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Communicating better with patients

Clinical Decision Support Training Initiative - case study

Communicating better with patients

“BMJ Best Practice and BMJ Learning are good and reliable resources that are useful for junior doctors like me.”

Dr Thi Hao Nguyen is an infectious disease doctor. She worked at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, a tertiary hospital for infectious disease, in Hanoi. She worked in the department for viral and parasitic diseases from December 2017-November 2018.

“In my department, patients usually have viral and parasitic diseases. The most difficult patients are almost always patients with HIV who also have opportunistic infections.

When I get difficult cases, I quickly refer to the diagnosis and the management sections of BMJ Best Practice. When I have time, I go back to look at the overview and other information. The management section is structured in a way that is easy to access.  

For example, you can clearly learn how to manage the patient, which antibiotic to prescribe them, the dose and how long to prescribe the treatment. I think it’s the most useful section in BMJ Best Practice.”

Dr Nguyen commended the treatment algorithm section, stating it was clear, and easy to understand and follow the guidelines. 

With BMJ's resources, I feel more confident when I prescribe for the patient because I have the exact guideline for the patient. I get more familiar with the evidence that guides our decision making and my medical knowledge has increased a lot using this resource. Sometimes the recommended treatment isn’t available but I really appreciate knowing the updated evidence-based information in BMJ Best Practice.”

BMJ Best Practice helps Dr Nguyen diagnose and manage patients with unusual illnesses. She accesses the resources in both English and Vietnamese, giving her the flexibility to switch between languages when needed. She accesses BMJ Learning to help her perform medical procedures and techniques correctly. Recently she viewed a learning module on how to perform a lumbar puncture, which helped her and made her more confident in performing the procedure. 

"I especially recommend modules on procedures for junior doctors. These modules teach us essential skills that we need in our clinical practice.”

Being equipped with the latest evidence-based information about a condition helps Dr Nguyen communicate more easily with her patients.

“I remember a patient with the multifocal abscess in the spleen and I had to prescribe her antibiotics to use for at least four to six weeks. I needed to explain to the patient that she needed to use antibiotics for a long time.

I have the BMJ Best Practice app on my phone, so I showed the patient that her treatment plan was consistent with the international guidelines. Once she saw this, she was confident with the treatment that she was receiving. She was initially worried about her condition and the long treatment I was prescribing.”

Case notes.

"There’s a patient that I can’t forget as it was really hard to find the right diagnosis. The patient had an existing immunodeficiency and a prolonged fever.

We carried out many laboratory tests to diagnose the patient, but they all came back negative. The patient presented with pancytopenia and the bone-marrow biopsy results showed that the patient had leishmaniasis; a disease we hadn’t seen before.

Currently, there is no national guideline for the exact regimens and exact doses for treating leishmaniasis. We had to use BMJ Best Practice to find out how to manage this patient, especially given their co-morbidities.

BMJ Best Practice provided information on the exact regimen to give the patient and for how long. We then consulted infectious disease experts to confirm the treatment dose."


BMJ Clinical Decision Support Training Initiative

Our Clinical Decision Support Training Initiative was awarded the prize for Innovation in Global Security 2018 by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).

The educational initiative gives healthcare professionals access to the latest evidence-based information on infectious diseases through our online learning and decision support tools, BMJ Best Practice and BMJ Learning

By improving the knowledge and skills needed for early detection and diagnosis, doctors are more prepared for the prevention and management of infectious diseases.

Learn more by watching this video below.

Sharing knowledge

Sharing knowledge

New knowledge is generated rapidly yet often diffuses too slowly. Ensuring that knowledge is disseminated quickly, effectively, and widely is our priority. 

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Strengthening health systems

Strengthening health systems

Our evidence-based tools and resources help frontline healthcare professionals improve the management of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Read More
Building an evidence base

Building an evidence base

We teamed up with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to develop Research to Publication, a modular, scalab...

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Convening people

The actors involved in global health are changing, and a multi-sectoral, cross-cutting approach is essential for tackling the priority issues.

We have extensive experience in bringing together thought leaders, policy makers, healthcare professionals and senior stakeholders from all sectors with an interest and mission for improving global health and global health security.
Our programme of events collectively attracts more than 10,000 delegates annually from over 85 countries, including: Contact Lalitha Bhagavatheeswaran to talk to us today. 

Support for Global Health specialists and practitioners

The Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK) is a clinical decision support programme guides primary healthcare clinicians through the diagnosis and management process of more than 500 common symptoms and conditions, including:

  • Cardiovascular and respiratory disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases
  • Skin disorders
  • Women’s health
  • Mental health
  • End-of-life care. 

This four pillar training programme improves primary health care in low and middle income countries. It works most effectively by partnering with governments, universities and NGOs to partner with us. Provide PACK to your clinicians working in remote areas today by contacting Dr. Tracy Eastman.

Dr Tracy Eastman, KTU Director of PACK Global Development and Delivery
Tel: +44 (0) 208 872 6323
Email: teastman@bmj.com

BMJ Best Practice provides quick, accurate, concise and evidence-based answers to clinical questions. Our online decision support tool also has the latest research and guidelines – all built into the clinician’s workflow.


BMJ Learning is one of the most credible online medical education resources available. It is designed to help students and healthcare professionals achieve accreditation and skill development throughout their career.


Research to Publication helps improve research outputs and acceptance rates with a comprehensive set of stand-alone, self-study modules.


Mitali Wroczynski works closely with ministries of health, agriculture, and defence to influence policy decision-making, and develop new global health partnerships.

She pioneered BMJ’s clinical decision support training initiative that supports healthcare professionals working in low and middle-income countries to improve the detection, diagnosis, and management of infectious diseases and contributes to building health system resilience. Mitali has also played a key role in making risk communication a central issue for managing major infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics, as part of the EU-funded programme, TELL ME.  

Contact Mitali to find out how together we can address global health and global health securities priorities: 

Mitali Wroczynski
Head of Strategic Partnerships, Global Health & Global Health Security
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7383 6517
mwroczynski@bmj.com