What’s Up with UpToDate?

UpToDate is dedicated to providing valid and reliable evidence-based medical information for clinical decision making. This is achieved through continuous publishing and graded recommendations.

Continuous Publishing

It’s not called UpToDate for nothing! UpToDate publishes every business day. The authors and editors scan over 450 medical journals, specialty guidelines, clinical databases, and clinical trials for the most important new medical findings. Here are just a few notable statistics about UpToDate:

  • In July 2014, 953 updates were published and 37 new topics were added;
  • In the first half of 2014, 6,419 updates were published and 109 new topics were added;
  • 192 updates from the second quarter of 2014 are featured in “What’s New”—a small number of the most important updates chosen by UpToDate’s editors (see image below);

UpToDate Whats New

  • UpToDate received 1,537 feedback items for its editors, causing changes to over 500 topics in the first half of 2014.

Every time a topic is reviewed and updated, the date appears directly below the author’s name. Also, references to the literature are listed at the bottom of each topic page.

Graded Recommendations

UpToDate is now using the GRADE approach to classify both the strength of recommendation and the quality of the underlying information. There are now 9,500 graded recommendations, and the process is ongoing. To view a topic’s graded recommendations, simply click on the “Summary and Recommendations” button at the top of the outline (see image below).

UpToDate Topic Outline

Grades have two components: a number (1 or 2) that reflects the strength of the recommendation and a letter (A, B, or C) that reflects the quality of the evidence supporting that recommendation (see image below).

UpToDate Summary Recommendations

For more information on UpToDate’s GRADE system, please direct your browser to the UpToDate interactive tutorial on grading.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from the UpToDate E-mail Expert User Series: “Continuous Publishing” and “Graded Recommendations.”

~ Jill Foust