Volume 95, Issue 37

Wednesday, November 7, 2001
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Forum discusses wonders of universe

The world at war

New program provides instant medical advice

Off-campus students' council in development

Restaurant workers: "Don't kill our jobs"

Chemicals cause farmers concern

Lecture discusses grief and trauma

News Briefs

New program provides instant medical advice

By Dan Leinwand
Gazette Staff

London medical professionals are the first in Canada to obtain bragging rights – and access – to online medical research.

Both the London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London have said they are the first Canadian subscribers to a new online medical database called SKOLAR-MD.

Skolar is a company developed and operated by the medical department at California's University of Stanford. The database is designed to help doctors find the latest information on medical issues.

Diane Beattie, VP-health information for LHSC and St. Joseph's, explained the the database provides doctors easier access to all the latest medical news and research.

"The program provides doctors with quick, online access to new and developing medical knowledge, which is important, because medical information is constantly being developed and updated," he said.

"One doctor we spoke to was satisfied with the program because it is available 24 hours [a day]. The doctor used the search engine to find information at 4 a.m. when all the libraries and medical institutions were closed," Beattie said.

"Subscribers use their password to access up-to-date information that comes from textbooks, evidence-based medical guidelines and medical journals," said Sue Sweeney, Skolar VP-marketing.

Sweeney said anyone can subscribe to the database and noted positive reactions from current subscribers. "So far we have been getting excellent feedback from our 4,500 current subscribers. A recent poll of those customers indicated 91 per cent of them would recommend Skolar to other professionals," she said.

Mandar Jog, Western assistant neurological sciences professor, said Skolar is something that could benefit his research.

"I wouldn't mind a program that allows me to download new and current information in my field so long as I can be confident that the information is legitimate," he said.

"All information that is on SKOLAR-MD is selected, reviewed and screened by a committee of Stanford physicians, so all database information is legitimate," Sweeney said.

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