The ReLAB-HS Resource Repository Improves Access to High Quality Rehabilitation Publications

Digital Health Week, which takes place between the 29th November and 3rd December, is a global week of action to advocate for digital health and its critical role in providing health for all by 2030.

The world of digital health has brought about huge transformations in the ability to disseminate and find knowledge. However, with the huge growth in the number of online resources available, the challenge becomes overwhelming.

We are no longer limited by the availability of resources, but by the ability to find those that are relevant and useful. When it comes to rehabilitation, this can mean the difference between patients receiving the best, evidence-based care rather than outdated treatments. 

Improving Access to Vital Resources

Rehabilitation services are a vital component in maintaining and improving population health, but services are only as good as the workforce delivering them. For the workforce to have the opportunity to provide the very best in patient care, it needs to be educated and supported through access to high-quality, evidence-based resources.

The Resource Repository provides a place where all the excellent resources developed by rehabilitation stakeholders around the world can be stored. 

By improving the discoverability of globally relevant guidelines, manuals and toolkits, more rehabilitation professionals are able to find and use them. This ultimately improves dissemination of knowledge globally, and improves healthcare through the application of digital knowledge. This means better care of patients no matter where they are in the world.

The Repository’s Impact So Far

The repository has far exceeded our expectation and since the launch of the repository, in August 2021, more than 26,500 people from 182 countries have accessed over 60,000 rehabilitation resources.

Without doubt it has made accessing resources and information a much smoother process, taking less time and providing more relevant results.  This is particularly useful if you are not aware of what resources are available.

When using the repository the biggest problem with accessing resources is removed. Most rehabilitation resources are hosted by the people who publish them and often aren’t accessible by searching.  So for example if you are looking for resources on empowerment you would need to the know the publishers and possibly even the titles to find them (and then visit each one through the search engine).

The RRR allows users to search by category, publisher, topic, keyword or title and have lists of relevant resources at their fingertips. We can see this ease of use in action when looking at the top 5 most accessed resources:

  1. The Empowerment of Women and Girls with Disabilities: Towards Full and Effective Participation and Gender Equality
  2. A Practice Manual for Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
  3. Essential Management Package for Strengthening Physical Rehabilitation Centres
  4. Learning Health Systems: Pathways to Progress
  5. WHO Rehabilitation for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury

You Can Get Involved – Download as well as Contribute Resources

The repository is a fully searchable web portal available at resources.relabhs.org.  It has been designed from the from the ground up to be useful and relevant for  all rehabilitation stakeholders and care providers around the world. This means you can access the repository on mobile devices or a computer and anywhere you have an internet connection.

As well as accessing the site from anywhere you can upload from anywhere too. When uploaded to the site the repository manager will check submissions to ensure the best content is available to be accessed. The resource repository manager will also continue to search for and evaluate new resources in an ongoing effort to keep new resources easily accessible to all.

ReLAB-HS is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented under cooperative agreement number 7200AA20CA00033. The consortium is managed by prime recipient, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.