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National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) (vol 320, pg 1476, 2000)

Gray, JAM and de Lusignan, S (1999) National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) (vol 320, pg 1476, 2000) BRIT MED J, 319. pp. 1476-1479.

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Modern healthcare professionals have to resolve the information paradox; they are overwhelmed with information but cannot find particular information when and where they need it.1 The internet and its associated technologies, especially the world wide web, have the potential to both exacerbate and reduce these problems. Simply providing access to the world wide web per se may exacerbate the problems of information overload, since every web browser has access to hundreds of millions of pages of information. However, the cost effective provision of access to timely, current, and high quality information is what internet technology potentially offers. Creation of the National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) should be seen as an attempt to harness internet technologies to solve this information paradox. Sir Edward Waine, regius professor of medicine in Glasgow, who invented Waine's thyroid index, an early, pre-computer, decision support system, used to teach about “la maladie du petit papier.” This described the patient who, somewhat nervously, took a little bit of paper out of his jacket pocket towards the end of the consultation and used this paper to remind him of the questions that he knew he was bound to forget in the stress of the consultation. Many clinicians have now found that le maladie du petit papier is now but a fond memory as they face daily “la maladie du grand print-out,” an altogether more daunting challenge. The world wide web has blown away the walls and doors of medical libraries, which once shielded medical knowledge from the public gaze. Members of the public can now have access to almost all the information that professionals have.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Gray, JAM
de Lusignan, S
Date : 4 December 1999
DOI : 10.1136/bmj.319.7223.1476
Additional Information : Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1476 doi:10.1136/bmj.319.7223.1476. Copyright 1999 BMJ Group.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 23 Mar 2012 10:29
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:23

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