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Advice from an editor-in-chief: how to avoid information overload

With an abundance of clinical information available at our fingertips at all times, it’s easy to get overwhelmed―the most current and evidence-based recommendations aren’t always clear. The reality? Clinical knowledge is growing at an unprecedented rate. So how do you keep up without compromising the quality of care?

On this episode of Boldly, Dr. Joshua Bezanson is joined by Dr. Leslie Dye, Editor-in-chief of Point of Care Content at Elsevier. Dr. Dye’s background is in emergency medicine and medical toxicology. Together, they discuss information overload in the medical field. Dr. Dye shares how point of care tools would work in an ideal scenario and her passion for having resources available for the physicians who need them. 
tweetable: We have to always be willing to be a teacher and a student as we move along and try to maintain some balance and keep an open mind. Because just like anything, it has its good sides and its bad sides. But so far in my career, the good has out-weighed the bad.
Drs. Dye and Bezanson also cover a significant culture change―now that patients also have access to this abundance of information about their own conditions, what are the outcomes?
tweetable: I love (really) when patients know a lot about what’s wrong with them. I really do. I think it’s amazing.
What do these changes mean for the peer-reviewed and evidence-based content such as Elsevier’s? Listen to find out.

Key takeaways

How did Dr. Dye get started as a physician?
  • Emergency medicine jumped out at her.
  • She really enjoyed her rotation in emergency medicine and loved her residency.
tweetable: We have to have the education, we have to have medical  school, we have to have residency and look at these tools in context.
How did Dr. Dye get started as an editor?
  • She has always had an interest in words and grammar. Earlier in her career, she took on a role editing a health magazine in Cincinnati.
  • A job opened at Elsevier that combined all of her interests, skills and experiences.
  • She was asked to develop point-of-care content for Elsevier.
tweetable: To this day, my ninety-one-year-old mother still corrects my grammar. She does that for all three of her children and all of her grandchildren.
How is Dr. Dye involved with the Opioid Epidemic Research Center?
  • She became interested in addiction medicine and really developed an interest in the opioid epidemic.
  • She started a website with free resources for anyone with commentary, medical information and news articles to address this epidemic.
tweetable: I wouldn’t have wanted to give up this career. It’s never boring. I don’t want the young people in medicine to get discouraged. I think you should find a mentor that’s optimistic and someone who is always not only willing to teach, but willing to learn.
What are Dr. Dye’s suggestions for navigating the abundance of clinical information out there?
  • There are advantages in having so much more information available now, but there must be a game plan to manage all of it.
  • It’s still about quality over quantity of information.
  • First, people must learn how to evaluate the information.
  • Secondly, find a few sources that you trust and understand how their information is developed and reviewed.
tweetable: I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed. They say that every thirty seconds, new medical information is published.
What is the publishing process like at Elsevier?
  • Authors have specific instructions.
  • There is a literature surveillance team that is responsible for updating information.
  • There is also a process to look through every piece on a scheduled basis.

tweetable: The quality of information still has to be number one.

What would the perfect point-of-care tool do?
  • Compile lots of resources for helpful recommendations.
  • Have trustworthy resources that are easy to read, easy to find answers as well as focus on diagnosis and treatment.
  • When there is debate or controversy, it would sure the options are clear.
tweetable: Always looking for better ways, with anything in life, is a good thing.

Recommended resources

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The opinions stated by podcast participants are made in a personal capacity and do not reflect those of the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries including Joule. Joule does not endorse any views, product, service, association, company or industry mentioned in this podcast.

About the author(s)

CMA Joule supports physicians and medical learners in the pursuit of clinical excellence. As a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), we support the profession with continuing education and other learning opportunities as well as leading evidence-based clinical products and research.