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Emergency Medicine on the Web

The National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics (NCEMI) website, or Emergency Medicine on the Web, was developed by the Emergency Medicine Institute with a mission to become the premier site for informatics in the field of emergency medicine. The four principals who established the site are affiliated to the Northwestern University Medical School Division of Emergency Medicine and Medstar Health Corporation/Washington Hospital Center Department of Emergency Medicine.

NCEMI offers not only clinically orientated links and information but also links to assist in administrative tasks such as rostering and emergency resident management. Of some interest to the intensivist are a number of links to various resources of relevance to the writing, funding and tracking of medical research.

When first encountered, the horizontal structure of the site is almost overwhelming. Some of the information is superfluous and clutters an otherwise very useful site. However, each section is easily reached and links are straightforward. As a primary resource there are links to Medline, PubMed, eMedicine, a dictionary and thesaurus, practice guidelines, and an evidence-based literature search as well as other search engines. NCEMI has tried to make this an all-inclusive site for the emergency physician, including instructions on how to tie a bow tie!

Various sections of the site are updated either daily or weekly. There are daily examples of emergency articles in the literature (with links to the abstracts), and weekly electrocardiographic, radiographic and photographic quizzes for the emergency medicine physician. A number of the articles in the period I reviewed were of direct relevance to intensive care and were sourced from journals including the British Medical Journal, Annals of Emergency Medicine and the Journal of Emergency Medicine and Acute Care; however, the majority of the electrocardiographic and radiographic cases appeared to be in the realm of emergency medicine. Another of the sections with direct relevance to intensive care is entitled 'Clinical Calculators & Medical E-tools'. Included are algorithms for the management of a number of simple medical emergencies, medical calculators and treatment tables. All the information is authored clearly and links to sites of relevance are included.

Other services offered by NCEMI include Journal Articles Delivered Electronically (JADE) and Palm-based function, allowing portability. Both are free services and simply require registration. However, be warned that the download for the program required for the Palm-based interface took about 25 minutes using a 56-Kb dial-up modem. Interestingly, intensive care is not included in the list of related specialties.

Best feature

Easy access to links to multiple relevant medical sites with a very broad search capacity.

Worst feature

The busy appearance of the web page requiring some patience to determine how to retrieve the information you require.

Wish list

A similar site for intensive care. The appearance would benefit from a page that links to subtitles under each of the major categories of information and easier access to the qualifications of the authors of guidelines.

Other links

The Emergency Medicine and Primary Care Homepage –

This is a free site with examples of radiographs, computed tomography scans and Advanced Cardiac Life Support simulation, among others – again with emergency emphasis but with some useful teaching tools for the intensive care unit as well.

ER World –

This is another free site that is useful essentially because of the links it provides to other emergency medicine sites.



National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics.

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Correspondence to Barbara E Trytko.

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None declared.

Emergency Medicine on the Web

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Trytko, B.E. Emergency Medicine on the Web. Crit Care 7, 329 (2003).

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  • emergency medicine
  • intensive care