Literature Surveillance Process

Explore our evidence-based methodology and literature surveillance process

The Team

Eight Deputy Editors are full-time employees of DynaMed. Each oversees a publishing group and is responsible for all content published within that group:

  • Alan Ehrlich, MD, Executive Editor
  • William Aird, MD, Deputy Editor of Hematology, Endocrinology & Nephrology
  • Peter Oettgen, MD, FACC, Editor in Chief and Deputy Editor of Cardiology
  • Scott Barron, MD, FAAP, Deputy Editor of Pediatrics
  • Terry Trow, MD, FACP, FACCP, Deputy Editor of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine
  • Vito Iacoviello, MD, FIDSA, Deputy Editor of Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Rheumatology
  • Alex Rae-Grant, MD, FRCP (C), Deputy Editor of Neurology
  • Trish Kavanagh, MD, FAAP, Deputy Editor of Systematic Literature Surveillance

All Deputy Editors spend a portion of their time in patient care and/or research and teaching at academic medical centers.
Publishing groups are supported by an internal team of associate physician editors, medical editors and medical writers with expertise in a wide range of fields including biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, genetics, molecular biology and library science.

All members of the internal team are trained in DynaMed’s evidence-based approach to critical appraisal of the medical literature, and are provided with informatics support to systematically survey the medical literature on a daily basis.

The internal team also works with a large and rapidly growing external network of hundreds of practicing clinicians, clinical content experts and methodologists who serve as Topic Editors, Section Editors, or Recommendations Editors.

Topic Editors are chosen for their clinical expertise. Typically, each is active in academic and clinical practice, board-certified in the appropriate specialty and devotes a portion of time caring for patients with the clinical entity in question. Section Editors have a similar background as Topic Editors but have a broader role that includes the review of multiple topics and oversight of multiple Topic Editors.

Five Recommendations Editors are independent contributors, chosen for their expertise in evidence-based medicine, methodology and guideline development:

  • Zbys Federowicz, MSc, DPH, BDS, LDS, RDS
  • Eddy Lang, MDCM, CFPC, CSPQ
  • Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA, FACP
  • Allen Shaughnessy, PharmD, MMedEd, FCCP
  • Esther van Zuuren, MD

Each Recommendations Editor spends a portion of time in patient care, medical publishing and/or teaching at academic medical centers.

The Process

DynaMed topics are written and edited through the collaborative efforts of the above individuals. Topic Editors define the scope and focus of each topic by formulating a set of clinical questions and suggesting important guidelines, clinical trials and other data that should be addressed within each topic. Clinical questions are designed to address common issues encountered at the point-of-care, key branch points in clinical decision-making or areas of controversy in the medical literature.

A member of the internal editorial team performs a comprehensive search of the medical literature to identify available evidence to address each question and reviews all suggested guidelines and studies. The most useful evidence is selected for inclusion, critically appraised and summarized in the first draft of the topic. The draft then undergoes internal review to ensure accuracy, validity and clinical relevance. The revised draft is edited by one or more Topic Editors to ensure that all information presented is current, accurate, and generalizable for point-of-care use.

The Overview and Recommendations section of DynaMed topics undergoes additional review by a Recommendations editor to ensure that all recommendations are sound, supported and evidence-based. This process is described in “Synthesized Recommendation Grading”. Prior to publication, the topic undergoes final review by the Deputy Editor to ensure that all needed perspectives are included, balanced and that all recommendations are appropriate for use at the point-of-care. Click here to see more about our conflict of interest policy.

To maintain currency, the internal team conducts systematic literature surveillance (SLS) on a daily basis, monitoring over 500 medical journals and guideline publications. These DynaMed content sources are monitored using a 7-step evidence-based method for systematic literature surveillance. When new and clinically relevant studies or guidelines are identified, they are reviewed, critically appraised and added to existing topics. Additionally, topics undergo periodic review (generally on an annual basis) by a Topic Editor and a Deputy Editor.

The Patient Information and Patient Decision Aid sections of DynaMed topics offer curated lists of educational resources for the patient. Most topics offer patient-directed fact sheets developed by EBSCO Health’s consumer health product Health Library. Health Library includes a database of over 5,000 plain language fact sheets in both English and Spanish that are clinically reviewed every year and written at the 6-7th grade reading level. Externally developed patient information is also included in the curated list of resources in the Patient Information and Patient Decision Aid sections of DynaMed topics. External resources adhere to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines and are non-commercial resources that are reviewed for clinical accuracy, readability, and currency.

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