JCDA of the future: innovation and interactivity


Dr. John O'Keefe

This is the time of year to pause, reflect on achievements and look to what lies ahead. The JCDA Online Advice and Searchable Information System (JCDA-Oasis) was born in 2012 and—while still in its infancy—has potential for rapid growth if it engages Canadian dentists and inspires them to become regular users and contributors.

For the moment, Oasis has 3 major components: Oasis Mobile, Case Conferences, and Clinical Q&A. I would like to explain the concepts underpinning Case Conferences and Clinical Q&A.

Two years ago, I attended a major symposium on the future of scientific publishing and it became clear that the publishing sector is in great flux, in terms of the rapid evolution of user demographics, technology preferences, knowledge use habits and the various media choices for knowledge consumption. Because of these factors, one speaker argued that it was important to create an experimental website, removed from the main platform, where a variety of communications tools can be tested without being exposed to the consequences or embarrassment of experimentation.

Around the same time, one of our most tech-savvy editorial consultants advised that the JCDA of the future must strive to provide a user experience that is interactive and responsive. Other advisors told me that presenting treatment planning challenges to dentists would allow colleagues to learn from these real life cases—even those that don't have the intended outcome.

Combining all of these ideas led to the creation of 2 online spaces where we can experiment and facilitate peer-to-peer clinical learning. I invite you to visit Case Conferences and Clinical Q&A. For both sites, participants have the option to browse and contribute anonymously.

Case Conferences allows a dentist to showcase challenging cases that they have encountered in everyday practice. Presenting the treatment challenge provides generalists and specialists with a forum for exchanging ideas and opinions about cases. After participants offer their thoughts on how they would approach the case, the presenting dentist shares how (and why) the case was treated.

Clinical Q&A is a starting point for developing content that can eventually be presented in various restructured and polished formats. With the questions gathered on this site, we seek rapid answers from groups of experts. We hope that the publication of these expert opinions will attract dentists to the site and encourage readers to consider various clinical conundrums by sharing their comments, suggestions, personal experiences and insights. The clinical questions, and a distillation of the comments shared by readers, will ultimately be presented in a searchable format on the Oasis Mobile database.

We have invited a number of organizations to contribute to Clinical Q&A and Coronation Dental Specialty Group—which includes JCDA editorial consultant Dr. Ian Furst—has already posted on the site. We'd love to hear from other potential contributors such as specialty organizations, university departments, graduate programs, hospital dental departments and study clubs.

As you can see, the building blocks are in place for an engaging platform to support Canadian dentists, team members and patients. Oasis has been designed by dentists, for dentists and with your engagement it will be a world-class clinical resource.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year.

John P. O'Keefe
1-800-267-6354, ext. 2297