A free web based full text drug information database
The drug information centres (RELIS) at the five university hospitals in Norway, funded by the Norwegian Health authorities.
In 1995, RELIS developed a full-text question-and-answer (Q&A) database (Microsoft Access®), which served as internal documentation of the queries to RELIS and the referenced drug information given in response. An updated copy was exchanged between the individual RELIS centres on a monthly basis. During the years 2000-01 RELIS in close collaboration with the database designer (Arnett AS) transformed this to a fully functional web-based SQL-database with separate external and internal interfaces and functionalities.
1) To continually offer a free searchable drug information tool on the Internet, intended primarily for Norwegian health professionals.
2) To share an internal network for both input and output of the work done, including access to work in progress, between the five regional centres.
3) To keep an updated documentation of the work done by all the individual RELIS centres, in conjunction with the RELIS web page (www.relis.no)
The original database (1995-2000) was converted into a fully functional external and internal Internet application. The searchability of the database was restructured and improved, and it is now possible to retrieve records with the use of the drug nomenclature in the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system (ATC), using either generic or brand names. All records are indexed by the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), and they are also searchable by text words and self-made, indexed categories such as; drug interactions, side effects, pregnancy etc.
There are two separate search interfaces; one is a simple search for drug name with the possibility of combining the search with categories, the other allows one to combine all the mentioned searchable fields. Search results are presented in a printer friendly web page
The internal functionality in addition includes searchability of the reference field. Every part of the process up to, and including, publishing the Q&A can be done online in the database. The basic parameters and standard registers (including ATC and MeSH) can be altered online by internal users with administrator privileges. The improved statistical functionality gives updated information of characteristics on the database content as well as a survey of the use by healthcare professionals.
The external database has been available free of charge through a link at our homepage (www.relis.no/database) since October 2001. Now, two years later, the external database has 5000 Q&As available, each indexed manually for the RELIS database application.
The RELIS drug information database represents a free of charge, drug information database designed for interaction between drug information centres and and the sharing of information with (Norwegian) healthcare professionals on the Internet. To our knowledge it was the first of its kind in Europe. All of the content is written in Norwegian only, though the application can be used for any language.
2. Schjøtt J, Pomp E, Gedde-Dahl A, Dybendal T, Hundal Ø, Opedal K. [What do health professionals ask RELIS Vest service and how satisfied are they with the answers? (Norwegian)]. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 2000; 120 (2): 204-7.
3. Braathen P, Roland PDH, Westergren T, Schjøtt J. A web-based full text drug information database (RelisWeb). Meeting abstract ESCP 2001, Malta 2-5 May.
4. Schjøtt J, Pomp E, Gedde-Dahl A. Quality and impact of problem-oriented drug information: a method to change clinical practice among physicians? Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2002; 57(12): 897-902.
5. http://www.relis.no and http://www.relis.no/database
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