Evidence-Based Medicine Library Consult Service Software

Welcome to the home page for the Evidence-Based Medicine Library Consult Service (LCS) software. LCS is a web application designed to facilitate the interaction of health professionals with health science librarians and to promote evidence-based health care.

Technical development information about LCS has been published in the online journal BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.

Downloading LCS (for the impatient

Visit our SourceForge project page to access file releases.

Goals and Assumptions

The goal of the EBM Library Consult Service (LCS) is to provide clinicians with timely evidence-based reviews of the clinical research literature in response to patient-focused questions. LCS assumes that: A secondary goal of LCS is to serve as an educational tool for improving clinician and librarian skills at working with evidence.

Evidence-based medicine

Evidence-based medicine is a process of integrating the best available research evidence with clinician judgment and patient values in order to optimize care for a patient or group of patients. EBM can be conceptualized as involving the following steps:
  1. A foreground question about the management, diagnosis, prognosis, or etiology of a patient is identified
  2. The clinical research literature is searched to identify studies that purport to answer the question
  3. Identified studies are assessed for methodological validity. Studies with fatal flaws are excluded. Studies with the highest validity are selected for interpretation
  4. The results of the selected studies are interpreted in light of the question
  5. The applicability of the studies and the answer with respect to the features of the individual patient is evaluated.
  6. If the answer is deemed applicable, a management decision is taken
  7. The impact of evidence-based decisions is assessed, and used to improve the quality of future decision-making.

The Role of LCS

LCS is a web-based system to aid in the practice of EBM by facilitating and recording structured communications between clinicians and librarians. LCS provides an interface for clinicians to ask structured questions, to receive responses from librarians, and to provide feedback on the responses; in addition, by archiving past questions and answers, LCS provides a repository of previously researched questions that can be reviewed by a physician. LCS provides librarians with an interface for receiving clinician questions, assigning them to a librarian to answer, and transmitting and archiving answers.

Credits and Licensing

Copyright © 2005, Alan Schwartz. Development of the LCS software and documentation was supported by National Library of Medicine Grant 1G08LM007921-01, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Chicago, with Alan Schwartz as Principal Investigator. Other investigators included Jordan Hupert, Carol Scherrer, Karen Connell, Josephine Dorsch and Jerry Niederman. System programming was performed by Gregory Millam. Project coordinated by Laura Swieck, with assistance from Ariel Leifer. As per the terms of the grant, LCS is released under the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later.