Use of UpToDate Improves Patient Care and Hospital Performance, UK Hospital Study Says

Quicker diagnoses, more accurate treatment decisions among benefits of clinical decision support

North West, UK —(October 18, 2012) — Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, announced today that its clinical decision support system, UpToDate, was the subject of a studyi published online in Health Information and Libraries Journal. The study highlights real clinical scenarios demonstrating how the use of evidence-based, clinical decision support at the point of care improves patient outcomes and hospital performance. The survey, led by John Addison, library manager at the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, was carried out over six weeks across a dozen hospital Trusts in the north west of England, and analysed the use of UpToDate in clinical practice.

Co-author Addison, explains: “Having adopted the UpToDate clinical decision support system as the result of a head-to-head trial in early 2010, I already knew that the system was favoured within Pennine Acute’s four hospitals. However, nationwide we are in a position where we have to make evidence-based choices about where to spend tight budgets. In these stringent times, I felt it was important to test our purchasing decision by looking at real world scenarios to assess UpToDate’s true value.”

Survey Results:
An online survey was distributed to doctors at healthcare organisations which subscribed to UpToDate. Respondents were asked to describe a scenario in which they had used UpToDate and to identify benefits, if any, associated with that scenario.

More than 90% of the 239 respondents who had used UpToDate identified at least one benefit:

  • 57% said using UpToDate reduced treatment delays
  • 52% said using UpToDate meant they avoided unnecessary diagnostic tests
  • 48% said it reduced delays in diagnosis
  • 39% said it changed their treatment decision
  • 28% said it reduced the time to discharge

As the research report concludes, “The patient receives speedier access to diagnosis and treatment. The clinician obtains easier and quicker access to expert information to inform decision making about patient management. Finally, the healthcare organisations themselves can hope to become more cost-effective by improving patient flow through reducing unnecessary diagnostic tests and inappropriate prescribing, and speeding up time to discharge.”

Denise Basow, President, UpToDate at Wolters Kluwer Health, stated: “At UpToDate we feel a tremendous responsibility to get things right, and the insights gained from this research confirm what thousands of customers have told us through the years: that UpToDate empowers clinicians to make the “right” medical decisions at the point of care, which in turn improves care and hospital performance.”

This study is consistent with over 30 studies confirming UpToDate’s value in improving care and hospital performance, and provides new in-practice insights that demonstrate the real efficiencies that can be gained when investing in clinical decision support within a trust.

UpToDate, in conjunction with the Health Service Journal, will be inviting medical staff to a webinar in which the results of this survey will be discussed. Live viewers will be offered a free 30 day individual subscription.
When: Beginning of December, TBC
Where: HSJ TV