Making a Difference Together
We are an affiliated group of medical students, PhDs, and physicians keeping up with the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. We find the newest articles, read them, grade their level of evidence, and bring you the bottom line. Our goal is to empower you to take the best care of yourself and those in your care.
What did University of Washington third-year medical student Jasmine Rah do when her training program was suspended due to COVID-19? She teamed up with her mentor, Dr. Will Smith, an ER Doctor on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 who is also a UW clinical professor and Col. with the US Army Reserves, to launch the daily COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team.
In just the first five months of 2020, more than ten thousand papers have been published regarding COVID-19. This is more than twice the number of publications on influenza or malaria for the entire year of 2019. Many of these articles were just researchers desperate to share the findings in the hopes of helping others. However, many articles covered the same topic and many were of poor quality, highlighting the need for assistance in parsing through data, especially during the time of crisis in order to develop situational awareness.
The 50+ strong group of physicians, medical students, and other experts review every COVID-19 related study that is published each day, grades its level of evidence (aka scientific integrity) based on the Center for Oxford scheme, and summarizes delivering the BLUF- Bottom Line Up Front (it's a reporters dream come true!).
Their concept is to enable providers to "Stay Informed. Read Less. Do More." This effort is 100% volunteer, free, and open access. With the need to share information quickly to combat COVID-19 many leading medical journals have suspended peer review, which means more people have access to more information more quickly- but it also means there is a lot of noise. The COVID-19 LST cuts through this noise to get doctors and health care workers on the front lines the scientifically-sound information they need, quickly, to save lives.
Though it was initially created to guide clinical decision making, it grew to also guide policymakers, various agencies of Government, researchers, students and laypersons. Through COVID-19 LST, we now understand the very important role of screening/summarizing evidence in an unbiased manner and the critical role of a literature surveillance team. Critical members of COVID-19 LST were then invited to join in founding the non-profit, the Literature Surveillance Team or theLST.org. The next step is now to continue our process for other topics with clinical significance in the future.