Centre of Evidence-Based Physiotherapy (CEBP) needed a database to be managed by staff and be on the internet

Not-for-profit organisation the Centre of Evidence-Based Physiotherapy (CEBP) launched PEDro – a free online Physiotherapy Evidence Database of randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. "It was incredibly easy to develop a new search interface which was better suited to consumers. In addition it reduced our overhead costs significantly as we could repurpose what had already been built and avoided outlaying large sums of money to start from scratch." Anne Mosley

PEDro Tops 1 Million Online Database Searches in 2009
Challenge

Not-for-profit organisation the Centre of Evidence-Based Physiotherapy (CEBP) at The George Institute for International Health realised that physiotherapists and consumers had difficulty accessing research (trials, reviews and guidelines) about the effects of physiotherapy treatments. To facilitate the global sharing of resources amongst those in the industry the CEBP decided to launch an online portal that would allow anyone around the globe to search the contents of the database.

Project Manager Dr Anne Moseley explained,
“We needed a user friendly platform that would provide a database of indexed reports accessible to anyone around the globe. It was imperative that the chosen solution was reliable and robust enough to cope with a large volume of traffic and simultaneous searches.”

About PEDro

In 1999 not-for-profit organisation the Centre of Evidence-Based Physiotherapy (CEBP) launched PEDro – a free online Physiotherapy Evidence Database of randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. PEDro now indexes over 16,000 trials, reviews and guidelines. For more information on PEDro visit www.pedro.org.au.
In addition to PEDro the CEBP also launched Physiotherapy Choices - a separate interface designed for consumers of physiotherapy services, including patients, their friends and families, health service managers, and insurers. Using Physiotherapy Choices consumers can access plain English summaries of trials, reviews and guidelines. For more information on Physiotherapy Choices visit
www.physiotherapychoices.org.au.
Solution

The CEBP needed a database that could be managed locally by CEBP staff but would also allow anyone around the globe to search its contents via the internet. As a 10 year veteran of FileMaker the CEBP decided to work with FileMaker Business Alliance member Databuzz to build the custom database utilising FileMaker Pro’s PHP web hosting capabilities.
Project Manager Dr Anne Moseley commented,
“We selected the FileMaker Pro database for PEDro because it was user friendly and powerful enough to tackle the project at hand. I also knew that FileMaker lent itself well to customisation and felt it would provide the scalable platform we needed to address the unique requirements of the service we were aiming to provide to the global physiotherapy community.”

It astounded me how Databuzz could produce a high-quality web-searchable database for PEDro. The developers took advantage of FileMaker’s feature-rich application to produce the solution we were looking for.”

Product

PEDro, built in FileMaker Pro, developed by FileMaker Business Alliance member Databuzz

Key Benefits

The collaboration between the CEBP and Databuzz resulted in the perfect online database for searching for research about the effects of physiotherapy treatments, and so PEDro was born.

Moseley commented,
“As anyone can access PEDro, we needed a user friendly solution that would allow us to provide each staff member, physiotherapist and consumer with the correct level of access. Our administration manager indexes each trial, review and guideline evaluating physiotherapy interventions, after which our pool of raters confirms the eligibility, apply indexing terms and assess the quality of each record. Physiotherapists and users of physiotherapy services can then search for the best available evidence via the online portal.”
When PEDro was launched in 1999, a paper-based system was used to store and rate the trials, reviews and guidelines indexed on PEDro. This required large amounts of data entry and storage space. In 2009 PEDro moved to a paperless system which uses an additional FileMaker database to manage the PEDro rating system. Now PEDro raters access PDF copies of the trials, reviews and guidelines and then enter data directly through a web-interface. This endeavour has increased the efficiency of keeping PEDro up-to-date. Moseley said, “It takes virtually no time at all to get staff confident using FileMaker and the PEDro web-interfaces. This has significantly streamlined the process of adding records, reducing our overhead costs as well as our environmental impact.”

After creating PEDro for professionals within the physiotherapy industry the CEBP decided to launch a sister site that catered to needs of the average patient or consumer – Physiotherapy Choices. Moseley explained, “It was incredibly easy to develop a new search interface which was better suited to consumers. In addition it reduced our overhead costs significantly as we could repurpose what had already been built and avoided outlaying large sums of money to start from scratch.”

Key benefits of FileMaker include:
A user friendly interface that requires minimal staff training
Password protected control to allow different users access to relevant database modules
Remote access so data entry can be performed in any location
Web hosting capabilities allowing anyone around the globe to access the database
Reliable and robust enough to cope with large volumes of simultaneous searches
Fully customisable and scalable to fit the organisation’s evolving requirements whilst reducing overheads

Moseley concluded,
“We have been blown away by the global success of PEDro. Since its launch the number of searches has grown every year – topping 1 million enquiries in 2009. We have been equally impressed with the reliability of the database as its FileMaker Pro foundation has proven itself robust enough to cope with the continuous increase in traffic and entry of records.”

Contact information
Customer Contact:
Anne Mosley
PEDro Project Manager
Centre of Evidence-Based Physiotherapy
pedro@george.org.au
www.pedro.org.au
www.physiotherapychoices.org.au


Developer Contact:
Andrew Duncan
Databuzz
+61 2 9484 6565
andrew@databuzz.com.au
www.databuzz.com.au