Utility of the electronic information resource UpToDate for clinical decision-making at bedside rounds
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Phua J, See KC, Khalizah HJ, Low SP, Lim T
Correspondence: Dr Tow Keang Lim, tow_keang_lim@nuhs.edu.sg

Clinical questions often arise at daily hospital bedside rounds. Yet, little information exists on how the search for answers may be facilitated. The aim of this prospective study was, therefore, to evaluate the overall utility, including the feasibility and usefulness of incorporating searches of UpToDate, a popular online information resource, into rounds.
Methods Doctors searched UpToDate for any unresolved clinical questions during rounds for patients in general medicine and respiratory wards, and in the medical intensive care unit of a tertiary teaching hospital. The nature of the questions and the results of the searches were recorded. Searches were deemed feasible if they were completed during the rounds and useful if they provided a satisfactory answer.
Results A total of 157 UpToDate searches were performed during the study period. Questions were raised by all ranks of clinicians from junior doctors to consultants. The searches were feasible and performed immediately during rounds 44% of the time. Each search took a median of three minutes (first quartile: two minutes, third quartile: five minutes). UpToDate provided a useful and satisfactory answer 75% of the time, a partial answer 17% of the time and no answer 9% of the time. It led to a change in investigations, diagnosis or management 37% of the time, confirmed what was originally known or planned 38% of the time and had no effect 25% of the time. 
Conclusion Incorporating UpToDate searches into daily bedside rounds was feasible and useful in clinical decision-making.

Keywords: beside rounds, clinical decision making, education, electronic information resource, UpToDate
Singapore Med J 2012; 53(2): 116–120

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