"A world of knowledge at your fingertips": the promise, reality, and future directions of on-line information retrieval

Acad Med. 1999 Mar;74(3):240-3. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199903000-00012.


Medical knowledge resources are increasingly available in electronic form, particularly on the World Wide Web. The promise of this medium is that it offers a vast "world of knowledge at your fingertips." The reality, however, is somewhat different, as information systems are not well integrated into clinical practice, prove difficult to find specific information in, and contain content of varying quality. The continued evolution of the medium in the future should, however, be beneficial, as synthesized evidence-based resources become available and these resources are integrated into electronic medical record systems.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical / trends*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Information Services / trends*
  • Internet / trends*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / trends
  • Online Systems / trends*
  • United States