Medical database linked to better hospital care
Hospitals that subscribe to widely used clinical knowledge support system UpToDate show modestly improved length of stay, mortality rates, and quality of care. A recent study suggests that hospitals that use the service do better on all these measures than those that don't provide UpToDate to their physicians. But, as the researchers admitted, it's not clear whether the physicians' use of UpToDate to answer their clinical questions is responsible for these benefits, or whether higher-quality hospitals are more inclined to use UpToDate. UpToDate is one of several online services that provide frequently updated monographs incorporating the latest, most relevant medical knowledge. Clinicians can access them directly through Web browsers or launch them from electronic health records using desktops, laptops, or mobile devices.
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