Have you ever wondered how health professionals know what is the most effective treatment option? How do you know you are being administered the correct treatment?
In the recent years, the Internet has become an important source/medium of acquiring medical information, for both, health professionals and health consumers – for professionals to update themselves, and for people to read up about a disease or to understand the treatment process outlined by the doctor.
Health science students and professionals constantly need to stay updated with the latest research and apply it for patient care. Their basic medical education provides the fundamental background knowledge but does not equip them to search medical information in a systematic manner in order to stay updated with the best available evidence.
Instead of searching through the vast ocean of data on generic search engines, students and professionals need to know where and how to obtain the best evidence from systematic research. This process ensures accurate delivery and availability of optimal health care services.
Vasumathi Sriganesh founded QMed Knowledge Foundation to help build the skills of health professionals, institutions, and patients to search healthcare data and evidence correctly and systematically.
As a hospital librarian, Vasumathi had daily close interactions with health care professionals. Through these conversations, she realised a majority of them lacked the time and resources for searching good medical literature (at that time, print resources, then CDROM and later – the Internet). Many lacked the ability to write structured, professional articles. With the evolution of computers and the Internet, senior doctors assumed (incorrectly) that they could bank on their tech-savvy juniors to retrieve all available relevant literature and evidence.
QMed identified the need to train health science, students and professionals, to search medical literature from various online databases and cite it correctly.
Agents of Change
Since its inception in 2007, QMed has conducted nearly 400 lectures and more than 225 workshops in health science institutions/events across India reaching out to more than 20,000 students and professionals. In 2017, they were invited to collaborate for the first international workshop in Myanmar. They even went on to offer support to authors of ‘Systematic Reviews’ by coordinating with Trial Search Coordinators and mentoring in the extensive search process.
2018 is a landmark year as QMed launched their first E-learning course with the help of Mediknit – an organisation that hosts several medical E-Learning courses by well-known medical bodies. The first course will teach the medical family all over India (it is open to anyone in the world though) about the basics of searching and using “PubMed”. This is a resource that will help them in their research, their academics, and their day-to-day queries.
As they continue to expand their reach, QMed ensures two critical things occur with their growth:
- Healthcare research improves by leaps and bounds. Researchers know how to find the best research material and reference their own work well, making things easier for other researchers
- Healthcare provision to society will be based on the best available evidence.
Here’s how you can be a part of QMed Knowledge Foundation