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Better Evidence for Training Program Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of the Better Evidence for Training UpToDate Donation Program is to enhance access and uptake of the latest clinical evidence among future health care providers, to encourage the habit of consulting evidence-based clinical resources, and ultimately, lead to better patient care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

The Better Evidence for Training 2022 applications are now open! Please use the links on the Better Evidence for Training page to start your application. For any questions, please email betraining@ariadnelabs.org.

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The Better Evidence for Training Program

What is Better Evidence?

The Better Evidence Program at Ariadne Labs – a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – seeks to enhance uptake of the latest clinical evidence among current and future health care providers serving vulnerable populations. The Better Evidence Program serves both providers and medical students and affiliated faculty through two different streams of work: Better Evidence for Providers and Better Evidence for Training.

Is Better Evidence a research program?

Better Evidence for Training is not a research program and does not require ethical clearance from a local Institutional Review Board (IRB). We do, however, focus on  learning from our efforts so that we can continuously improve  our design  and expand our impact with time. 

Who is eligible to receive UpToDate from my institution? 

All incoming and existing medical students, residents, interns, as well as the faculty and staff who support these students are eligible for  access to UpToDate.

How long will the institutional license apply? 

The institutional licenses will be for a three-year term and are renewed automatically for two one-year terms thereafter, for a total of five years.

What happens after the program period is complete – will my students lose access to UpToDate? 

The Better Evidence program intends to assist schools in renewing their contracts with UpToDate after the initial program period is complete. Students can maintain their access by connecting to the university’s or an affiliated site’s wireless internet every 90 days. Students who graduate and go on to practice at a non-profit or public institution and would otherwise be unable to afford UpToDate are eligible to apply for the Better Evidence Provider Program, which equips providers with one-year UpToDate subscriptions that are renewable annually. To learn more about the Provider Program, please visit: http://www.ariadnelabs.org/better-evidence/apply

What will this cost my university? 

There is no cost to the university. All UpToDate licenses are donated by Wolters Kluwers, the parent company of UpToDate. However, universities are expected to invest in the program to ensure that it is implemented successfully. This includes assigning a point-person to collaborate with the Better Evidence team to complete all tasks agreed upon before launching the program and assigning one or two Champions to spend 10 hours per month working to support local implementation.

How will my students know how to use UpToDate?

The Better Evidence team will collaborate with your appointed Champion(s) to support training sessions and communications campaigns. Champions will be tasked with teaching students about UpToDate during their orientation period and throughout their time at the university. They will be prepared to cover how to register for access, how to access the tool and how to effectively use it to inform learning and clinical decision-making.


The UpToDate Tool

What is UpToDate? 

UpToDate is a clinical decision support tool authored by 7,300 world-renowned physicians who synthesize the most recent medical information into trusted, evidence-based recommendations accessible via the web or download, on a computer or a smartphone. Over 1.7 million clinicians in over 190 countries and nearly 90% of major academic medical centers in the United States rely on UpToDate to find the answers to pressing questions. Every day, clinicians view topics covering 25 specialties over 1.5 million times.

Who writes / edits sections?

The 7,300 physician authors, editors, and peer reviewers are recognized as experts in their medical specialties. Contributors are listed on their specific topics, which they write in conjunction with a deputy physician editor. For more on how the information is created, please visit: https://www.uptodate.com/home/editorial.

How could my medical students benefit from using UpToDate?

Research studies confirm the association of the use of UpToDate with improved patient care and hospital performance—including reduced length of stay, fewer adverse complications, and lower mortality. Studies also show that providers using UpToDate perform better on standardized exams.  

In 2015, we engaged with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania and the University of Rwanda to facilitate free UpToDate subscriptions for interested students and study the impact. Through this research, we saw that early access to UpToDate habituated students to consult the evidence. Students given UpToDate used Wikipedia less and UpToDate more.

How does UpToDate differ from other tools my students might be using?

While other tools such as Hinari provide free or very low-cost online access to the major biomedical journals, UpToDate is a tool that synthesizes the best clinical practice and the most updated medical evidence found across these journals to provide actionable recommendations that students and providers can readily use at the moment of care.


UpToDate Technical Questions

How will students and faculty obtain their subscription?

UpToDate is a proprietary tool which typically requires the purchase of a subscription. Through the Better Evidence program, students and faculty will be able to subscribe to UpToDate for free from your institution’s IP address. They will register for an account from campus by visiting www.UpToDate.com, where they will be prompted to create a username and password.

Where can UpToDate be accessed?

UpToDate can be accessed from any internet-enabled device, including smartphones (both iOS and Android), tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Users can access the tool through the website (www.UpToDate.com), by downloading the app (“UpToDate Mobile”) and using it on their phone while connected to an internet source, or by downloading MobileComplete to use it offline (see “Can UpToDate be used offline?” below).

In what languages is UpToDate available? 

UpToDate is available in English. However, the UpToDate mobile app and MobileComplete allow a subscriber to search in 9 different languages, including French.

Can UpToDate be used offline?

Wi-Fi access is required for initial UpToDate registration as well as the mobile app download and full content updates. However, all UpToDate subscriptions will come with MobileComplete, which allows students to download the tool to their device and use it without a Wi-Fi or network connection, i.e., offline. Please note that a minimum of 1.3 GB of local storage is required for both topics and graphics; 400MB of local storage is required for topics only.