NHS Evidence Day NHSED-10 and counting….

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 by africker Tagged: , , , ,

Well here we are – peering towards the 30th of April and the arrival of NHS Evidence (NB – Site not live at time of writing).  So what do we know?

A fair amount in some ways. 

NICE have a good culture about minutes appearing in public so we can track the progress of developments both through the regular updates to the NICE Board and the minutes of the NHS Evidence Advisory Committee

We can also follow the progress of the Accreditation Scheme.  This will see organisations accredited rather than particular documents (a similar model to the Plain English Campaign). 

We know about the search technology selected – Fast Search.  And we can see it in action in a health setting North of the Border.  Thus far reports from those who have tested NHSE are positive.

We know a bit about the visual style – blue, less cluttered and with a strong visual logo (I haven’t seen this in the wild yet so I won’t spoil the surprise).

An email to librarians brings the welcome news that mooted plans to redirect on to the new domain with effect from the 30th no longer appear to be in effect.  This is a good decision as it would have been a confusing way to transition the users of NLH and gives those working directly with end users a chance to familiarise themselves with the new set up.

One of the decisions I am less sure about is to change the name of the Specialist Libraries to Specialist Collections.  There is a general purge of the stem librar* underway.  I think this is in part due to a concern that “libraries are for librarians” (see page 5 NHSEAC Minutes for March 09).  I have been trying to think of a good analogy – perhaps that restaurants need to be renamed as otherwise people might think they were only for the cooks and waiters who work there – or swimming pools as perhaps these are only for the life guards?  Regardless I am far from convinced that a Specialist Collection sounds like a label less likely to exclude. 

I will be looking for the killer analogy I failed to come up with in the comments…


3 Responses to “NHS Evidence Day NHSED-10 and counting….”

  1. Sorry to rain on everybody’s parade, but I wasn’t that impressed with my admittedly short test of It brought up over 5,000 results for ‘surgical site infection’. Okay, fine, but there is no effective way to then browse these results as the ‘Articles’ category contained 4,289 of the results (could they take a page from TripDatabase and parse these into Management, Prevention, etc?). I see that there are filtering options like date and author, but I don’t see the usefulness of categories like ‘Research’– a miscellaneous category if I ever saw one! So I await the NHS search engine with anticipation to see what their customisation of this search will be.

    I also think that the renaming of Specialist Libraries to become ‘Specialist Collections’ is poorly thought out. That name brings to mind a man sitting alone in a room that houses his moth collection (shades of Silence of the Lambs). Hmm, no thanks. I think folks will be more put off by this name than any name with ‘librar*’ in it!


  2. I’ve been trying to think of a good analogy too, but I can’t. *sigh* There aren’t many places of work where the name of the workers who work there share the same root as the name of the workplace. Prison and prisoners I suppose, and perhaps Parliament and Parliamentarians… but neither prisoners nor parliamentarians could be said to work as such. And let’s not start on bank and bankers.

    I’m a bit suspicious of this “charter mark”. Organisations often put out a number of different types of document, some of which will be more evidence-based than others. And as has been commented on this blog previously, couldn’t this be seen as a return to eminence-based medicine?

    Oh well. Not long now.

  3. While Clinical Decisions is based on the same technology it includes a lot more resources than NHS Evidence is likely to (at least in any initial incarnation). There are other portals in Scotland that use the same technology though I don’t know which one is closest to the kind of thing we will see next Thursday.

    The inclusion of bibliographic databases is always likely to swamp any other results due to the size of the datasets involved. This was a problem on the old NLH federated search – there were useful tabs for evidence, guidance etc and then a tab for journals that invariably read 999+ hits.

    Worth adding that accreditation relates to guidance published by organisation rather than any publication. While I understand that this can potentially be used to drive up quality I do wonder if I would rely on a guideline because it has an NHSE badge or because it was published by the RCOG etc? And would I not have confidence in a guideline from RCSE if it did not have the badge?

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