Evidence Services

Evidence Services

The Center for Knowledge Management (CKM) offers evidence consultation services to help advance clinical decision making, evidence-based practice, and the research enterprise at VUMC.  Highly-skilled information scientists at CKM contribute expertise in searching the biomedical literature as well as biochemical, genetic, structural and bioinformatics resources, identifying the most authoritative sources for particular information needs, synthesizing and filtering evidence, evaluating study design, and identifying biases in the literature.  CKM information scientists possess knowledge of a wide array of databases including specialized domain-specific, unpublished, and non-commercial resources, which enable them to locate data not readily accessible. Filtered packets prepared by CKM offer concise, objective summaries of the evidence that capture multiple viewpoints where applicable, documentation of relevant search strategies, and dynamic links to relevant databases and resources to facilitate updates.  The resulting information products and evidence packets are stored and maintained in web-based repositories available to the VUMC community. 

Request evidence consultation services:

  • For questions related to genetics, biochemistry, or bioinformatics, click here.  
  • For all other evidence consultation requests, click here

Applying expert skills in the application of levels and grading from evidence hierarchies, as well as the evaluation of study methodologies and sources of bias, CKM staff cite and synthesize information from resources such as clinical trials; systematic reviews and meta-analyses; documents from federal, international, and non-governmental organizations; and other published and grey literature resources, biochemical resources, databases and algorithms into succinct recaps of relevant outcomes.   In response to complex clinical and research questions, CKM’s filtered packets provide a synthesis and summary of relevant evidence and literature including experimental and study outcomes, expert database search strategies, and links to the most pertinent and timely evidence.  Search strategies developed by information scientists return immediate, dynamic updates of current evidence. CKM additionally extends evidence provision to further the institution’s precision medicine initiatives through the research and analysis of how various mutations and alleles affect protein structure and function.


Evidence Based Services Overview:


  • Clinical units: CKM offers just-in-time evidence summaries that consider patient-specific factors to support effective clinical decision-making and evidence-based practice in inpatient, critical care, and outpatient settings. 
  • Order Sets/SmartSets: are point-of-care actions, or “orderables,” usually grouped around a specific procedure.   While similar to the synthesized evidence provided to clinicians in response to patient-specific questions, Order Set/ SmartSet support embeds evidence into the institution's health care practices on a broader scale, directly into clinical systems for use at the bedside for specific patient populations.
  • Research: CKM evidence support is open to the VUMC/VU research community with the goal of providing proactive, targeted information services for researchers delivered at the point of need. Research consult services include training, grant assistance, access to electronic resources and tools, database searching and evidence filtering of biochemical, genetic, protein, and structural information. Individual and group consultations are available with experienced Center for Knowledge Management staff.  Information scientists can also provide assistance with comprehensive evidence reviews to researchers developing institutional review board (IRB) protocols and to IRB protocol analysts.
  • VUMC Diagnostic Management Teams: CKM partnered with Diagnostic Management Teams (DMTs) to deliver just-in-time, patient-specific information to inform the interpretation of genetic and complex laboratory evaluations for VUMC Diagnostic Management Teams.  Using their expertise in pharmacogenetics, biomedical sciences, and clinical research, CKM information scientists provided expert search support and critically appraised, synthesized summaries in response to complex questions received from the DMTs.

Publications and Presentations

  • Instructor, “Information Retrieval and Assessing Evidence Module,” Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-based Patient Care (ACI 6120) course, Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics (MSACI) program, Vanderbilt University, Department of Biomedical Informatics. Spring 2017.

  • Instructor, “Analysis of Clinical Informatics Literature Module,” Introduction to Clinical Informatics (ACI6110) course, Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics (MSACI) program, Vanderbilt University, Department of Biomedical Informatics. Fall 2016.

  • Giuse NB (Investigator), Sathe N, Koonce TY. Children’s health information needs and related interventions: a scan of the literature. White paper based on grant award for an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Planning Grant titled Planning Multidisciplinary and Multicenter Strategies for Understanding Optimal Health Information Delivery to Children (IMLS Grant No. LG-52-08-0074), March 2009. [https://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ckm/sites/default/files/content_files/WhitePaper_Final.pdf]