Trusted and Relevant Medical Knowledge: The Promise of Information Retrieval

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As the world of medicine becomes increasingly digitized, the Web has become a de facto resource for physicians to quickly glean pertinent clinical information to carry out diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.At present, physicians face the dual challenge of judging the relevance of the information and trusting its Web source.This paper proposes a trust-relevance framework for conceptualizing computer-accessed medical information resources, a set of criteria for evaluating these information resources, and descriptions of a sample of available online resources. It also presents a usable framework for evaluating information retrieval innovations and explains the different capabilities of representative information retrieval tools and applications. By demystifying the concepts associated with information resources, search engines, and retrieval tools, and presenting a reasonable view of current opportunities as well as future possibilities, the authors hope to provide guidance so physicians can more rapidly adopt innovative computer-assisted search tools for acquiring information that facilitate patient care decision-making.



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