UpToDate has a very algorithmic way of operating

17 April 2018 | Interviews

Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information and point of care solutions for the healthcare industry.

Dr Alan G Rosmarin

Dr Alan G Rosmarin

Clinical pathways aimed at helping caregivers deliver consistent, high-quality, and effective care can be difficult to develop and maintain. In addition, their adoption can pose a considerable challenge. But UpToDate, the evidence-based clinical decision support resource from Wolters Kluwer, is most trusted at the point of care by clinicians worldwide. BioSpectrum recently got in touch with Dr Alan G Rosmarin, Deputy Editor- Hematology, UpToDate, to find out more about this application.

Tell us something about the UpToDate system.

UpToDate is an evidence-based, physician-authored clinical decision support resource which clinicians trust to make the right point-of-care decisions. More than 6,500 world-renowned physician authors, editors, and peer reviewers use a rigorous editorial process to synthesize the most recent medical information into trusted, evidence-based recommendations that are proven to improve patient care and quality. Over 1.3 million clinicians in 187 countries and nearly 90 per cent of major academic medical centers in the United States rely on UpToDate to provide the best care. More than 80 research studies confirm widespread usage of UpToDate and the association of its use with improved patient care and hospital performance — including reduced length of stay, fewer adverse complications, and lower mortality.

UpToDate has earned the trust of the healthcare community over more than 25 years because of the integrity of its recommendations, including the fact that we never accept funding from pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, or other commercial entities.


What is the rate of accuracy and success of this system?

With UpToDate, we do everything to be accurate. We adopt a very algorithmic way. UpToDate topics are viewed more than 43 million times per month, and our 2016 subscriber survey found that clinicians find the answers to their question over 94% of the time. This success reflects the breadth (25 specialties) and depth of our clinical content (over 11,000 topic reviews, each of which answers multiple clinical questions). More than 80 research studies confirm widespread usage of UpToDate and its association with improved patient care and hospital performance. One, a study by researchers at Harvard published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine in 2011, showed that hospitals using UpToDate experienced shortened hospital stays, fewer deaths and better quality performance than non-UpToDate hospitals.


Which specialty areas are most frequently searched on the UpToDate system?

We cover 25 specialty areas on UpToDate. My major area of focus is Hematology. Some areas receive more hits than the others. It all depends on the doctors or clinicians who are looking up for various case studies. In my case I have observed that one article written by me is viewed by 500 people across the world. So likewise, the frequency and visibility varies.


How do you ensure patient safety through this system?

There is a significant body of evidence from around the world to demonstrate that evidence-based clinical information delivered in real time can significantly improve patient safety. UpToDate has been the subject of over 30 global research studies demonstrating that widespread usage of UpToDate answers clinical questions, changes decision making, and is associated with improved patient outcomes, quality of care, productivity savings and hospital performance. As I mentioned before, in 2011, researchers at Harvard University published a compelling study confirming that the use of UpToDate over a three year period was associated with improved quality of care, shorter lengths of stay (372,500 hospital days saved per year) and lower mortality rates (saving 11,500 lives per three year period).


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