Decision Time for Doctors: The DynaMed Clinical Reference API

The EBSCOhost API for DynaMed provides access through the two protocols of SOAP and REST, both of which return data in XML. An EBSCOhost Integration Toolkit (EIT) profile is required for access.

Geared to physicians, DynaMed is a reference tool for clinical decision support. Built for use during a doctor's practice, it contains clinically-organized summaries on over 3,200 subjects.

Access options are through three methods: Web, mobile, electronic medical records (EMR) integration via the EIT, and partner access for subscribers to Lexi-comp or Zynx.

According to a press release carried in the, "No other decision support tool collectively scored in the top three in each area surveyed," namely "imeliness of content updating, breadth of coverage and the quality of evidence reporting." However, the actual study in Journal of Clinical Epidemiology concludes, "No single resource was ideal and those seeking answers to clinical questions are well-advised not to rely solely on a single point-of-care product."

An article in the British Medical Journal, August 5, 2011, also points to Dynamed's excellence in updating. "At nine months, Dynamed had cited 87% of the sampled reviews, while the other summaries had cited less than 50%. The updating speed of Dynamed [daily, according to the company] clearly led the others."

Be sure to read the next Hardware article: The Roboearth API: Isaac Asimov Would be Impressed


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You may be interested to know that in regards to the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology study, a further look at the timing of it reveals even higher scores for DynaMed in quality of evidence.

The analysis was completed in March 2011 and DynaMed received eight out of 11. DynaMed was not credited with having federated searching and links to external evidence sources even though they are available from DynaMed. According to the study: Scores were assigned based on publicly available information in each of the online text’s Web pages and information about federated searching and linking to external sources was not listed on the DynaMed website. That would have raised the score to a nine. In June 2011, DynaMed added user alerts to new evidence by topic, category and with a practice-changing and updates limiter which would have added two more points to the score.

Three months after the analysis was completed, the same study would have scored DynaMed 11 points for quality assessment — the highest score possible.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.