Interview with... Dr. Marco Caputo

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1. Can you describe your role in the organization?

Director of the Clinical Analysis and Microbiology Laboratory and deputy Health Director at the Salus of Venice Mestre Classified Villa Hospital. I’m also the Health Director for neurological rehabilitation at IRCCS San Camillo Health Director at Venice Lido

2. In your daily work what are the most important reasons for wanting access to evidence-based clinical information?

Every day we have to face situations that require a decision: on the basis of a test, on its interpretation, on the most accredited methods, on the practical impact that the result can have on the diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of the specific patient we are dealing with that moment. As I am relatively new to this field in the Health Department, the sphere of interest includes very varied fields, from clinical specialties to less familiar topics of interest such as Public Hygiene and Healthcare public, which today are not so current unfortunately.

3. From your point of view, which are the main advantages in using ClinicalKey?

For several years (I am now definitely old) I have learned how to use ClinicalKey as a quick in depth go-to- guide to fields that aren’t directly related to my specialities (Clinical pathology and Endocrinology) and for me it is extremely useful to access the expertise (such as the clinical overview) from which I can easily direct myself on where to go to learn more specific aspects. The second one, which is the fundamental contribution of ClinicalKey to my working day, is about support in preparing reports for conferences and more generally to my role as scientific “storyteller”, which over the years I have been undeservedly entrusted. Now the weight of this commitment is getting lighter (luckily) but in the past few years ClinicalKey has helped me in a fundamental way to prepare presentations that - oddly enough - were understood by enough people.

4. Do you think ClinicalKey has helped improve your decision making? How and in what ways?

More than improving, it gave me the tools with which to support a certain reasoning, an operational choice or – less frequently - a discussion with investment management and acquisitions of resources. The best quality of ClinicalKey, for me, is the ease of access to information. This is crucial because I am responsible for making daily decisions, some of which relate to hospital management that involve areas that are not my expertise. Not having this tool providing me with authoritative information would make those decisions harder to make. There is an ever- increasing demand.

5. In dealing with a health emergency such as COVID-19 how has it changed your practical knowledge? Has ClinicalKey been helpful in this?

This pandemic is a completely new event for our generation. We don’t have time to get evidence with tools that EBM has taught us to use, we cannot practice correct randomisation and conduct trials with the times and necessary spacing, because we are pressed to “do something”, using drugs whose efficacy is not proven but which, in lack of any alternatives, we have to try. ClinicalKey helps collect what knowledge is available, and for whom is used to using it daily, it is the most linear system for orientating yourself in a scenario that, unfortunately, remains largely unexplored today.

6. Could you give us an example of how the use of ClinicalKey has influenced your daily practice?

The drafting of a shared protocol, based on evidence collected by ClinicalKey, for the detection of Clostridium difficile toxin in hospitalised patients using a molecular method. The evidence provided by ClinicalKey helped me to convince colleagues that the timing and methods of requesting a test was a lot more reliable and accurate but also much more expensive than routine enzymatic tests, and therefore only to be requested in the presence of specific clinical conditions.

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