A word from the College library

Diagnostic information resources: reducing uncertainty

Making timely and accurate diagnoses requires access to relevant and valid information resources. BMJ Best Practice is an online evidence-based resource that summarizes current diagnostic and therapeutic evidence. Organized by condition, each monograph has a "Diagnosis" section with history and examination, tests, differential diagnosis, step-by-step, criteria, diagnostic guidelines, and a case history subsection. Typically, content is briefly introduced with options for drilling deeper into the text as you choose. Another approach to locating diagnostic information in BMJ Best Practice is to select “Show Conditions” and browse over 125 evaluations. These assessments guide clinicians through the evaluation of a symptom or a lab result finding. The differential diagnoses provided are categorized as common or uncommon and alerts are highlighted for urgent considerations. Load the app and have easy access on the go to about 1,000 topics.

The number and complexity of diagnostic laboratory tests is rapidly expanding, e.g. Life Labs currently provides at least 1,000 laboratory tests according to its listing at http://tests.lifelabs.com/. The College library offers online support for accurately and efficiently interpreting diagnostic tests. For example, the following atlases, physical diagnosis guides, and clinical chemistry ebooks can be viewed online in the ClinicalKey collection:

  • Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis
  • Churchill's Pocketbook of Differential Diagnosis
  • Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Clinical Diagnosis in Ophthalmology
  • Diagnostic Atlas of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Diagnostic Atlas of Melanocytic Pathology
  • Diagnostic Atlas of Renal Pathology
  • Differential Diagnosis of Common Complaints
  • Evidence-based Physical Diagnosis
  • Ferri's Best Test: A Practical Guide to Laboratory Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging
  • Ferri's Differential Diagnosis
  • Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods
  • Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures 
  • Making the Diagnosis
  • Physical Diagnosis of Pain
  • Physical Diagnosis Secrets
  • Textbook of Physical Diagnosis
  • Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics

ClinicalKey offers over 1,000 ebooks, including the above, and is a starting point for a deeper search of Medline and the journal literature. It also includes the point-of-care resource, First Consult, which can be viewed online within ClinicalKey and is also an app (downloading instructions here). 

These are just a few of the clinical decision support tools provided to registrants through the College library and quick access to laboratory consultations. For more, browse the library's website or contact staff at 604-733-6671 or medlib@cpsbc.ca.