Upstate News

July 22, 2004
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate physicians and students now have access to leading online medical information resource

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University physicians and students can now get answers to clinical questions on the spot with an online medical information service now available at the academic medical center.

The online service, called UpToDate, uses a community of 3,000 clinicians as experts who synthesize and offer insight into the latest medical information from journals and other health texts. The peer-reviewed information is delivered in a straightforward and authoritative style that give the analysis a practice focus for use in confirming diagnosis or for recommending courses of treament.

For example, searching under Lyme disease will offer the user a variety of topics such as “treatment of Lyme disease” to the “epidemiology of the illness and clinical manifestations of the disease.” Also available is information on how to evaluate a patient suspected of having Lyme disease.

“UpToDate is an excellent source of reliable clinical information that can’t be beat for convenience. In a few minutes, a student or physician can read an accurate synthesis of a disease or treatment that is absolutely current, in that all topics are updated continuously,” said Steven Scheinman, M.D., SUNY Upstate executive vice president and dean of the College of Medicine, who also serves as a contributor to UpToDate.

David Duggan, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, said the service’s value is that it is available to any physicians at their PC or PDA (personal digitial assistant). “This allows the physician to access the information when they need it most,” he said.

The web-based service is available from any computer at SUNY Upstate and from a PDA that has been specifically configured to operate within SUNY Upstate wireless service. The service is also available in the student lounge at the Clinical Campus in Binghamton.

The public can access UpToDate from one of the computer terminals in the Health Sciences Library, located in Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave. Library summer hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Currently more than 200 hospitals across the country subscribe to UpToDate. A 2003 survey of users with patient care responsibilities at the University of Missouri Columbia School of Medicine found that 75 percent used UpToDate to confirm a patient management decision and 60 percent said it changed the way they managed a particular patient.

Funding for the one-year contract with UpToDate is being provided by the Medical Alumni Association and the Health Sciences Library.

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