P04 - Virtual Health Library (VHL) Directory of Institutions: promoting information access equity
This document describes the experience of developing the VHL Directory of Institutions, which is available at http://centros.bvsalud.org/dic; how this tool has contributed to expose institutions that are in any way linked to VHL and how the use of technology contributed to increased visibility. Technical cooperation in VHL was shared during regular meetings of the National Network, and by means of a restricted page containing data records of the National Coordination Centers. Because of constant internal and external demand, a need was perceived that led to the development of a system to present information more objectively and completely, and containing more pertinent and reliable information from the institutions. Previously, VHL had only an information page with basic data records of the National Coordination Centers. As a result of the constant internal and external demand for information regarding the Institutions linked to VHL, a portal was developed pr oviding access not only to data records of over 1,850 national and international institutions that are currently linked to VHL. Moreover, VHL contributes as a Source of Information and rendering services. We intend to demonstrate that the portal has not only made access to information of institutions linked to HVL easier, but also gave them more visibility. In this Project, development techniques were combined in order to use the already consolidated data platform, data feeding system (ISIS) with Web services application, resulting in greater integration between the application and formatting layers, and achieving a more dynamic and usual interface. Within the methodology applied, data was compiled and organized to give institutions more visibility, which resulted in greater visibility by integrating with indexing systems in one single data language in the main search engines on the Internet. With the implementation of the Directory of Institutions, visits increased from practically insignificant statistics to an average of 7,000 a month, leading to a higher degree of reliability in obtaining information from institutions, therefore easing interchange and integration between institutions and VHL.