Pharmacotherapy on the Web

The Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy 2001;4:500. 

HandHeldMed, Integrated Medical Curriculum, Center For Evidence-Based Medicine, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research

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HandHeldMed, Integrated Medical Curriculum, Center For Evidence-Based Medicine, UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research

Name of site:

HandHeldMed

Type of site: Information site devoted to handheld computing applications in health care
Authoring organization: HandHeldMed.com
Sponsors: Supported through banner advertising and sales of software products.
Of particular interest to: Any health professional who owns or is considering owning a handheld computer (eg. Palm Pilot, Visor, Pocket PC)
Completeness Score (/5) 4
Credibility Score (/5) 4
Usability Score (/5) 4
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Provides a community for learning about how to maximize the capabilites of your handheld computer in your practice.
Commentary: HandHeldMed's site is stocked with a wide variety of content ranging from numerous shareware and freeware products for the Palm computing platform (notably, Patient Tracker, an excellent monitoring tool) to columns, features, and product reviews. This site is one of the best places to keep track of trends in medical applications for handheld computing.  One drawback is that it is fairly product-heavy, meaning that many areas of the site are aimed at promoting products the company sells itself.
URL of site: http://www.handheldmed.com
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

Integrated Medical Curriculum 

Type of site: Multimedia medical reference & teaching site.
Authoring organization: Gold Standard Multimedia
Sponsors: Gold Standard Multimedia
Of particular interest to: Any health professional who wishes to expand their knowledge of medicine.
Completeness Score (/5) 4
Credibility Score (/5) 5
Usability Score (/5) 5
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Provides an appealing and interactive reference with multimedia illustrations to learn more about anatomy, physiology, histology, immunology, even medical ethics
Commentary: Although the JIP has previously featured Clinical Pharmacology 2000 in this section, the recent redesign of the Integrated Medical Curriculum section of Gold Standard Multimedia's site warrants its own review.  Although not aimed specifically at pharmacotherapy practitioners, this site has much to offer practitioners and students who want to learn more about, say, physical assessment or physiologic systems and how they relate to pharmacotherapy.  The Quicktime videos provided for many descriptions are exactly what the internet was designed to do: break the textbook mold and provide more valuable learning experiences. Best of all, all the content is FREE.
URL of site: http://imc.gsm.com/
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research

Type of site: Information site collating several recent articles about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical practice.
Authoring organization: University of British Columbia Centre for Health Services and Policy Research
Sponsors: None
Of particular interest to: Pharmacotherapy practitioners and physicians interested in the pharmaceutical industry's influences on health care.
Completeness Score (/5) 2 (not intended to be a comprehensive site)
Credibility Score (/5) 5
Usability Score (/5) 4
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Nothing in particular, except read some interesting articles and listen to some interesting interviews about the negative effects of the pharmaceutical industry.
Commentary: This site is highlighted because it currently features a collection of articles and radio interviews drawn from a number of sources in the mass media.  
URL of site: http://www.chspr.ubc.ca/
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

Center For Evidence-Based Medicine

Type of site: Information and teaching resources for EBM
Authoring organization: UK's National Health Service
Sponsors: NHS
Of particular interest to: Pharmacotherapy and medical practitioners interested in honing their critical appraisal and clinical skills.
Completeness Score (/5) 5
Credibility Score (/5) 5
Usability Score (/5) 3
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Provides a myriad of tools and information designed to help practitioners increase the degree to which they find, interpret and apply evidence in their clinical practice.  
Commentary: Calculating SpPins and SnNouts, likelihood ratios, NNT's and NNH's is easy with the spreadsheets and calculators available in the EBM Toolbox.  The Teaching Materials section provides curricula for teaching others (and yourself) about how to "do" EBM.  The collection of 63 "CATs", or Critical Appraised Topics, in the CATbank are a quick way to answer common clinical questions. 
URL of site: http://cebm.jr2.ox.ac.uk/
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Copyright © 2001 by the Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy. All rights reserved.