Chiropractors have historically had difficulty locating information when they need it. This need has become greater in recent years because of the emphasis on meeting higher standards of care, being able to justify treatment regimes, providing expert testimony or medicolegal narratives, providing facts from the research literature to rebut insurance denials, and to be well-informed when serving as a consultant. CHIROLARS was designed to meet these and future information needs of the profession. The system features conservative health research from over 700 chiropractic and biomechanical science publications.
A research study conducted by Drs. Darryl Curl and Cynthia Shapiro of Los Angeles Chiropractic College was published in the February 1993 issue of Chiropractic Technique and compared existing information systems. Their research concluded that CHIROLARS may be the best solution to the profession's longstanding information access problems. "The results of this study show that a field doctor's search using the CHIROLARS data base is likely to be faster and more complete than a search of the manual data bases or a nonchiropractic computerized data base."
Ronald Rupert, DC, of Denton, Texas began developing CHIROLARS in 1988. Dr. Rupert, a former director of research at Cleveland College in Kansas City, became frustrated with the severe limitation of manual indexes and the National Libraries of Medicine's unwillingness to index chiropractic and related conservative research. As a result, he developed software, hired staff, and to date has indexed over 20,000 articles.
Dr. Rupert stated, "Our future progress as a profession will be in part predicated on our ability to develop smarter tools despite limited financial and human resources. Developing a relatively comprehensive index of our professional literature allows chiropractic to move from a position of being a quarter century behind medicine to a position actually ahead of medicine. The National Library of Medicine (Medline) only indexes 18 percent of the medical literature, whereas CHIROLARS has completed the indexing of all chiropractic peer-reviewed research."
Since March of 1992, the index has only been available in the United States through a bulletin board system. Subscribers include a growing number of field doctors, 12 chiropractic colleges, along with state and national organizations like FCER. Insurance companies are beginning to access the database for peer-review of insurance claims. Other nonchiropractic users include medical personnel, physical therapists, osteopathic libraries, and at least one medical orthopedics journal editor. However, now that CHIROLARS is included on BRS, it will not only make the system available to the world chiropractic community but will also provide immediate access to the thousands of physicians, hospitals and libraries who already subscribe to BRS.
Doctors can retrieve information "online," much like a fax, simply by using any computer and phone line. Those without computer systems can make requests through FCER, the CHIROLARS office or most chiropractic college libraries.
Denton, Texas 76206
(817) 898-0234 or BRS (703) 442-0900.