Sunday, March 22, 2009

RSS for pharmacists

For those who are unfamiliar with RSS, see this video for a short explanation of RSS in Plain English.

Do you need to keep up with the medical and pharmacy literature? Signing up for the RSS feeds of the journals you are interested in can prevent your email inbox from overflowing with eTOC.

I have 17 journal feeds my Google Reader, which more that keeps me up to date on the latest research. Because everything is in one place in the same format it is much easier to scan multiple journals at a time, and one click will take you to the journal website. For those with a University of Manitoba library card, use of the library proxy bookmarklet will also allow you to access the full text article, if the university has the e-journal.

You can also sign up for the RSS feed from any website that offers it. For example I subscribe to RSS feeds from MDConsult and Medscape for the latest medical and pharmacy news. Health Canada and FDA Medwatch have RSS feeds for the new advisories and warnings on medications.

Blogs can also be followed, either for personal or professional purposes. I subscribe to several medical librarian blogs as many of their posts comment on the use of technology to assist healthcare professionals and they are quick to post reviews on new tools that I could use in my practice. I also subscribe to my classmates blogs for the Introduction to Emerging Technologies course that I am taking, allowing me to follow their learning as well. You could also subscribe to your friend's pregnancy or wedding blogs and follow every detail that they post!

The best feature that I have discovered is the PubMed "Send to: RSS feed." After doing a search in PubMed you can click on the "Send to" drop down box and select RSS feed to send it to your RSS reader. I did a search a title search for drug information, limited to English language articles and sent it as an RSS feed to Google Reader. Now I will be alerted every time an article is published on drug information, simply brilliant!

There are other ways to do this in PubMed (My NCBI), but having everything in Google Reader streamlines it. Multiple specific PubMed searches could be set up on specific topics of interest, which could eliminating the need to scan a large number of journals, especially if you have a narrow area of practice.

The only downside that I have encountered is the large number of feeds I now subscribe to, which requires regular screening to keep manageable. As this is a new tool for me I am keeping on top of it at the moment, but we shall see once the newness wears off.

RSS has saved me from many message from the email demons at work, telling me that I have exceed my allotted email allowance, so I'm a fan!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vitamin B,

    Just wanted to say I think it's great that you've RSS'd the other course blogs into yours -- makes it all that much easier for all of us to access each others' spaces via each others' spaces.

    So...I'm gonna offer you the sincerest form of flattery and replicate this on my blog (which is also on your list -- thanks).