It has been two years since I first started talking about PubMed Health. The original discussion was in March 2011, then in July I published a short blurb in JMLA, and finally PubMed Health reappeared in September on this blog.
A lot happens in two years. So what has PubMed Health been up to in the last two years? Have some of the questions I and many of my fellow bloggers been answered? Does PubMed Health have a place?
Here are some NLM Bulletins about PubMed Health updates that have been released since I last blogged on this topic:
- PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information
- PubMed Health December 2011 Release Notes
The first thing I noticed is that PubMed Health has certainly been adding to its list of partnerships. This is great, because it has bleed over into the reviews and increased links among different databases…. for the most part at least.
The “About” page of PubMed Health includes the long list of partnerships, where it pulls information, and Who We Are information. As was previously noted in posts, PubMed Health caught many online off guard. It was published without an announcement, and when it was still being developed. The addition of the “About Page” is welcomed information. I also like that there are multiple ways to contact the creators of PubMed Health.
Another great note, is it states PubMed Health is for Consumers and Clinicians. Yes! I’m so glad to see that PubMed Health has expanded the information for Clinicians. At the end of 2011, I was worried it would turn into a consumer resource and not develop into a resource for Clinicians. I am glad to see they have added to the clinicians content.
For instance, take a look at their Clinical Guides. There is a great collection of guides here for clinicians. Some are pulled from other resources online, and a few are published by PubMed Health. Let’s look at a specific Clinical Guide:
Lots of links back to other sources, which is great! I also really like the section at the bottom called “Clinical Bottom Line.” It gets right to the point and even provides evidence ratings. My only issue here is that they are using another scale they developed. It is easy to follow, and is clearly outlined at the bottom. It would be nice if when you hover over the circles it tells you exactly what it is. When I first glanced at the page, I raced right past the explanation of the circles.
The Clinical Guide even includes information to discuss with your patient, and costs! Can you believe it! Cost information is sometimes the hardest information to find. Too bad PubMed Health does not provide links back to where they pulled the cost information . I thought they might have been pulled from the original AHRQ report that was summarized but I could not find any cost information in the document. Now I did not read the 368 page report from AHRQ, I only did a search for key terms (sorry as interesting as an update on Hypertension may seem, 368 pages of casual light reading was a wee bit much after work to wade through).
Overall I really liked the Clinical Guides. I would like to see some more references listed for certain items as I mentioned above.
In 2011, PubMed Health added DARE Reviews: “With the inclusion of the Database of Reviews of Effects (DARE) from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in England, PubMed Health is getting close to comprehensive coverage of reliable systematic reviews on clinical effectiveness.” I haven’t had as much time to review all of the DARE items, but it looks like it is just pulling in the basic abstracts.
In addition to information for clinicians, PubMed Health has also been expanding its resources for consumers.
Behind the Headlines is a great place to send patrons who say “I saw this on the Dr. Oz show and wanted to get some more information.” I enjoyed reading this information in the Headlines section; however, I don’t think I could actually send my Dr. Oz viewer to the website. The information is not as inclusive of television as it is of print media. I would like to see more headlines from television shows and other places.
PubMed Health has certainly grown by leaps and bounds in the last two years. It seems they have passed the toddler phase and actually do have more of an identity now. The question is still, does PubMed Health have a place?
Back in May at MLA 2012 @Krafty tweeted:
#mlanet12 I think PubMed Health is too confusing as to why they are using it b/c it seem consumerish and like MedlinePlus.
Previously I would have agreed, but now I think PubMed Health has worked through some of these issues. It was confusing at first to separate the consumer and clinical information, but now with the separation of the information into tabbed sections it is easier to follow. Also, I think as savvy consumers continue to push the boundary and do research at home this website will help them to find more detailed information.
As for a place, well with the added content and details from the last two years PubMed Health has now made it to my list of resources to include in presentations. I don’t know if many clinicians are using this resource, and I think it is time for that to change.
What do you think? Will you promote PubMed Health to your patrons? Has it expanded its content and details enough? Or is it still searching for a place?