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ImpAct inside

Bandolier is privileged to have opportunities to meet people working in different parts of the NHS. Mostly they are caring, hard-working and thoughtful. Many of them have found ways of delivering services of high quality. But quality of service delivery, using good evidence, is not usually the stuff of medical journals. Impact factors - the 'importance' of academic journals - dominate medical publishing, rather than the impact that can be made by doing simple things right.

We are delighted, therefore, to announce Bandolier 's sister publication ImpAct . ImpAct - for impact and action - will be published every two months. If Bandolier is at the harder end of the spectrum looking at clinical evidence, ImpAct will be at the softer but perhaps more difficult implementation end. It aims to seek out the unsung heroines and heroes of the NHS who have developed methods of delivering high quality service, and to spread the word of how they have done it.

Red Baron to BA

It has been said that the "NHS is set up to fail". Despite our best efforts the system frustrates our attempts to improve quality because it is complex, ponderous and divided by artificial boundaries. There are many 'aces' managing to excel despite this. The need is to change the systems so that everyone can succeed. We need to find ways to share our experiences of success in good practice, and to support learning across the NHS. ImpAct will be one small part of this.

Electronic Bandolier

April saw the first steps along a new path for the electronic version of Bandolier . Until now it has largely been the collected issues of Bandolier in electronic format. This is now changing, and the Internet version of Bandolier will take on a new life. The familiar Internet Bandolier is still there, but many new features will be added in 1999 .

♦ We have opened Bandolier 's Knowledge Bazaar . This involves grouping the many subjects we have covered over the last six years under different headings - healthy living, alternate medicines, heart, gastrointestinal, HIV/AIDs, diagnostics and so on.

♦ We are exploring ways to give every electronic reader access to PDF files of every Bandolier edition. PDF stands for portable document format. It means that if you have the free software Acrobat reader version 3.0 or above on your computer you can have a facsimile of the paper version of Bandolier which you can print yourself. Instructions on how to do this will be given, and you will be able to create a searchable folder on your own system.

♦ We are hosting ImpAct from May 1999 onwards. In the immediate future this will be just the journal plus links. We will try to increase this to become a more comprehensive learning source.

♦ We are seeking external sources of good quality information for the site. In April we put up PDF files of the excellent 'What is' series from Rhone Poulenc Rorer and Hayward Medical, and they are available now .

♦ Most important, we are looking to collect together and précis systematic reviews in particular subject areas. On July 14 1999 we will open the Oxford Pain Site. This will have summaries of about 100 systematic reviews in pain - all with a clinical bottom line at the top to be read in about 15 seconds, and with a two to 10 minute read to follow if you want. There will also be essays on methods, about using the information, and about harmful effects. The 'jewel in the crown' will be the Oxford League Table of acute pain - NNTs from systematic reviews of just about every analgesic intervention for which there is available data.

The Bandolier Internet site has been run for five years without any resource backing from the NHS. We have been able to make this extra progress with no-strings financial support from the BUPA Foundation and from Merck, Sharpe and Dohme. We will seek further funding to maintain and expand the site by adding information that fails to get into the paper version for lack of space.

Getting Bandolier and ImpAct

Though we have many readers, we still find people who would like Bandolier but don't get it. Bandolier and ImpAct are free in the NHS, except Scotland and Northern Ireland. The copies are bought for you, at the cost of production, by Regional R&D Directorates. While many people write appreciative notes to Bandolier , it would be nice to thank them for their support, so drop them a line.

With the new NHS structures in place, this might be a time to reconsider how (or if) Bandolier is distributed in your PCG or Trust. Does every GP get a copy, or practice nurse, or pharmacist? Should ImpAct and Bandolier be distributed more widely in your Trust? Does your hospital Intranet mirror the Bandolier Internet site?

All of this is easy to arrange. You can fax or email the Bandolier office (info here ), and we will make the necessary arrangements. The cost of producing these journals is probably less than the cost of photocopying them.

Bandolier is already mirrored on Intranets in Wales, Oxford, and elsewhere. Email us if you want it in your hospital.

Back numbers

If you would like to use back numbers of Bandolier for teaching or other purposes, please send a cheque for £10 made out to Oxfordshire Health, and we will send you those copies we have available over the past year.

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