed within the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews[Ref]. Therefore it is hard for frontline doctors to keep up to date with current best practice methods in an era of widening research-practice gaps, changing guidelines and with increasing patient expectations.
Medical Informatics plays a major role in medical education and evidence based health care.