Clinicians Worldwide Confirm Impact of UpToDate on Quality of Care in 2014

January 15, 2015 – Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, announced today that clinicians worldwide accessed more than 314 million clinical topics in UpToDate® in 2014, and that 94% of UpToDate users report the acclaimed clinical decision support resource improves the quality of care they provide to patients.

Positive Impact on Care Reaffirmed in Survey
The nearly 16,000 individual subscribers who participated in the 2014 Subscriber Survey reaffirmed the numerous ways in which UpToDate serves as an essential resource in clinical decision making. 96% of respondents trust UpToDate as an authoritative point-of-care resource, saying UpToDate keeps them current. UpToDate was found to improve the quality of care clinicians provide to patients by 94% of surveyed users. One respondent commented that UpToDate is “like having all the experts in the field sitting at your side and helping you to make good, medically sound and evidence based decisions for your patient.”

92% of users reported UpToDate improved care by helping them conduct more appropriate diagnostic testing. In all, 98% of the UpToDate users surveyed stated they are satisfied or very satisfied with the award-winning clinical decision support resource.

Increased Access and Impact around the World
Wolters Kluwer Health introduced UpToDate Anywhere to global markets, making access to UpToDate’s evidenced-based, clinical content easier than ever. More and more institutional users now rely on the UpToDate app for iOS®, Android, and Windows 8. Ranked among “the best medical apps for your new iPhone” by iMedicalApps, the UpToDate mobile app (across all platforms) was downloaded nearly 365,000 times.

By the end of 2014, UpToDate users in 174 countries worldwide viewed more than 26 million clinical topics per month, on average. In addition to continuously updating topics in response to new research, UpToDate actively seeks feedback from its global community of engaged users. Last year alone, UpToDate reviewed over 2,800 feedback emails submitted by users, which resulted in more than 1,000 editorial updates.

Studies Explore New Frontiers of the Impact of UpToDate
Interest in the impact of UpToDate on patient care continued to increase in 2014 with independent studies about UpToDate now numbering over sixty. One study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that searches on UpToDate conducted by clinicians can predict influenza epidemics in the United States in a timely manner more accurately than other resources such as Google Flu Trends.¹ Another study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine found that only UpToDate shows an increase in usage over the past ten years while other sources of online medical knowledge have been experiencing declining usage over time.  The authors conclude that their results “signal an emergent—and perhaps permanent—shift in the utilization of online medical education in the United States”.²

Improving Care in Times of Great Need
On the global healthcare front, UpToDate’s mission to improve care everywhere continued through its partnership with Global Health Delivery by providing free subscriptions to clinicians in resource-limited settings. To date, the program has helped more than 3,100 clinicians and medical educators in more than 50 hospitals, clinics and health institutions to ensure access to quality care for nearly 5 million patients yearly.

Ebola made an indelible impact on the lives of people in West Africa, even as healthcare professionals and humanitarians worked tirelessly to care for the affected and to stop the spread of the disease. To that end, UpToDate partnered with Global Health Delivery to provide healthcare professionals with full access to UpToDate to battle Ebola and related illnesses. Anyone visiting www.uptodate.com with an IP address originating in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia has had immediate and free access to UpToDate.

While West African countries have been hardest hit by this devastating and deadly virus, its impact has been felt around the world. In response, UpToDate also provided clinicians and the general public with free, worldwide access to continuously updated Ebola topics.

“As we assist in the decision-making of more clinicians than ever, we are vividly reminded of the great responsibility we have to get things right,” said Denise Basow, MD, Vice President and General Manager, UpToDate at Wolters Kluwer Health, Clinical Solutions. “In the year ahead, we will continue to work towards improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided around the world. Everything we do will be focused on accomplishing that.”

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¹ Mauricio Santillana, Elaine O. Nsoesie, Sumiko R. Mekaru, David Scales, and John S. Brownstein. Using Clinicians’ Search Query Data to Monitor Influenza Epidemics Clinical Infectious Diseases 2014: ciu647v2-ciu647.
² Lott, J. P., Roy, B. and Venkatesh, A. K. (2014), Temporal trends in accessing online medical information. J. Hosp. Med., 9: 525–526. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2211.