Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Juiz de Fora Turns to UpToDate Clinical Decision Support for Patient Care and Medical Training

December 17, 2014 – Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, announced today that the hospital, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Juiz de Fora has adopted UpToDate® for evidence-based, clinical decision support. UpToDate, a continuously-updated clinical information resource authored by clinical experts, has quickly become an essential part of an institution that provides advanced medical care as well as medical education and training.

“From the development of clinical protocols to better answers at the bedside, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Juiz de Fora is fully committed to delivering the highest quality of care by equipping their doctors with current, evidence-based clinical information and recommendations,” said Denise Basow, MD, Vice President and General Manager, UpToDate at Wolters Kluwer Health, Clinical Solutions. “The role of UpToDate in their medical residency program really affirms the promise of the future of healthcare at the Santa Casa hospital in Juiz de Fora and throughout Brazil.”

Located in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Santa Casa is a philanthropic institution that strives to continuously adapt to current medical best practices and to constantly improve both patient care and medical education. With approximately 500 beds, Santa Casa has a clinical staff of about 750 registered physicians and 40 residents. Following the recent formal certification of Santa Casa as a teaching hospital by the Ministry of Education (MEC) and the Ministry of Health (MSaúde), the implementation of UpToDate has enabled the institution to build a solid foundation of clinical knowledge rooted in current research for patient care and for their growing residency program.

According to Dr. Sergio Pontes, coordinator of the medical residency program at Santa Casa, the contribution of UpToDate towards learning is immense. This is especially evident in its role to help provide a sound theoretical framework for the development and updating of the institution’s clinical protocols. Dr. Pontes commented, “UpToDate presents a real opportunity for residents to study current, updated research topics from a trustworthy resource while in the clinical work environment. UpToDate brings together clinical practice and a strong research foundation, enhancing the overall teaching activities of the institution.”

As use of UpToDate continues to grow at Santa Casa, the impact and benefits of its usage become increasingly apparent. The entire clinical staff at Santa Casa uses UpToDate daily, however the resident physicians in various specialties including anesthesiology, cardiology, endocrinology, general practice, general surgery, nephrology, orthopedics and others, represent the most active users. UpToDate is used not only for research, clinical trials and case presentations, but also for discussions of clinical cases on record.

According to Pontes, the institution is already seeing substantial usage of UpToDate for academic studies by residents and for clinical practice in the urgent care and emergency departments by physicians on duty. In addition to how it expands learning in the classroom and in patient care, UpToDate also serves as a reference in the development of monographs.

UpToDate has also served as an invaluable resource in weekly study sessions on rare cases held at Santa Casa. In one notable example, UpToDate was critical to determining the diagnosis of a calciphylaxis case. Calciphylaxis, or calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA) is a very rare disease that is often difficult to diagnose. UpToDate contributed significantly in the research of the syndrome, the best ways to investigate it, and its relation to other diseases. By elucidating the case, the participants were directly able to improve patient care by ordering the right exams and arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

“The tool not only streamlines our thinking but also makes us better qualified, helping us to practice medicine more accurately. In my work at the hospital where I also practice as a clinician and cardiologist, I witness the usefulness of UpToDate in the emergency department, post-operative care, coronary and intensive care units", emphasizes Dr. Pontes.

In the overall care provided at Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Juiz de Fora, hospitalists rely on UpToDate in the patient triage process, particularly with patients who are hospitalized and need to be referred to a specialist. This is one example where the institution is integrating UpToDate in efforts to reduce the length of hospital stays and mortality rates, while improving overall performance.

Dr. Renato Villela Loures, president of Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Juiz de Fora, states “We are a teaching hospital, certified by ISO 9001 and accredited by ONA (the National Accreditation Organization). Access to UpToDate enables us to continue to grow with current clinical information and quality care.”

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