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Evidence-Based Medicine Needs Easy-To-Use Handheld Tools for Universal Utilization.
The steady increase in medical information and increasing demands brought about by new models of medical practice pose a major challenge to the practicing physician. Keeping updated on recent literature is a difficult task. It is essential that the clinician be provided with the tools to access information and to translate it into useful knowledge for decision support at the point of care. Sackett and Straus demonstrated that allowing doctors easy access to evidence-based resources while making rounds increased the extent to which evidence was sought and incorporated into patient care decisions. The use of a handheld device, such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) and Internet access through wireless networks, allows the clinician real-time access to evidence-based information at the point of care. With a wireless handheld device, a physician can search MEDLINE/PubMed, retrieve abstracts and full-text articles, and access other online resources anywhere.