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Information Needs of Practicing Dentists

Determine the information needs of general dentists during patient care

Clinical information needs among physicians and nurses are found not being fully satisfied due to lack of time and various barriers to efficient information access. We can only assume that the same problem exists for practicing dentists. No research has determined that yet, however. With the help of 100 post-patient-visit short interviews we will determine the information needs of general dentists during typical general dental care.

Type of project: academic


Involved Persons:

Project Leader: Heiko Spallek (School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh)
Other involved People: Mei Song, Teena Wali, Deb Polk, Titus Schleyer
Deb Polk (5 star_blue)


Is the project funded?no

Other information:

Duration of project:1 year
Papers related to project:Song M, Spallek H, Polk D, Schleyer T, Wali T. How information systems should support the information needs of general dentists in clinical settings: suggestions from a qualitative study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. 2010; 10(7)
Personnel needed:none (data collection completed)
Expertise sought:none (completed)

DIOC user:

heiko spallek (89 star_green), School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
heiko spallek's interests: digital imaging/image processing, clinical decision support, educational technology, practice management, computer-based patient records, evidence-based dentistry/electronic information resources, research methods, e-communities


neena elizabeth augustine (10 ), 09/1/2010:
This is a topic of great interest to me. One of the stumbling blocks I found most dentists encounter from gathering information online is the reliability of the resource. Most dentists still prefer to refer back to their textbooks b'cos, it has a known reliability and they know exactly where to find the information they are seeking.
shardee (7 ), 08/4/2010:
As a medical librarian serving community dentists, as well as many other health care providers, I'm grateful for your research and look forward to your findings. Please share thru DIOC and/or refer us to any resulting articles. Thanks.
A. Thomas Bozung (13 ), 12/2/2009:
I may be able to help here.
I have devoted over a decade in the development of a chairside software solution to this very topic. I use the software every day in clinical practice and am ready to launch the online component very soon.
I personally have designed and coded this software around clinical application and have refined, honed and added the tools I need to carry out evidence based care to my patients everyday.
I may be able to provide some information that may be useful for this topic.
Dr.Saikat Saha (non-member), 01/7/2009:
I think this topic must be the prime focus. I personally have interviewed various dentists and medical doctors regarding computer friendliness. I found out the following points:--
1) Most said they barely get time to surf information resources and if they do want some information they refer to their own text books.
2) Some said searching the internet has become a monstrous task because they find search engine results confusing.
3) Most of the websites are so disorganized that they loose the prime focus, the web page is full of other distractions and advertisement links which lures them into some other page or website. This is definitely a big problem that most are facing. After investing half an hour they barely find subjects of their choice.
4) Some said that they feel comfortable reading something in a book rather than their computer screen. They are of the opinion that web pages should have flow diagrams and more multimedia oriented.
5) Another vital point that I concluded is.. we are talking about?.. but which generation ? There are dentists who were never taught computers in class. So they lived their life practicing without the aid of computers and in that way they are more comfortable. Current generation dentists who have come out now are taught by earlier generation dentists.

My conclusion is we have to make an approach that is conducive to all. Hunting information should not be a challenge but a comfort. More multimedia should to deliver the necessary information. text information in usually available in the form of books, so multimedia should be a prime choice.

dr. abid hussain (12 ), 06/30/2008:
By sitting in Pakistan how can I contribute to this research study?
dr. abid hussain (12 ), 06/30/2008:
Its a excellent area of research, why it is not funded yet?


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