Providing evidence-based answers to clinical questions. A pilot information service for general practitioners

Med J Aust. 1999 Nov 15;171(10):547-50.


Objective: To pilot a clinical information service for general practitioners.

Methods: A representative sample of 31 GPs was invited to submit clinical questions to a local academic department of general practice. Their views on the service and the usefulness of the information were obtained by telephone interview.

Results: Over one month, nine GPs (29% of the sample, 45% of those stating an interest), submitted 20 enquiries comprising 45 discrete clinical questions. The median time to search for evidence, appraise it and write answers to each enquiry was 2.5 hours (range, 1.0-7.4 hours). The median interval between receipt of questions and dispatch of answers was 3 days (range, 1-12 days).

Conclusions: The GPs found the answers useful in clinical decision making; in four out of 20 cases patient management was altered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • South Australia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires