Drug safety alerts: a continous updating system

28 Jul

The effort of following all the available information sources on any given topic by oneself may involve a large waste of time and energy. The electronic prescription group in Catalonia has developed a project of strategic surveillance and content curation focused on drug safety alerts. By way of definition, strategic surveillance is information filtering to help decision-making, which is an early alert tool, while content curation is a continuous diffusion system on the most relevant contents on a topic, addressed to specific target groups.

Alertes de seguretat de fàrmacs

¿How did we do it? To develop this project we used the tool scoop®, an automatic news aggregator that allows to filter the news items, personalise them and present them within a web page and a bulletin.

The methodology we followed was the 4s’s method of Content Curation (search + select + sense making + share) by content curators Javier Guallar and Javier Leiva Aguilera, authors of the book “El content curator. Guía básica para el nuevo profesional de internet” and the 4s’s method.

The project started with de definition of a set of surveillance lines. In our case, it included drug regulatory agencies, assessment agencies, new drugs, new therapeutic indications, the technological evolution of prescription and electronic prescription symptoms, as well as the opinions and appraisal of professionals.

These surveillance days are set on a daily basis by following up multiple information sources, including contents from grey literature, pharmacotherapy bulletins, and experts blogs.

A key element of this pro is the contents selection. This is  usually carried out with the collaboration of experts in pharmacotherapy. Once a set of contents is selected, we give it a sense. In this project we do it organising them in an essentially visual way: with a synthetic headline (drug, associated potential risk, and information source) and a link to the original piece of news.

¿What do we offer? We offer a drug safety alert monograph, specialised information that is updated at the same time as the primary sources. We optimise multiple bibliographic searches to avoid information fragmentation and infoxication.

¿For whom are we useful? Our project is useful for the updating of information systems on drug safety alerts, and for any healthcare professional who wishes to stay up-to-date in this field. Having the latest news at real time is important, and our objective is to be useful, getting the professionals closer to this information in a convenient way: through a open access web site, and through a monthly bulletin.

¿What is beyond this project?

This project is an example of collaboration between healthcare professionals and information and documentation professionals. The methodology used in this project may be applicable to other objectives, defining other surveillance lines, other information sources and other target groups. Thus the project gives more visibility to existing resources, which are numerous, well known, and of good quality.

Post written by Marta Millaret (@martamillaret) and Arantxa Catalán (@arantxacataln).

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