gms | German Medical Science

EbM in Qualitätsmanagement und operativer Medizin
8. Jahrestagung des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.

Deutsches Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.

22.03. - 24.03.2007 in Berlin

Aggregation and Dissemination of Guideline-related News by Means of Syndicated XML (RSS feeds)

Bündelung und Publikation von Leitlinienbezogenen Artikel-Neuerscheinungen mittels XML-Syndikation (RSS Feeds)

Meeting Abstract

EbM in Qualitätsmanagement und operativer Medizin. 8. Jahrestagung des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.. Berlin, 22.-24.03.2007. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2007. Doc07ebm075

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 15, 2007

© 2007 Niederstadt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




To stay ahead of scientific developments in a fast-changing field like Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) research is time-consuming and often inefficient. The effort of conducting regular literature-searches and mentally processing the content of retrieved articles is a burden that adds to already very busy work agendas. A possible solution that could at the same time promote academic discussion was therefore sought.


Since discussion of the methods of guideline development is already rather mature, it was decided to focus on research about the effects of guidelines on health care delivery and patient's quality of life.

The following goals were formulated:

Achieve dissemination of new research on CPG-effects at a "near-to-realtime" basis,
Spend as little extra-work on the accumulation and dissemination process as possible,
Find a mode of spreading the information in a way that is generally unobtrusive, but allows for more traditional way of information-spreading like email,
Find a mode of presenting the information in a way that makes it easy for recipients to respond actively and to engage in discussion with like-minded people.

Considering the necessities of time and expenses, an electronic news delivery system was chosen as the only viable option. Further considering the potentially obtrusive nature of - even high-quality, informative emails - cluttering users mailboxes, a system of online information syndication and display by means of xml and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) was chosen as the technological basis.

Focusing around the issues of guideline effects, a structure with the following categories was chosen:

Evaluation of guidelines and methods

  • Characteristics of successful implementation of guidelines
  • Implementation barriers
  • Prerequisites (to guideline implementation)
  • (external, circumstantial) Influences
  • Methods
  • Decision support
  • Aspects of economics and feasibility
  • Specificities of the German system of health care
  • Results

    An internet-based platform integrating the technologies of XML and RSS was set up at the Internet address "" and a method of semi-automatically collecting relevant publications from the Medline database by means of the Pubmed-offered RSS-subscription was implemented.

    It was decided to update the platforms content once a month, which would ensure a satisfying degree of actuality whilst at the same time keeping the administrative workload at an acceptable level and thus enhancing the possibilities of a long-time implementation.

    The chosen platform belongs to the class of so-called of "Web 2.0" or "social software", which enhance users possibilities of sharing and actively making use of information. Thus it offers subscribed users to the service the possibility to take part in open discussions on the website itself.


    New technologies like XML, RSS and "social software" can have an impact on the process of dissemination of scientific information and help with the promotion of research results and, by encouraging a more direct way of scientific discussion, further a more immediate critical adaptation and integration of published new research, especially in a field with a lot of development going on, like the guideline implementation and effectiveness research.


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    AeZQ - Aqumed. Effekte von Leitlinien. Aktuelles aus dem Bereich der medizinischen Leitlinien - Outcomes von Leitlinien. [homepage on the Internet]. Germany: AQUMED. 2006 [cited 05/11/2006]. Available from: