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.
- Clinicians are the best people to determine what they need to know to help a patient
- Librarians are the best people to search the clinical literature
- Librarians are the best people to review, assess, interpret, and summarize the clinical research literature
- Technology can assist this process by helping clinicians structure their questions, centralizing clinician-librarian communication, helping librarians structure their responses, providing access to the research literature and archives of past questions and answers, and providing opportunities for quality improvement and process evaluation.
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:
- A foreground question about the management, diagnosis, prognosis, or etiology of a patient is identified
- The clinical research literature is searched to identify studies that purport to answer the question
- Identified studies are assessed for methodological validity. Studies with fatal flaws are excluded. Studies with the highest validity are selected for interpretation
- The results of the selected studies are interpreted in light of the question
- The applicability of the studies and the answer with respect to the features of the individual patient is evaluated.
- If the answer is deemed applicable, a management decision is taken
- 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.