23 Feb 2014

Improving quality information flow to medical practitioners: Living Systematic Review

Current and emerging health
knowledge ecosystems
Medical research output is doubling every five to seven years. The great boon of this body of work is its potential for dramatically improving  understanding of disease processes and treatment protocols. The curse is that busy practitioners who need comprehensive overviews of their field, don't have time to read everything. Systematic reviews analyse all the data for a given subject area, but are slow to complete because of the volume of material and rigour required. For the first time, a new process, called a living systematic review (LSR), has been proposed by a group of Monash University clinician-researchers based at the Alfred Hospital.
At first glance, LSR is similar to Wikipedia, being a purely online resource with dynamic updating, but supporting the online text is a highly rigorous and complex process of data gathering and analysis. The LSR platform would speed up and improve quality information flow to medical clinicians and practitioners.
Julian H. Elliott, Tari Turner, Ornella Clavisi, James Thomas, Julian P. T. Higgins, Chris Mavergames, Russell L. Gruen. Living Systematic Reviews: An emerging opportunity to narrow the evidence-practice gap. PLOS Medicine. February 18, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001603.

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