Category Archives: Databases

Criticising Cochrane Systematic Reviews

Jon Brassey of Trip Database presented a critique of Cochrane systematic reviews at Evidence13 earlier this year. This blog post is a summary of his points.

Prodigy replaces CKS

Prodigy(formerly the Clinical Knowledge Service) is now being provided by Clarity Informatics.    Prodigy can be found at

UpToDate Mobile App

UpToDate has released an app for iPhone. To find out more about the app, click here.  Only private subscribers can download the app at this time.

AHRQ’s Horizon Scanning Manual

The AHRQ Horizon Scanning System Protocol & Operations Manual is now online. Click here to open the PDF document in a new browser window. From the Preface: “Horizon scanning involves two processes. The first is the identification and monitoring of new and evolving health care interventions that are purported to or may hold potential to diagnose, treat, or otherwise manage a particular condition or to improve care delivery for a variety of conditions. The second is the analysis of the relevant health care context in which these new and evolving interventions exist to understand their potential impact on clinical care, the health care system, patient outcomes, and costs. It is NOT the goal of the AHRQ Healthcare Horizon Scanning System to make predictions on the future utilization and costs of any health care technology. Rather, the reports will help to inform and guide the planning and prioritization of research resources.” This document includes daily lead scanning, search and profile development for target topics,  inclusion criteria, tables of resources that ERCI librarians search, PubMed filters etc. If you are involved in horizon scanning or if your organisation is interested in developing HS processes, this is a document to consult.

The Centre for Health Informatics at UNSW has recently successfully completed the ANDS-funded project: “An International Antibiotic-Resistance Gene Cassette Database”

The key achievements this project produced are:
•    Published a free on-line repository of the hundreds of known
antibiotic resistance gene cassettes.
•    Established  a web service through which microbiologists can submit
cassette array sequences and receive an accurate cassette names based on predictions made by our (existing) computational system and knowledge base.
•    Allow people to submit new cassettes to be reviewed by staff at the
Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and for inclusion in the knowledge base.
•    Created tools to keep track of submission status, update submission,
and publish them.
•    Users in 6 countries in less than 6 months since launch.
This is a link to the Repository of Antibiotic resistance Cassettes database online here

A description of the MPPDA data collection can be seen on Research Data
Australia here

This project was jointly led by Dr. Guy Tsafnat and Dr. Sally Partridge at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Westmead Hospital.
The software development was carried out by Intersect Australia Limited

DynaMed adds alert function

DynaMed will be adding a new feature in July.  You will be able to sign up for alerts when a topic is updated, or for recent updates in general with selections to narrow by category and/or by practice-changing updates.

NHS Evidence is changing

The simple search facility on NHS Evidence provides health and social care professionals with access to specialised content, including national collections of evidence in areas such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular
and commissioning.

Other specialised content being introduced from May includes a new focus on medicines information. For the first time, users will be able to search key sources simultaneously – including British National Formulary (BNF), National electronic Library for Medicines (NeLM) and National Prescribing Centre (NPC)– to quickly and easily access information pertinent to their professional practice.

It will also be possible for users to browse new clinical topic areas – developed by clinicians – which will bring together the latest guidelines, high quality patient information, ongoing trials and other selected information. Users will be able to register and get regular updates on changes to guidance.
NHS staff who have an Athens account will continue to get free access to paid-for databases of evidence (e.g. MEDLINE, CINAHL), e-books and key journals (e.g. BMJ, JAMA).

Watch the video here


1. All the newsletters / bulletins have stopped;

2. The RSS feeds have gone. It is unclear if there will be any equivalent on NHS Evidence topic pages.

3. Clinical Knowledge Summaries may be around for a while until an alternative is found, though it appears that this will not be updated in the meantime