Healthcare decision support resource UpTOdate launched in South Africa

Wolters Kluwer, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, has launched UpToDate® Anywhere in South Africa.wolterkluwer_LogoUpToDate Anywhere enables South African hospitals and healthcare organizations to provide clinicians with mobile access to UpToDate, the acclaimed evidence-based clinical decision support resource. Clinician usage of UpToDate nationwide is expected to steadily increase as mobile access becomes available in the country’s healthcare institutions.

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Since 2003, doctors, hospitals, and health organizations throughout South Africa have turned to UpToDate for current, evidence-based clinical answers and recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. Clinicians in South Africa who use UpToDate span a range of nearly 30 specialties, from Allergy to Urology. Organizations that rely on UpToDate to provide high-quality care include a provincial health department, cancer centers, as well as many medical schools tasked with training the next generation of South African doctors including Stellenbosch University, University of Pretoria, University of the Witwatersrand and others.

Access to UpToDate on smart phones and tablets helps South African clinicians improve the quality and effectiveness of the care they provide to patients at the bedside, in a consulting room, counseling room, or when working remotely. Ranked first among “The best medical apps for your new iPhone” by iMedicalApps, the app is available in iOS, Android™ and Windows 8 mobile platforms.

With UpToDate Anywhere, South African hospital and healthcare system CMIOs can also opt to embed UpToDate in their electronic medical record systems such as Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, MEDITECH, Siemens, and others. This allows clinicians to search UpToDate more efficiently, with fewer clicks and without additional windows or logins.

“As more and more clinicians in South Africa rely on UpToDate, we are committed to being a partner in their efforts to make the right diagnostic and treatment decisions for their patients,” said Denise Basow, MD, Vice President and General Manager, UpToDate at Wolters Kluwer Health, Clinical Solutions. “The launch of UpToDate Anywhere in South Africa helps ensure clinicians have rapid access to reliable clinical recommendations at the point of care and beyond.”

Providing Answers to Clinical Questions in South Africa:
UpToDate has become a trustworthy resource for answering clinical questions in healthcare institutions. According to the 2014 UpToDate Subscriber Survey, 92% of South African respondents say they use UpToDate regularly and 97% indicate they are satisfied or very satisfied with UpToDate.

In 2014, South African clinicians viewed over 600,000 topics in UpToDate. The Top 10 topics viewed were:

Epidemiology and pathogenesis of Ebola virus disease
Practice Changing UpDates
Approach to the patient with abnormal liver biochemical and function tests
Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Ebola virus disease
Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Treatment
Treatment of severe falciparum malaria
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Definition, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and staging
Clinical features, laboratory manifestations, and diagnosis of multiple myeloma
Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning
Overview of hypertension in adults

“Seeing two Ebola virus topics listed among those most viewed by clinicians in South Africa demonstrates how critical it was to have accurate, evidence-based information and expert guidance in the face of an imminent epidemic last year,” commented Dr. Lynette Denny, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Cape Town. Dr. Denny, who is also a contributor for UpToDate topics, adds, “Finding ‘Practice Changing Updates’ as the second most-viewed topic in the list validates the importance South African doctors place on staying abreast of changes that impact the care they provide to their patients.”

On-the-Job Continuing Professional Development
UpToDate has a positive impact on medical education not only for medical students and junior doctors, but also in continuing professional development (CPD). Interactive learning that is sequenced or reinforced in multiple sessions improves retention and has the potential to improve quality of care.¹ UpToDate has emerged as a key resource for on-the-job continuing professional development (CPD) for senior clinicians.

Clinical decision support resources like UpToDate Anywhere are playing an increasingly important role in the continuing professional development process. In South Africa, clinicians are using UpToDate as a pain-free CPD resource. Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Credits earned while using UpToDate may be used toward the HPSCA’s Continuing Professional Development program. Each UpToDate learning cycle accumulates 0.5 credits and may be recorded as 0.5 Level 2 CEU in one’s Individual Activity Record (without a limit on the number of credits earned using UpToDate).

Real-time research using UpToDate at the point of care can contribute significantly to CPD while also delivering improved quality of care and outcomes. Mobile access through UpToDate Anywhere ensures doctors can take a patient-focused approach to CPD. Learn more about UpToDate