A Call for Federated Search in Healthcare

September 12, 2013

The general search engines available on the web are simply not adequate for healthcare professionals looking for the latest pertinent information (let alone personalized data on their patients). The Federated Search Blog shares an important Tedx Talk in its piece, “Dr. Karl Kochendorfer: Bridging the Knowledge Gap in Health Care,” which advocates the adoption of federated search for the healthcare industry. I recommend the video not only for those in the healthcare or search fields, but for anyone interested in getting the best care for themselves and their families. The write-up tells us:

“As a family physician and leader in the effort to connect healthcare workers to the information they need, Dr. Kochendorfer acknowledges what those of us in the federated search world already know – Google and the surface web contain so little of the critical information your doctor and his staff need to support important medical decision-making.”

The write-up summarizes highlights from the talk, including the statistic that says a third of clinicians’ time is spent hunting down information. No wonder doctors are spending less time with patients! The article continues:

“And, the most compelling reason to get federated search into healthcare is the sobering thought by Dr. Kochendorfer that doctors are now starting to use Wikipedia to get answers to their questions instead of the best evidence-based sources out there just because Wikipedia is so easy for them to use. Scary.”

Yes, scary is a good word for it. It is true that data reservoirs that feed federated searches can contain errors—a point Kochendorfer does not address in this video. Still, I have to agree with the write-up: the doctor makes a compelling case on this important issue. The video concludes with a call for listeners to support the development of federated healthcare search tools like MedSocket and open standards like Infobuttons. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Cynthia Murrell, September 12, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext


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