Ariadne Labs’ Better Evidence Program and Wolters Kluwer, the global information services company, are rushing to help physicians in war-torn Ukraine and neighboring Poland by rapidly facilitating access to the latest online medical evidence. As many are forced to work outside their specialties and under dire conditions, the gaps between clinicians and the information they need are becoming wider.
Since the war began, more than 1,300 clinicians in Ukraine and more than 100 in Poland have quickly been granted free access to UpToDate® — an evidence-based clinical decision resource — to help them cope with treating battle casualties and ongoing medical needs.
The sad reality is that during a major crisis like war, everyday health issues continue, said Julie Rosenberg, MPH, Ariadne Labs’ Associate Director for Better Evidence. “Babies are born, diabetics need insulin shots, the list goes on,” she said.
Even under fire, physicians will try to do whatever it takes to help their patients, said Rebecca Weintraub, MD, and Director of Better Evidence. “Giving access to UpToDate is another step in the effort by the global community to support physicians trying to help the people of Ukraine.”
Since 2009, Better Evidence has helped close integration gaps by providing health care workers serving vulnerable populations with access to digital tools, including UpToDate, which is provided by Wolters Kluwer.
Applicants seeking UpToDate can apply for free access through the Better Evidence website, and after the Ariadne team reviews an application to ensure eligibility, they pass it along to the Wolters Kluwer team. Both teams are working hard to ensure subscriptions go out to war-affected applicants within just a few days.
Applications from the region have been filled with heart-rending details. A Ukrainian medical student, specializing in pediatrics, writes: “Children of my country need a great support because of war. They are forced to sit in shelters [and] suffer from hunger and thirst. I realize that many pediatricians of Ukraine will treat different diseases, help adjust lactation and breastfeeding, so now I must arm myself with knowledge of evidence-based medicine to help people of Ukraine.”
A pediatric and neonatal physician, who relocated to Poland with family, is “providing online consultations to Ukrainian patients and providing primary medical care and medical translations for Ukrainian refugees.” Another explains that the emergency department has become a “field hospital, and we have wounded patients, civilians, and soldiers as well.”
UpToDate can give clinicians access to the latest evidence-based information across the spectrum of care. “If people can get the right diagnosis and treatments, it can save lives,” Rosenberg said.
The Better Evidence team is also helping to spread information about health concerns following disasters that UpToDate has made freely accessible to everyone, regardless of location and subscriber status.
For more information, visit the Better Evidence website. Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.