Helping Patients Decide in an Evidence-Based World – Part 2

In a previous post, we discussed the need for providers to stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based medicine so that they can help patients make the best decisions for the healthcare. At the same time, we acknowledged the fact that the sheer volume of material available makes it difficult for providers to keep up-to-date on the latest research. These research tools and databases can assist providers by producing current summaries of the evidence about a wide variety of clinical topics.

DynaMed Plus – www.dynamed.com
According to their website, “DynaMed Plus™ is the clinical reference tool that clinicians go to for answers. Content is written by a world-class team of physicians who synthesize the evidence and provide objective analysis.” Independent studies have ranked DynaMed Plus higher that other clinical reference services in its category.

Ron Lebfvre, DC, of UWS notes, “DynaMed is an example of what some people call pre-digested literature – someone not only reads the primary research but pieces it together almost like a continuously updated textbook. Think of Dynamed as a destination site rather than a search engine looking for research articles.”

Washington-licensed providers may access DynaMed through Heal-WA. Many DynaMed topics include integrative healthcare treatment options. All statements are accompanied by a grading of the supporting evidence. It is interesting to compare the levels of evidence that support integrative healthcare interventions versus conventional medical treatments. Each entry also provides a reference list.

Cochrane Collaboration – www.cochrane.org

The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent network of researchers, professional, patients, carers and people interested in health that spans the globe. They have over 37,000 contributors that hail from more than 130 countries – all working together to produce health information that is credible, accessible, and free from commercial sponsorship or other conflicts of interest.

Cochrane is useful for anyone who is interested in high-quality health information that can be used to make health decisions – both patients and providers. The site includes editorials, reviews, special collections and evidence summaries. Many of the resources on Cochrane are free to the public and appropriate for patient consumption. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has free access for many people in low- and middle-income countries and general access licenses available for professionals.