Since the inception of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology in 2008 and the first batch of research produced in 2012, hundreds of researches have been completed and presented by the students of the UST Faculty of Medicine & Surgery (FMS). Research protocol development and completion of a research proposal is a major outcome expected from a UST Thomasian medical graduate. However, there were several challenges and difficulties before this was achieved.
First, there was difficulty in choosing the topic the students would work on, not only because of limited clinical knowledge, but because the students did not have an idea as to what research topics were already completed in previous years. Second, during the meetings with the technical and content advisers, the process of monitoring changes in the protocol and checking whether these were incorporated in the most recent draft differed from one group to another to a point of being inefficient. Completed papers were submitted in hard and soft copies but were never stored in a database which can be used as reference for other researchers and clinicians. A solution to these challenges was the creation of a database of researches which can serve as an efficient system to monitor the voluminous research work, as well as a cloud storage facility for completed researches.
The proponents of the project from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, namely Dr. Ida Marie Tabangay-Lim, Dr. Nilo de los Santos, Dr. Elaine Cunanan, Dr. Warren Bacorro and Dr. Elizabeth Mercado, sought out partners from the UST Institute of Information and Computation Sciences who were able to create this online system. A formal collaboration was then made between the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and the Institute of Information and Computation Sciences to create the Online Records Database of Excellent Research (O.R.D.E.R.). This project aimed to create an online database which can be used for organizing completed research and for facilitating the review and development of the research protocols by medical students and their faculty advisers. O.R.D.E.R. can now be accessed directly via the UST FMS website at https://medicine.ust.edu.ph through the Clinical Epidemiology Research link.