A Million Decisions

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Every day more than a million decisions are made across the NHS and healthcare sector. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, there is a responsibility for health services to ensure use of evidence obtained from research  to inform these decisions.

#AMillionDecisions is a campaign from CILIP and Health Education England, calling for decisions in the health care sectore to be fully evidence based.

During #Librariesweek, we’re highlighting how we can help make those #amilliondecisions evidence-based for our NHS colleagues.  At St George’s Library, we provide a wide range of  free services to support St George’s NHS staff, from access to relevant e-resources and training on how to search for and critically appraise information, to CARES, our Clinical and Research Enquiry Service.

Join the campaign by sharing your thoughts and experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #AMillionDecisions

 

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App Review: DynaMed Plus

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DMP logoName: DynaMed Plus

Publisher: EBSCOhost

Devices: Any iPhone® or iPad® or iPod touch® running iOS 9.3

or higher. Any Android device running Android 4.4 or higher.
The app requires at least 500MB of memory.
Can be authenticated on up to 3 devices per activation link.

We’ve tested this app on an iPhone 6 and an iPad Air2.

Available from: iTunes App Store or Google Play

This app is available to NHS staff and SGUL staff and students.

*Details on how to download and authenticate the app are included at the end of the post.*

Price: Free to download

Type of information: Clinical decision making support tool.

For: doctors and other healthcare professionals at point of care, and healthcare students.

Main Pros: Similar in design, layout and functionality to the web-based version. Content available offline after initial download. Links to full-text supporting articles and guidelines within topic summaries where available.

Main Cons: Requires around 1GB of storage space depending on device. Link to calculators not available on home screen of the app, unlike the web-based version, requires a separate search to access them.

An in-depth look

The DynaMed Plus app is the app version of a point of care resource that St George’s Library subscribes to. It provides access to over 3,400 clinical summaries covering a broad range of specialties and is designed to support healthcare professionals in clinical decision making. It covers the same content as found on the web-based version of DynaMed Plus, with the added benefit of being accessible offline. However, the content can require a fair amount of storage space on your device. The publishers recommend to have a minimum of 500MB free, but in our testing we’ve found the App has required around 906 MB on iPad Air 2 and 1.16GB on an iPhone 6. Presumably this will likely increase as more content is added and updated over time.

In terms of functionality the app is really simple to use and fairly intuitive – it is almost identical in layout and design to the web-based version which presents a nice continuity of usage. The home screen presents you with a search bar and in the top-right hand corner you’ll find a Bookmark icon which houses your previously saved pages, and search history. There is also a settings icon that allows you to change the text size, check for updates to the app and search the help pages, which does require an internet connection.

The search function has an intelligent auto-suggest feature, which will show you your results in the form of topics and searches that match your terms as you type. You can then either review the topic summary directly, or view the search terms instead. Once you are viewing a topic you can scroll through the entire summary as you would a web page, or you can browse by section. How you do this depends on how you are holding your device. In landscape view the section headings can be found on the left of the summary, allowing the user to dip in and out of the topic sections. Holding the device in portrait forces the section headings into a separate bar at the top – you can navigate these by selecting the magnifying glass icon that will appear on the top right of the screen, next to the topic summary heading. There are also other icons in the bottom right of the page that allow you to bookmark the summary, email or print the topic, or make notes if required. If you do any notes to the summary, the empty notepad icon will fill with lines to indicate you have done so.

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Many of the topic summaries provide external links to webpages and supporting articles which will display the article abstract or full-text article if available through an institutional subscription (OpenAthens or St George’s, University of London). Again, despite the app content being available offline you will need to be connected to the internet to access anything linked outside of the app.

Despite being very easy to use, some of the resource’s most useful features are buried within the app somewhat, which is unfortunate. The calculators and decision trees have a direct link in the title bar of the web-version, but no counterpart within the app. They can be found by searching for them, which isn’t as user friendly as a link or icon. This can also be said for the thousands of supporting images the resource has – they can be found and browsed in your search matches, but we felt that embedding them in their own section within the topic summary would make them much more identifiable.

Available to SGUL staff and students

PDF for how to download DynaMed Plus App for SGUL staff and students

Available to NHS Staff

How to download and authenticate the DynaMed Plus app for NHS Staff:

1. Access DynaMed Plus via NHS OpenAthens or the Hospital intranet page

2. Click on the Mobile use – Get the DynaMed Mobile App link under Spotlight.

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3. Enter your email address and click send.

4. An authentication link is emailed to you.

5. Open the email from your device and follow the links to download the app via the iTunes Store or Google Play.

6. When prompted, authenticate the app via the OpenAthens link- look for the Athens link at the bottom of the authentication page.

Note: If you do not tap the authentication link in the email within 48 hours you will need to request a new authentication key from within DynaMed Plus.

7. The DynaMed Plus App opens on your device and begins the initial content download.

Note: It is recommended that you are on a Wi-Fi connection for the initial download of DynaMed Plus content as well as when updates become available. Initial download can take up between 10-30 minutes.

Getting more help

DynaMed Plus have produced this useful video to get you started with DynaMed Plus.

If you need support with your OpenAthens account please contact Stephen Reid sreid@sgul.ac.uk

NHS Staff who are eligible for an OpenAthens account can register here: https://openathens.nice.org.uk/

For training or if you have any questions about access to DynaMed Plus please contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk

 

 

App Review: BMJ Best Practice

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BMJ BP

Name: BMJ Best Practice

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group

Devices: Smartphones and tablets with Android OS 4.2 or later and iPhones and iPads with iOS version 7.0 or later. We tested this app on an iPad.

Available from: iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Price: Free.

Available to SGUL students and staff only. Details on how to access the full content are included at the end of the post.

Type of information: Point of care, clinical decision making support tool.

For: UK healthcare professionals and healthcare students.

Main Pros: This new version of the app (released in 2017) requires substantially less storage on your device. Content is available offline after the initial download so it can be accessed at any time. Condition summaries contain links to relevant guidelines and papers. Daily content updates and the CME/CPD tracker can help keep you up-to-date in your chosen specialty.

Main Cons: A personal subscription is necessary for those without institutional access. Savings in storage capacity have been made by not including images in the downloaded data – they are now only available when using the app online. Initial search function was quite basic, but this has been addressed in a recent update.


BMJ Best Practice provides access to reliable information and guidance on hundreds of medical conditions that can be used to support you in clinical decision-making. This companion app to the web version of BMJ Best Practice is designed to be used on the move and after an initial download, content can be accessed when offline, which is particularly convenient if you are unable to connect to Wi-Fi.

This new version of the app will be familiar to anyone who has used it before, with the majority of changes being cosmetic and offering a cleaner, more responsive experience. New users should find the app intuitive and easy to navigate. The home screen offers a simple layout with a central search bar, and the icons at the bottom of the screen allow you to browse by speciality; browse the available calculators or quickly locate information you have recently or commonly referred to.

Condition summaries are broken down into sections and subsections, such as ‘Diagnosis’, ‘Treatment’ and ‘Management’ or you can use the ‘Highlights’ section for a quick summary and overview. This highlights section will also link to related conditions, or to clinical guidelines where appropriate. Each topic has a ‘Last Updated’ date underneath the heading so you can be sure the information is current and you can browse through all of the sections by swiping from right to left, or by using the back button to choose a different section. This is especially helpful in longer, more complex entries.

Where necessary, summaries will contain links to relevant guidelines, resources and articles which will then open in your device’s browser when connected to the internet. You can explore these as you read, or refer to the ‘Resources’ section for the full reference list. Links to the full-text of an article will also appear if the article or study features in a journal that the Library subscribes to.

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Download Instructions (for SGUL staff and students)

[PDF instructions available here]

  1. Create a ‘My Best Practice’ personal account on the BMJ Best Practice website (http://bestpractice.bmj.com/) whilst using either a computer in the Library Computer Rooms; a Library laptop; or using a device connected to the St. George’s eduroam WiFi network.bmjlogin
    Remember the email address and password used to create the account.
  2. Download the app from the iTunes app store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
  3. Launch the app. When asked to log in, use the same email address and password you used to create your My Best Practice account.
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  4. The app content will automatically begin to download. It will take about 5 minutes on a good WiFi connection.

Remember!!
Your subscription must be renewed every six months by logging into your My Best Practice personal account on the BMJ Best Practice website http://bestpractice.bmj.com/ using either a computer in the Library Computer Rooms; a Library laptop; or using a device connected to the St George’s eduroam WiFi network.

If you experience any difficulties in downloading the app, or need any assistance in using it, email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

All review of mobile resources are subject to the St George’s Library Disclaimer, please take the time to read it carefully.

DynaMed Plus – now purchased

dynamedplus_banner_landingAfter a successful trial, the Library has purchased a subscription to DynaMed Plus.

DynaMed Plus provides quick access to synthesised evidence on thousands of clinical topics to help you make informed decisions.  Topics are updated daily as new evidence becomes available and it aims to provide objective analysis in an easily-digestible format. You can also download the DynaMed Plus app to use offline on your phone or tablet.

Access via our Databases A – Z  pages on the Library website: http://libguides.sgul.ac.uk/az.php?a=d

See our <PDF on how to download and access the Dynamed+ App>

BMJ Best Practice app – new version released (available to SGUL staff and students)

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A new version of the BMJ Best Practice app is now available to download for free from the Google Play and Apple stores. If you’ve been using this popular app, you’ll need to download the new version soon to continue using it, as the older version will shortly stop being updated.

Instructions

1) Activating your account

To keep using the app, you’ll need to re-authenticate your Best Practice account from the SGUL campus at least once every six months.

You can do this by visiting the Best Practice website in one of three ways:

  • using a desktop computer in the SGUL computer room
  • using a Library laptop
  • using your phone while onsite at St George’s, University of London (making sure it is connected to Eduroam WiFi network).

Log in to your Best Practice personal account, and you’re done!

New user?

Register for a personal account for free if you haven’t done so before. Make sure to remember the email and password you choose – you’ll need them at the next stage.

2) Setting up the app

Download the app from the Google Play or Apple Store. Be sure to pick the 2017 version.

The first time you open the app, you’ll be asked to log in with your Best Practice personal account username and password. As a logged in subscriber, the full content will now start downloading to your device.

The new app

Changes in the new version have slightly altered the overall feel and navigation of the app, but if you’ve been using the old version it should quickly feel familiar. Just as before, it’s essentially a mobile version of the BMJ Best Practice website, and the content and organisation are unchanged.

Key changes:

  • The new app and data will take up less storage space on your device – 226 MB, compared with 610 MB for the old version. It took us less than five minutes to download all the data on a strong internet connection.
  • Some of this space has been saved by not including images in the downloaded data. You can still view images in the app, but you must be using it online.
  • Navigating the content should be a little easier with longer entries now managed through submenus, giving a quick overview of the section and allowing you to click straight through to the part that interests you.

Screenshots of new app layout – differential diagonosis

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Screenshot of old app layout – differential diagonosis

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You can read our review of the original app on our mobile resources blog.

 

Evidence based healthcare resources

BMJ Case Reports

BMJ Case Reports is an international, peer reviewed collection of over 13,500 clinical cases covering all disciplines for clinicians and researchers.

Search by keyword or browse by specialty to find clinically important information on common and rare conditions, or subscribe to the RSS feed to receive updates on latest articles, most read articles or new blog posts.

Access is available to NHS staff via their NHS OpenAthens account (self-register here), and to SGUL staff and students via their university login details.

If you have an interesting case, you can receive peer reviews and rapid publication by submitting it for inclusion to BMJ Case Reports Journal. See the BMJ website for submission templates and full details on how to submit your case.

For more information about the SGUL subscription, or to obtain the institutional fellowship code, contact journals@sgul.ac.uk.

Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin

Independent of the pharmaceutical industry, Government and regulatory authorities, each article in the DTB has been evaluated by a wide range of specialist and generalist commentators.

By providing rigorous, unbiased assessments and recommendations of drugs and other treatments for diseases, this journal can be relied upon by doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who are looking to make evidence based decisions to ensure their patients receive the best possible care.

Access is granted via Shibboleth for SGUL staff and students, and via OpenAthens for NHS staff.

DynaMed Plus SGUL trial extended to Feb 2017

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DynaMed Plus SGUL trial now extended to 28 February 2017. DynaMed Plus provides quick access to synthesised evidence on thousands of clinical topics to help you make informed decisions.  Topics are updated daily as new evidence becomes available and it aims to provide objective analysis in an easily-digestible format. You can also download the DynaMed Plus app to use offline on your phone or tablet.

Why not try it today? DynaMed Plus SGUL trial offsite access – log in using your SGUL username and password. See our PDF on how to download and access the Dynamed+ App

Email liaison@sgul.ac.uk with any comments on DynaMed Plus.