BestEvidence currently searches the premium TRIP database API for evidence to inform healthcare decisions. BestEvidence is going to add other APIs, for example NHS Evidence, to extend the resources searched.
BestEvidence has additional functionality, for example, it allows users to keep a history of their searches and articles clicked through to and make notes about both searches and the articles and share these with colleagues.
We chose to use the TRIP database for the BestEvidence app, because we had found it to be the most comprehensive and efficient resource over a number of years. When teaching postgraduate doctors and other healthcare professionals at the University of Oxford and elsewhere, we used to do an exercise with students where each clinician had to formulate an uncertainty, that had arisen in their work, in the form of a PICO question. They then shared their PICO questions with other students. Each student was then asked to search on their own and every other students’ questions to look for an answer. Each student was asked to use a different evidence resource for finding the evidence to answer each question and told which resource to use for which question. (These resources included Google, UpToDate, Medline, NHS Evidence and TRIP.) Students were asked to record how long they took to find the best answer they could, what paper they chose, and what conclusions they drew. At the end of the exercise every question had been searched using each evidence source, every student had experience of searching using every source and all students had searched on all every student’s question. The group were then asked to compare how long it took them to find the chosen evidence on each resource and the quality of the evidence found, and then had to decide which resource was most likely to provide them with a trustworthy answer quickly. Every year the group would conclude that overall TRIP database was the best and most efficient resource and chose it as the port of first call when seeking evidence.
Information specialists at Public Health England searched on a series of questions using TRIP database and NHS Evidence and compared the evidence each returned. Both resources returned helpful articles but not necessarily the same studies and PHE concluded that both resources where helpful and that searching both increased the number of useful papers found, especially for questions of public health interest.
23 / 08 / 20