The Ottawa Hospital’s Adoption of UpToDate Anywhere is Integral to Delivering Care in a Mobile Setting
The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), a leading Canadian teaching and research hospital focused on providing quality care and excellent service, recently identified an opportunity to improve outcomes with the implementation and adoption of a mobility strategy and UpToDate® Anywhere.
“Our vision is to provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion we would want for our loved ones,” said Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Glen Geiger.
To achieve this vision, TOH designed a strategy that included adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and advanced information systems to enhance the quality of the patient experience at the point of care. However, limited access to these information resources meant a clinician had to leave a patient’s bedside or bring a kiosk along for desktop access. TOH determined that having access to evidence-based recommendations when, where, and how clinicians needed them was a vital part of their strategy for improving point-of-care decisions and promoting the quality of care that TOH desired for all patients.
“It was clear that if we wanted our clinicians to interact, at the point of care, with electronic health records and advanced information systems like UpToDate, desktop PCs were a barrier to the adoption of these systems. The adoption of UpToDate Anywhere, which enables TOH to access UpToDate through mobile devices, was a logical extension because we wanted our clinicians to deliver care in a mobile setting,” says Dr. Geiger.
Access to Electronic Information System Anytime, Anywhere
To improve and streamline the clinical workflow, TOH introduced a mobility strategy that provided thousands of mobile devices to their clinicians, enabling them to securely access EHR information alongside clinical content from UpToDate. Having mobile access to both EHR records and UpToDate simultaneously addressed the clinicians’ need for immediacy when answering questions at the point of care. “The feedback we received from clinicians about mobile information access was that we have transformed how they deliver medicine,” said Dr. Geiger.
“TOH has been using UpToDate since it was available via CD-ROM, and around eight years ago we were able to convince the senior management team that UpToDate is such a valuable tool we needed to fund the web version. The web version drove such heavy utilization that it was a logical extension to make the mobile version available to our clinicians by transitioning to an UpToDate Anywhere contract. The more we made it available, the more the clinicians wanted it," Dr. Geiger explained.
Point-of-Care Access to Clinical Recommendations
TOH reports that clinicians are strong proponents of UpToDate Anywhere because they see immense value in the ability to address questions and find clinical recommendations anytime, anywhere.
“Now, with our mobility strategy and UpToDate Anywhere, clinical support information is so accessible — barriers to access have been lowered. Our mobile initiative is to make it easier and easier for our clinicians to take advantage of the most current clinical information,” said Dr. Geiger.
“Migrating to UpToDate Anywhere enabled us to provide access to all of our clinical staff,’’ said Margaret Quirie, Director of Information Organization and Access at TOH. “This is a huge benefit for our nursing and medical training staff. In particular, with some of the nursing staff we have encouraged them to learn about topics that may be outside of their expertise by using UpToDate.”
The successful rollout of UpToDate Anywhere at TOH can be attributed to the organization’s use of the communication and training tools, as well as the implementation plan provided by UpToDate. According to Ms. Quirie, the rollout of UpToDate Anywhere was fairly simple.
“The process involved having the VP of Medical Affairs send an email to all clinicians announcing the availability of UpToDate Anywhere. He would tell you that this one email generated more positive responses than any other email he sent this year,” Ms. Quirie said. “In addition, we had a two-day UpToDate registration event. I would also attribute the success of the rollout to word-of-mouth. The product is highly valued — it sold itself.”
Since the adoption of UpToDate Anywhere in early 2013, UpToDate usage at TOH has more than doubled from ~6,000 topic views per week to ~13,000 topic views per week. The mobile adoption rate is around 78%, and 44% of all usage is via a mobile device.
“I don’t think it’s a difficult argument to make that patients would rather be treated at an organization where the staff is given ready access to advanced information systems versus one where they are not,” said Dr. Geiger.
According to Dr. Geiger, TOH has set a new standard with the investments it has made in technology and advanced information systems. Other organizations are recognizing that they also need to adopt clinical decision support resources in order to improve clinical metrics.
“UpToDate is a very, very successful resource here at TOH. It is an integral part of our mobility strategy, where the goal is to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction by providing clinicians with the most current patient and treatment related information, when and where they need it,” said Dr. Geiger.
1 Isaac, T., Zheng, J. and Jha, A. (2012), Use of UpToDate and outcomes in US hospitals. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 7: 85–90. doi: 10.1002/jhm.944