Complex Clinical Questions Databases

The Center for Knowledge Management (CKM) has a long history of providing comprehensive evidentiary support from vetted authoritative sources for both clinical and research queries at VUMC.  To capture the expertise, time, and effort that information scientists apply to evidence provision in response to complex questions and allow for knowledge reuse across the enterprise, CKM maintains multiple web-based repositories offering ongoing access to completed evidence packets. 

Responses to complex questions, or filtered evidence packets, contain: 

  • synthesis and summary of:
    • the primary and Grey literature representing all current and relevant viewpoints on a topic;
    • evidence and information from all applicable databases and resources pertaining to a specific genetic and/or protein variant.
  • select, filtered references with links to full-text articles;
  • expertly-formulated search statements linked to databases such as PubMed and Web of Science, to enable dynamic updates on the topic.

Complex question databases are searchable by keywords and/or browsable by topic and hospital unit from which the question originated.  Packets are viewable in html format and printable in pdf format. 

Evidence databases are available on the VUMC network to the VUMC community for reuse and future consultation. 

Evidence-Based Site – evidence packets addressing complex, inpatient-specific clinical questions received on rounds or via the electronic health record system

Pathway / Orderset Literature Locator - biomedical literature synthesis for institutional order set development teams that support the institution's health care practices on a broad scale for specific inpatient populations

Diagnostic Management Teams (DMT) - evidence packets informing the interpretation of genetic and complex laboratory evaluations for VUMC Diagnostic Management Teams

Genetic Research Questions Archive - filtered evidence packets addressing biochemical, genetic, protein, and structural questions

Outpatient Clinical Informatics Consult Database - evidence packets addressing complex, patient-specific clinical questions received from VUMC ambulatory care physicians


  • "Information Retrieval and Assessing Evidence Module,” Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-based Patient Care (ACI 6120) course, Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics (MSACI) program, Vanderbilt University, Department of Biomedical Informatics. Spring 2017.

  • “Analysis of Clinical Informatics Literature Module,” Introduction to Clinical Informatics (ACI6110) course, Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics (MSACI) program, Vanderbilt University, Department of Biomedical Informatics. Fall 2016.