Quality Medical (QMed) Knowledge Foundation - a Registered Trust - works in a niche area of medical education and research: "Searching medical literature, and reference management"

What? Searching? Is this an issue at all? The answer is “A Resounding YES”


QMed: For Health Professionals

As a health science student or professional, you always need to stay updated with the latest research and research syntheses and apply it for patient care. Your basic medical education provides the fundamental background knowledge but does not teach you to search medical information in a systematic manner.

QMed identified the need to train health science students and professionals to search medical literature from various online databases and cite it correctly. Since our inception in 2007 we have conducted over 260 lectures and 135 workshops in health science institutions/events across India reaching out to more than 10,000 students and professionals.

QMed: For Health Consumers

In the recent years, Internet has become a an important source for medical information: whether it is reading up about a disease or understanding the treatment process outlined by the doctor.

Have you ever wondered how doctors / health professionals know what the most effective treatment option is? The medical curriculum does not train the doctors in searching. This can be worse for consumers and patients! So as consumers how do you find out which resources you can use? And how do you understand reports of research? Again – no one really teaches this.

“We have delivered many lectures (watch this one) and are ready to do lots more!”

So, what we teach, is not Just Literature Searching (aka Googling) , but Literature Searching with a scientific approach.

The art of medical literature searching….simplified…


Quality Medical (QMed) Knowledge Foundation is a registered Trust set up in 2007. Our aim is to help medical students, academicians, practitioners and consumers integrate best practices in searching medical literature, and critically appraising the same, resulting in delivery and availability of optimal health care services.

We are a Trust registered with the Charity Commissioner Mumbai, on Dec 19, 2007. The Registration no is E-24663. Our Permanent Account Number – PAN – is AAATQ0120B

All the donations made to our Foundation are exempt from income tax under section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act.

You can download a copy of our 80G certificate. (As per later amendments, the certificate now is valid without any date limit). We also have our FCRA Registration since February 2012. You can download a copy here.

We are planning to take up advocacy with governing bodies like Medical Council of India (MCI) to make our teaching a part of the medical and health sciences curriculum.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. -LAO-TZU, Tao Te Ching


Why QMed
Ms Vasumathi Sriganesh in her career as a medical librarian and consultant since 1992, realized that medical students and doctors were not trained in searching medical literature and using medical information resources. ‘Quality Medical Knowledge Foundation’ (QMed) was set up in 2007, to address this lacuna in the field of medical literature searching.
The Foundation is Set
In December 2007, the Not for Profit trust was set up to promote awareness of the importance of learning to search literature correctly. We also felt the need for engaging in advocacy with the concerned bodies to include it in the medical curriculum.
Baby Steps of our Foundation
We have been conducting training programs and lectures on literature searching across the country. The assessment and feedback that we collected through these programs showed that there was a deep lacuna in this area of medical education and a need to introduce such training in the medical curriculum.
UnLtd India ... UnLtd Ideas...
In the third year, our CEO was selected as an investee of UnLtd India (www.unltdindia.org). This support helped us interact and brainstorm with several experts, and helped us review our work and explore. UnLtd India asked us a crucial set of questions:
  • What is the impact of your work?
  • What change is it making in the medical education system?
  • How will it create a social impact?
Renewed Strategy
We worked on these questions and changed our strategy – To become change makers, capacity builders and a resource base for those in the medical education sector. Since April 2011, we have been engaging in a capacity building exercise in medical colleges, teaching hospitals and research institutions. Our long term dream is to ensure trained trainers in every institution.

So many of our dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.”— Christopher Reeve


Vision

Health care services to society will be based on the effective utilization of the best available current evidence from systematic research.

Mission

To enable health professionals, institutions, patients and health consumers working in the health care sector, to obtain the best evidence from systematic research, in order to ensure accurate delivery and availability of optimal health care services.

Objectives

  • To conduct training programs to equip students, faculty and researchers with skills needed for Evidence Based Practice
  • To create high quality teaching aids to supplement training programs
  • To enable the health science community to access reliable and up-to-date medical information
  • To enable medical libraries to enhance resource-sharing activities
  • To conduct workshops for health consumers and patients to help them find reliable evidence based information so that they can communicate correctly with health providers and participate responsibly in their own health care
  • To collaborate with individuals and organizations with similar goals

Our Dream

  1. Literature searching and referencing training to be part of the medical education curriculum
  2. Trained professionals in every teaching institution to teach and support students and professionals in good literature search and referencing practices
  3. Every health care institution providing access to important, evidence based resources to its students and faculty
  4. Institutions sharing resources, with effective technology usage, and adhering to good copyright practices

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

-Henry Ford


Board of Trustees

  • Dr. Anand Shandilya, MD DCH

    Dr. Anand Shandilya, MD DCH Photo

    Dr Anand serves as the Director at Dr Anand’s Hospital for Children, and is the Secretary of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (I.A.P), Mumbai. He is the elected life member the Indian Academy of Pediatrics. He has been in practice since 1990 and presently runs a 17 bedded Pediatric hospital with NICU in Mumbai.

  • Dr. Bhavin Jankharia, MD, DMRD

    Dr. Bhavin Jankharia, MD, DMRD Photo

    Dr. Bhavin Jankharia is a Radiologist who is Partner & consultant at "Picture This". He was earlier President of Radiology Services at SRL Diagnostics and was Partner and consultant Radiologist at Jankharia Imaging. He runs a non-profit organization - Radiology Education Foundation (REF). He has served as the editor of the Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging, and as President of the Indian Radiology and Imaging Association.

  • P. Sriganesh, BSc, FCA, FCS

    P. Sriganesh, BSc, FCA, FCS

    A Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Sriganesh has over 38 years of experience in the IT industry and NBFC sector having set up several Companies in India. Between 1986 and 2000 he worked in senior financial positions in Citigroup India. He is a co-founder and Treasurer of NASSCOM- the Indian IT industry’s Business Association.

The QMed Team

  • Vasumathi Sriganesh, MLIS - Honorary CEO

    Vasumathi Sriganesh Photo

    A librarian who has worked in the healthcare sector since 1992 - was the Chief librarian at the Hinduja Hospital and the consumer health library - HELP. She has undergone special training in searching the literature for "Evidence Based Medicine". In 2013, she won the 'International Clinical Librarians Conference Evidence into Practice Award' established in the same year, to honour a practising librarian or informationist who has made outstanding contributions to bringing evidence into practice in the field of healthcare. She is also a recognized faculty of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, for Research Methodology workshops.

    Download her biodata

    Vasu Ma'am as she is fondly called combines her love for medicine, library science, teaching and technology with a radiant smile constantly innovating and improvising in making medical literature searching simple and easy.

  • Fatima Shaikh, MLIS - Project Associate

    Fatima joined us in August 2014. She has a Masters Degree in Library & Information Sciences. She had worked for QMed earlier too and then worked for a library software company and in media libraries, gaining strong IT and web skills. She is applying her skills to maximize automation in QMed, working on our E-Learning courses, and is also seeing how our Directory of Indian Medical Sites can be strengthened.

    In just over a month of being here, Fatima’s mind is racing ahead to plan for maximizing the impact of our websites. A "technology sponge", she is a librarian who soaks in technology, and her face breaks into a smile if she needs to do any kind of technology R&D!

Honorary Specialists:

  • Dipti Suvarna, B.Sc.

    Has been with the Foundation since its inception and currently handles the complete website and document delivery portfolio. She also assists with training when required.

    Systematic, meticulous with an eye for detail.

    Her service to the foundation is on a honorary basis.

  • Parvati Iyer, MLIS - Director, Projects

    Ms. Parvati Iyer has been with the Foundation since its inception. A library professional with over 25 years of experience, she has worked for the Mumbai University Library and Department of Library Sciences, and still teaches there. She has exposure in handling database creation, information technology applications in libraries, and in teaching. She handles website projects, document delivery and is a faculty in our training programs

    A patient teacher with years of experience and expertise.

    Her service to the foundation is on a honorary basis.

Administration and Accounts:

  • Jayanthi Raghunath, BSc

    Has been with QMed since inception and handles Accounts and Administration activities.

    Behind the scenes yet invaluable contributions.

    Her service to the foundation is on a honorary basis.


Note:

Everyone whose services are on an honorary basis work for QMed Services Pvt Ltd which does document delivery activities for the Industry. All of them contribute deeply to the Foundation’s work and the income they generate from document delivery activities helps us to keep our fires burning!

Write up about Vasumathi Sriganesh in Stars of Startups - Digital Magazine, 14-03-2016
Coverage of QMed in Mid-day , 06-05-2012



QMed's First Anniversary in DNA Mumbai, 15-01-2009
QMed Coverage in DNA
Coverage of QMed in the Indian Express, 14-01-2008

Achievements

  • The 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad, India raises funds for QMed! View our stall presentation!
  • Vasumathi Sriganesh receives the International Clinical Librarian Conference - Evidence to Practice Award - May 2013. Read our blog post for more information.
  • Vasumathi Sriganesh's name is included in the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences' list of approved faculty for conducting Research Methodology Workshops
  • Vasumathi Sriganesh received partial support via the Developing Country Support to attend the Cochrane Colloquium in Madrid - Sep 2011
  • Our CEO -Vasumathi Sriganesh is the only librarian from India to receive Bursary for the ICML - Brisbane, Australia- Sep 2009

Milestones

  • March 2013 - QMed has successfully conducted 100 lectures and 100 workshops
  • Aug 2012 - The Society for Medical Learning and Resource Transfer - SMLRT, Chennai agreed to give us partial funding for our workshops
  • February 2012 - Received FCRA Registration
  • We conducted our first Workshop (PubMed Basics) on April 24, 2008
  • 2008 - QMed received 12 A and 80G Certificate
  • Inception of Quality Medical Knowledge Foundation (QMed) - Dec 16, 2007

We strongly believe in maintaining transparency in our functioning as an organisation. In keeping with this principle, we have answered questions that we are asked frequently. If you have further queries, do get in touch with us; we will be happy to respond.


A: No. QMed is a Registered Trust. We are registered with the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai. VS was the person who conceptualized the idea of setting up this Trust to achieve changes in the medical education and research domain in India.

So none of us who works for QMed owns it.

A: For any organization to run and carry out activities, there is a need for money. So while we charge, or ask for donations, the money is used for projects, administration costs and salaries. At the end of an year, if there is a surplus, (we have not reached that stage yet), it will not be shared by Trustees or Employees, but will be used towards any of the Foundation’s objectives.

A: Since our establishment as a Trust, we have been sustaining on revenues generated by our own activities, for which we charge a small amount. But this does not cover the real expenses. We are able to manage for now, because we have a dedicated team that takes home a small salary as against competitive market salaries. Our office premises is owned by one of our trustees, who has been kind in letting us use it as our office space without any rental charges. Our trustee also provides a vehicle for commuting when required. These are huge cost savings, that allows us to focus our limited revenue on our activities.

In the last few months, (as of March 2013), we have received small grants from the SMLRT – Society for Medical Learning Resources Transfer – a body of doctors based in Chennai. We are hoping they will continue to fund us for some time to come.

Note: Our Founder, Vasumathi Sriganesh had first started QMed as a Pvt Ltd company (more about this below). We continue to do one activity (full text article delivery) under that entity, and we get some revenues through that.

A. Ideally, medical libraries can and should take on the work that we engage in, especially literature searching and training students in the use of online information resources. In fact, that is our long term vision. However, the reality is that while the government and institutions are spending large amounts of money on information infrastructure, the emphasis is on providing access. Little effort is made in training information seekers to use these resources. The result is that most users do not even know of the existence of these resources, and the few who do know about them, do not use them efficiently, simply because they do not know how to. The assumption is that most people know how to use the computer and hence also know to use resources for literature searching. But this is a myth. We are here to bridge this gap, which is why we work not only with students and faculty of the health sciences, but also with libraries/librarians to assist them in expanding their horizon.

A. QMed Knowledge Foundation was established as a Trust in 2007. As a concept, however, we started out in 1999. Back then, we were QMed Services Private Limited. We were engaged in providing copyright-cleared articles to pharmaceutical companies, and sourced articles from libraries for academic purposes on request from educational institutions. However, we realised that the concept was way ahead of its times. During this period, we realised that students and practitioners were not trained in the art of searching for medical literature. There was a need to guide medical information seekers in locating relevant articles, teach them to use online information resources, and assist libraries to organise their infrastructure for the benefit of users. We decided then, to transform into a non-profit entity and bridge the lacuna in literature searching. We were the pioneers in this field in India.

We still provide a full text article service to the Industry (Pharma etc), from QMed Services Private Limited, mainly to generate income to sustain our activities as a Foundation.

A. Our Friends of the Foundation initiative accounts for a certain portion of our revenue. Although it seems like a membership, it is not transactional, where one obtains a certain service in exchange for money. We ask for a donation, because we commit to guide the donor and assist them in their research to the best of our ability. Our aim is to empower them rather than consider our work a paid service. We also expect their commitment in empowering themselves with our guidance. The amount that each Friend donates is optional and the minimum amount is Rs. 500/-
A. Please see the page – QMed Team. Two of our team members work on a honorary basis for the foundation.
A. Yes – P.Sriganesh is the husband of Vasumathi Sriganesh.

FCRA Donations

The Rules pertaining to Foreign Contributions have had some amendments in end 2015, one of which is about displaying the amounts on our website. Accordingly, an organization receiving foreign contribution in a quarter of the financial year is expected to share details of foreign contribution received on its official website or on the website specified by the Central Government within fifteen days following the last day of the quarter in which it has been received clearly indicating the details of donors, amount received and date of receipt. Here is our list of donations

 
QMed Knowledge Foundation
 
A-3, Shubham Centre, Ground Floor
Cardinal Gracious Road, Chakala,
Andheri East, Mumbai – 400099.
 
Tel: 91-22-40054474 / 75
Email: info@qmed.ngo
 
Nearest Metro Station: Western Express Highway, abbreviated to WEH, is the nearest metro station to QMed.