© 2008 The Medical-Legal News
By Beth Zorn, Co-moderator, LNCExchange
Clinical guidelines: Go the website of the organization that promulgated the guideline — many times the guidelines are available at no cost. If you need an older version of the guideline, call the organization. Examples:
• “Guidelines for Infectious Disease Specialists serving as Expert Witnesses,” Clinical Infectious Diseases. 5/15/2005 v. 40 No. 10 pgs. 1393-1394 is athttp://www.idsociety.org/search. aspx?q=Expert. Google the entire site to find out if it is in full text somewhere on the internet.
• ECRI (www.ecri.org) now has full text clinical guidelines in their Health Care Standards Online — it is a paid subscription (about $500 per year), but worth it for firms that do a lot of med mal.
If the clinical guidelines are published in a journal, find the site and follow suggestions below for locating the article.
Peer-reviewed journal articles: I always start with MD Consult due to its large collection of full text articles which can be downloaded at no cost. It is a paid annual subscription, but with the special rate for medical-legal professionals, it is well worth it (contact me if you need the details about this).
• Use the “advanced search” function of Google scholar — this will give you the internet sites in which an article is available in full text —sometimes at no cost; many times for a fee ranging from $10 to $40 per article.
• Go to the online site for the journal and search for back issues — sometimes older articles are available at no cost; other times there is a fee.
• Visit a local medical library and find and copy the article.
• Request the article via interlibrary loan at your public library.
• Use an article retrieval service. The best I know of is Leroy Ellenberger’s athttp://www.riggsconsulting.net/retrieval.
Below are some sites for obtaining full text articles, which frankly, I have not investigated much but am passing them along:
Beth Zorn is a nurse consultant at a law firm in Rochester, N.Y.; email@example.com.
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