helsebiblioteket | McMaster PLUS is a service designed to help clinicians and researchers find and keep up to date on the current best evidence for clinical decisions.
helsebiblioteket has two components: a search service and an email alert service.
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With just one search, helsebiblioteket searches many information sources at once, and returns results from all sources on one page. This saves significant time because only one site and one search are required, and users can view results from many sources at one time.
Resources currently included in helsebiblioteket searches:
- Best Practice
- McMaster Premium Literature Service (PLUS)
- ACP Journal Club
- PubMed Clinical Queries
|Email Alert Service|
The McMaster Premium Literature Service (PLUS) is a division of the McMaster Health Knowledge Refinery. For articles to be included in PLUS, first they must pass a Critical Appraisal Process (CAP) to identify those that are methodologically sound. Articles that pass the CAP are then rated by clinicians for their relevance and newsworthiness. End users of PLUS select their disciplines and patient populations of interest, and helsebiblioteket will send email alerts when there are new relevant and newsworthy articles of potential interest to the user.
More than 120 journals are rated each year (25,000+ articles). By filtering the articles based on methodology, relevance, and newsworthiness, PLUS gives a 90% ‘noise reduction’, enabling clinicians to easily keep up to date with the best, most relevant research in their areas of practice and interest.
To facilitate the use of medical resources, Brian Haynes, MD, Chief of the McMaster Health Information Research Unit, proposed a 5S model (later refined to a 6S model) to describe the kinds of resources that are available. These are organized into a pyramid/hierarchy of evidence.
- Systems: Computerized Decision Support
- Summaries: Evidence-based clinical practice textbooks and guidelines
- Synopses of Syntheses: Evidence-based journal abstracts of selected systematic reviews
- Syntheses: Systematic reviews
- Synopses of Studies: Evidence-based abstracts of selected individual studies
- Studies: Original pre-appraised individual studies
helsebiblioteket | McMaster PLUS searches resources at all levels of the pyramid, and organizes the results into a hierarchy of evidence. Always look first at the content available at the highest level of the hierarchy, as it is most likely to be useful for clinical purposes.
The hierarchy is based on principles of evidence-based decision-making:
• Systems provide patient-specific computerized decision support. These are not currently included in helsebiblioteket | McMaster PLUS (or almost anywhere else)
• Summaries provide the best summarization of evidence for entire clinical topics (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
• Synopses are brief abstracts of high quality original studies and systematic reviews
• Syntheses are systematic reviews of original studies
• Studies are original studies
For further information about the pyramid and the 6S model, please consult: Explanation of the 6S model (PDF file).Back To Top
The McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service (PLUS) provides the content for the email alerting side of helsebiblioteket | McMaster PLUS.
Research associates trained in health research methodology read all original and review articles in approximately 120 high quality journals. Articles are rated on the quality of the methodology. Approximately 15% of articles pass this review. Articles are also tagged with appropriate disciplines (ie obstetrics, surgery). See inclusion criteria
Articles that pass methodological review are passed to volunteer reviewer clinicians (MDs, Nurses, and Rehab specialists) who have indicated interest in the disciplines assigned to each article. These reviewers rate the articles for relevance and newsworthiness. Every article is sent to at least 4 volunteer reviewers in each appropriate discipline. Reviewers may also provide comments.
When at least 3 ratings are received for an article within one discipline, the total scores are averaged and articles scoring at least 3 (out of 7) for both relevance and newsworthiness are transferred to the PLUS database. Users who have registered to receive email alerts in that discipline will then be sent an email indicating there is a new article they may wish to review. Users can also view the ratings and comments made by the clinician raters.Click here for an in-depth look at the PLUS process
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