Infobuttons and Point of Care Access to Knowledge



  • The belief that better informed decisions lead to better patient outcomes is one of the underlying tenets of evidence-based medicine and health care education. The integration of information resources into clinical information systems appears to be a viable approach to automated support of clinician decision-making. The information needs that arise while clinicians use clinical information systems are particularly disposed to resolution with such resources, and many researchers have investigated approaches to integrate these systems with each other. One method that is being tried by the authors, in two separate efforts, is called infobuttons. Work is under way to develop infobutton managers that provide a flexible, generic method for integrating infobuttons with clinical systems. These managers have been integrated successfully with several different clinical information systems in an institution-independent manner. By lowering barriers to information at the moment when it is needed, the hope is that clinicians will use the information to make better-informed decisions. Though the impact on, and quality of, decisions are difficult to measure, we at least are seeing the increased access to information resources that we believe is a necessary, but not sufficient step in the right direction. Additional work is needed to adapt existing clinical information systems such that they are able to export context information for use in information retrieval, just as work is needed to adapt information resources to standardize on methods for facilitating that retrieval. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9780123693778
  • Start Page

  • 345
  • End Page

  • 371