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OpenClinical aims to bring together, disseminate and publicise work in the field of clinical knowledge management by and for our targeted research, clinical and commercial constituencies.

OpenClinical is currently focusing its services on work by and for three constituencies: clinical, research and commercial. The Public zone includes links to e-Health applications for the public freely available on the WWW. The Background section of the site includes information for all target consitituencies. This area covers the clinical and technical context of knowledge management for healthcare, from the Evidence Based Medicine movement and clinical guidelines to developments in Health Informatics, Artificial Intelligence and computerised clinical decision support systems.

Clinicians and healthcare professionals: It is now humanly impossible for clinicians and other healthcare professionals to maintain comprehensive knowledge of best clinical practice, even in individual specialties let alone general medicine. Many organisations publish systematic reviews, guidelines and similar material. But busy clinicians have little time to read. How do we translate these vital resources into practical assistance at the point of care? Various kinds of knowledge management systems are being developed to do this, from decision support tools to flexible careflow systems.

OpenClinical staff will endeavour to keep you informed about developments which are relevant to you as a healthcare professional. For example, our resources currently include general introductions to new and emerging technologies, and we shall progressively build up directories and other information about projects, products and suppliers. Register as a member of this constuency and we'll automatically tell you whenever significant new information is posted. But, we know we can't know everthing! If you know something that we don't please tell us at open@openclinical.org

You are already involved in developing tools for clinical IT or thinking of a project in the area of knowledge management technologies, dealing with dissemination of clinical guidelines, decision support systems, "careflow" and so on. You want a site where you can find out about established and emerging techniques and technologies and one that tells you when there is something new. You probably also want to be able to follow up interesting technical topics in depth and a portal from where you can access other sites dealing with important related subjects like electronic patient records, medical terminology and language, and who in the technical community is doing what! Register as a member of this constituency and we'll automatically tell you whenever significant new information is posted. But, we know we can't know everthing! If you know something that we don't please tell us at open@openclinical.org

Commercial Technology suppliers and commercial services: The eHealth and Knowledge business markets are projected to be worth billions (or trillions?) of dollars by 2010 (or was it 2005?). Whatever the real figures the only way that technology-based markets grow is when companies offer products and services that people want, and the only way that markets grow vigorously and for the benefit of users is when there are lots of suppliers with a sense of excitement about what the technologies can bring. OpenClinical wants to help improve patient care by helping industry to track the technical state of the art, and put them in touch with potential partners and customers. Visit the site regularly to keep up with what the techies are doing and where the hot spots are. Register as a member of the industry constituency and we'll keep you posted. The OpenClinical team also plan to develop services to help you promote your offerings to the other constituencies of the OpenClinical community.

Public "Health care has discovered the Internet and the Internet has discovered health care! A rapidly growing number of Internet sites are dedicated to helping consumers find the information they need to make decisions about their health and health care. Patients are creating online communities that provide peer support, information on the latest research, and personal stories about their experiences" (Institute of the Future). OpenClinical is one of these sites, though with a distinctive interest in promoting awareness of advanced technologies that can improve the quality and safety of healthcare, and in the ethical use of such technologies. Individual members of the public who care about the quality of healthcare and the possibilities of new technologies, but are not clinicians or techies, will be able to use OpenClinical as a source of accessible articles, opinions and discussions, and as a portal to find out about the people, the projects and the products which are creating the medical knowledge management revolution. We aim to provide information for patients and carers, managers and policy makers, journalists and the media, and all who are interested in the dissemination and effective use of medical knowledge. Register as a member of this constituency and we'll keep you posted about this service as it develops.

Entry on OpenClinical: 2001
Last main update: 2002
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