Introducing JCDA-OASIS

March 29, 2012

Dr. John O'Keefe

There have been some significant developments recently in the life of JCDA. Most notably, we have introduced a new JCDA-OASIS section on the website ( To mark the occasion, we are also publishing the first sample content from JCDA-OASIS in the latest print edition of JCDA (Issue 2, p. 87-90). OASIS is an acronym for Online Advice and Searchable Information System, and in time we envisage that this resource will become a world-class clinical decision support tool for all members of the dental team. I believe we will achieve this goal as more colleagues and friends become engaged in its development through a myriad of small volunteering opportunities.

JCDA-OASIS has been approximately 2 years in conception, but 2 significant developments last year directed JCDA toward this new path of change, as we transition from being a traditional publication to more of a knowledge broker for the oral health care sector. The first initiative was the creation of a panel of over 70 general dentists from across Canada that we call our Clinical Practice Advisors. These dentists are identifying their everyday clinical decision support needs and providing us with feed-back on the new knowledge products that we are developing to meet those needs. I have made a commitment to listen very carefully to these colleagues and to be faithful in following their suggestions.

The second event was a change in the name of the CDA department that I have the privilege to guide. The symbolic shift from a Publications to a Knowledge Networks department acknowledges that Canadian dentists come together on a regular basis (sometimes formally in study groups or informally in social or online settings) to exchange knowledge that is beneficial to them professionally. If we can harness and share some of this knowledge through JCDA's communication vehicles, this will result in a valuable clinical resource for the profession.

The goal of the new CDA Knowledge Networks department is to convene a community of professionals dedicated to sharing high-quality and user-friendly clinical knowledge for the benefit of their practices and their patients. Perhaps we are idealistic in having such a lofty goal. However, I believe that dentistry has a large reservoir of talented people who crave a meaningful opportunity to give back to the profession if such opportunities are created.

When you visit the "Volunteer" section of JCDA-OASIS online, you will see a variety of opportunities, ranging from writing first drafts of content, to providing audiovisual resources, to reviewing and translating material. You will also see the categories of "point of care" clinical information we would like to produce. We know that you are starved for time and may be reticent to commit to the project. My promise to you is that if we can open a dialogue based on your interest in helping to develop JCDA-OASIS, we will make sure to provide maximum return on your engagement for relatively minimum input.

While the launch of JCDA-OASIS signals an official introduction, the process and content are by no means finalized. We welcome your feedback and suggestions, as we will use this input to guide the project. I consider JCDA-OASIS a resource created "by dentists, for dentists" as the CDSPI tag line goes. Unlike commerical publications, JCDA-OASIS is unique in that it is ours to develop and use, and it is for our benefit. Together we can have fun creating an exciting new resource that will have a huge payoff for you and our profession.

John P. O'Keefe

1-800-267-6354, ext. 2297

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