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Utilization and uptake of the UpToDate clinical decision support tool at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), Uganda

Alison Annet Kinengyere
Julie Rosenberg
Olivia Pickard
Moses Kamya


Background: The use of point-of-care, evidence-based tools is becoming increasingly popular. They can provide easy-to- use, high-quality information which is regularly updated and has been shown to improve clinical outcomes. Integrating such tools into clinical practice is an important component of improving the quality of health care. However, because such tools are rarely used in resource-limited settings, there is limited research on uptake especially among medical students.

Objective: This paper explores the uptake of one such tool, Up-To-Date, when provided free of cost at a medical school in Africa.

Methods: In partnership with the Better Evidence at Ariadne Labs free access to UpToDate was granted through the MakCHS IP address. On-site librarians facilitated training sessions and spread awareness of the tool. Usage data was aggre- gated, based on log ins and content views, presented and analyzed using Excel tables and graphs.

Results: The data shows evidence of meaningful usage, with 43,043 log ins and 15,591 registrations between August 2019 and August 2020. The most common topics viewed were in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, drug information, and infectious diseases. Access occurred mainly through the mobile phone app.

Conclusion: Findings show usage by various user categories, but with inconsistent uptake and low usage. Librarians can draw upon these results to encourage institutions to support uptake of point-of-care tools in clinical practice.

Keywords: UpToDate clinical decision support tool; Makerere University College of Health Sciences; Uganda.

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Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905