Corporate Compliance

Medical database UpToDate linked to better hospital care

Compliance Monitor, November 30, 2011

Hospitals that subscribe to UpToDate, a popular clinical support system, show modest improvement in length of stay, mortality rates, and quality of care, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

The results suggest that hospitals that provide the database to their physicians perform better on these measures than those that do not. However, researchers acknowledged that it’s unclear whether physician use of UpToDate is responsible for these benefits, or whether higher-quality hospitals are more inclined to use it.

Some study measures were basic (e.g., did heart attack survivors receive aspirin and beta blockers, did patients with pneumonia receiving antibiotics in a timely manner). "These are things that you typically wouldn't need to look up using something like UpToDate to find out whether it's a good idea," Thomas Isaac, lead investigator for the study, told Information Week in an article published on November 25. “But some of these quality metrics may have an association with each other, so that hospitals that focus a bit more on quality and choose to use tools like UpToDate may put in place processes that are important for quality throughout the hospital."

Read more on the Information Week website.

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