Minervation

Evidence based healthcare consultancy

Minervation launches National Elf Service for mental health

Join-the-elvesToday we are announcing the launch of our National Elf Service, designed to help busy health and social care professionals easily stay up to date with today’s huge volumes of significant research developments in their fields, improve their knowledge, and reduce error. For entry-level users, the service is free.

The National Elf Service is the brainchild of our Founders André Tomlin and Douglas Badenoch, humorously branded with the idea of Elves who ‘dig and delve’ (1).  This service, where basic membership is free to users, is designed to benefit practitioners and patients alike by providing user-friendly updates on the most significant new evidence selected from today’s avalanche of high quality research.

Health and social care professionals are inundated with new evidence.  They can’t keep up to date, yet they are required to for professional development and audit purposes.

The National Elf Service tackles this problem in a unique way. Created by professionals for professionals, it summarises high quality new evidence that is relevant to practice using industry-standard appraisal criteria and an accessible and user-friendly front-end.

The service also features open and transparent discussion of the evidence, bringing together clinicians, patients and researchers.  And users can track their learning as they engage with the evidence using the service’s curated content and continuing professional development tools.

No other service works in this way.  The mantra is:

  • No bias
  • No misinformation
  • No spin
  • Just what you need!

Continue reading

The Education Elf aims to raise educational standards and bring evidence-based teaching to the masses

Twenty years ago when we started working in healthcare we were viewed by many as heretics and deviants (some may say that few things change).  It has taken many years to place evidence-based healthcare at the centre of clinical practice and health policy making and there’s still a huge amount of work to do, but the approach that we have championed for years is now very much the ‘accepted way’. Health professionals have far greater awareness of evidence than a few years ago, critical appraisal skills are core to many training programmes and the quality of evidence is improving all the time.

The same is not yet true in education. Continue reading

If you’ve gone Olympic crazy and put your back out (I know I have), let the Musculoskeletal Elf help you

The Musculoskeletal ElfWatching Olympic gymnastics should come with a health and safety warning!  All I was trying to do was emulate a couple of pommel horse moves and before you know it…

Still, help is at hand! The Musculoskeletal Elf website goes live today.  Another evidence-based health information site aimed at health professionals, this time bringing you thrice weekly (Mon, Wed and Fri) updates of the latest research and guidance relevant to musculoskeletal conditions.

Continue reading

New responsive design for the Oxford Careers website

Student meeting Careers AdvisorWe have been working with the team at the University of Oxford Careers Service for a few years now; helping them ensure that their website meets the needs of the students, alumni and recruiters who use it.

Last year, the team noticed that more and more people were becoming interested in accessing the site on smartphones and tablet computers. They also felt that the site wasn’t really making the most of blogging or social media tools, and that the design and structure of the site could be improved.

Continue reading

Network to Support Understanding of Health Research #NSUHR

Confused man scratching his headMuch of our work over the last decade has been around producing health information websites that are accessible, usable and reliable, but what does this mean if the audience are the UK general public?

Two key challenges are:

  1. Raising the level of knowledge that the general public have about health research and
  2. Teaching skills to help people become more discerning when they are presented with often exaggerated messages about the benefits of treatments.

Continue reading

The Lifestyle Elf will help you keep up to date with the best evidence about healthy lifestyle

The Lifestyle ElfWe are really pleased to announce the launch of another elf blog, this time tackling one of the most important subjects there is: healthy lifestyle.

Sarah Chapman, Information Scientist from the UK Cochrane Centre is at the helm and the new site is going down a storm with health professionals, publishers, bloggers and the general public at large.

So if you have an interest in diet, obesity, nutrition, exercise, smoking and other public health issues, sign up and get daily alerts to help stay abreast of the latest reliable research, policy and guidance.

Continue reading

Download André’s talk on social media, Cochrane reviews and the National Elf Service

The Mental ElfAndré was invited to give a talk at the UK Cochrane Centre 17th Annual Contributors Meeting in Loughborough on 20th March 2012.

It was an interactive session that explored the accessibility and usability of Cochrane systematic reviews and considered how the findings of these reviews could be more clearly communicated to health professionals and the general public.  André introduced the workshop participants to blogging and social media and also gave a brief overview of the soon to be launched National Elf Service.

Continue reading