Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Doctors Overwhelmingly Choose UpToDate After Head-to-Head Trial of Three Clinical Decision Support Systems.

About Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust provides high quality general and specialist hospital treatment to the 800,000 residents living in Greater Manchester, UK and operates from five sites. The Trust employs around 9,000 staff and is the largest non-teaching hospital Trust in England.

"UpToDate is by miles the better resource. It would be a waste of money getting another resource over UpToDate."
— Doctor at Pennine Trust


Doctors at the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which includes five hospitals in Greater Manchester, UK, wanted a clinical resource to enable evidence-based decision making at the point of care. The Trust conducted a head-to-head trial of UpToDate and two other clinical decision support systems, BestPractice and DynaMed. The trial was co-ordinated and driven by John Addison, Library Manager at the Trust.

Trial setup and implementation

The three resources were trialled consecutively. Before the trial, doctors were informed by letter and email about each system, the trial and subsequent survey — and encouraged to participate. Doctors were advised that the trial would only result in a purchase if positive feedback was received. Therefore, their feedback was paramount in deciding how available funds would be spent.

Trust senior management were involved and on-board with the trial from the outset. They knew that their doctors believed an online clinical decision support system available at the point of care was now preferable to traditional methods, such as journal subscriptions, for making informed decisions when caring for patients. Furthermore, Mr. Addison had seen evidence that UpToDate improves patient care and safety and decreases length of hospital stay.1,2

Trial results showed that UpToDate outperforms other providers

Results of the trial clearly demonstrated that UpToDate was the preferred choice
for doctors.

Physicians were quickly able to find the best evidence-based clinical information: supporting their patient care, increasing their knowledge and keeping them informed of evolving management recommendations.

Pennine Survey Results

Continued Benefits with UpToDate

According to John Addison, UpToDate has had a positive impact on patient care at the Trust. He continues to promote awareness and usage of UpToDate — which he views as the key to continued improvement.

"Our first year with UpToDate is going well. We run regular reports on usage and we are getting a minimum of 400 or 500 topic hits per week, which makes UpToDate the most widely used resource in our Trust. Once I show doctors how to use it, they say, ‘Oh that is good’. That hopefully keeps our usage figures up and results in our patients getting better care.

I have been proactive with our staff. Whenever anyone comes into the library, I ask them if they have looked at UpToDate, show them how to use it, encourage them to use it and to pass that on to colleagues as well."

Clinically relevant

"UpToDate’s easily accessible, peerreviewed knowledge gives me more confidence in clinical management of patients, especially in grey areas of research."

Valuable in teaching

"UpToDate will be a vital tool, not only for its ease of use, but for its resources and teaching aids."

"UpToDate, by its nature, will be used by all. It is evidence based and saves a huge amount of time searching the internet for a reliable source."

Better than other providers

"UpToDate is a far superior resource as it actually reviews each subject in detail."

"UpToDate is the best online resource."

About UpToDate

1. UK Hospital Trust Pilot Trial. UpToDate User Survey. 2008.
2. Bonis PA, et al. Int J Med Inform. 2008;77:745-53.